Have you ever wondered how your favourite Harney tea gets made? Wonder no more! We’re taking you inside our 90,000 square foot factory located in Millerton, New York to give you a unique view of our process through the eyes of an artist. Follow along as we take you from tasting table to tea time.
We’ll kick off our Tour de Harney at one of our many shelving units. This is where everything begins. For scale, the height of the first shelf is about 5 feet and each bag holds up to 90 pounds of raw product. Our factory is over 90,000 square feet and filled with rows and rows of shelves just like this.
We’ll continue our journey through the factory in the Tasting Room. This is one of the most important, if not the most important, room in the building. This is where Mike, our Vice President, and Elvira, our tea purchaser, taste all of the offer samples, new arrival samples, and daily production to ensure we are always producing and selling the finest tea. We taste each product 3 times - when it arrives, when it’s blended, and even after it’s packaged for quality assurance.
One of the largest areas in our factory houses our 7 FUSO machines which produce our silken sachets. The machine on the left actually makes the sachets and places them on the conveyor belts. These conveyor belts then travel the sachets to our automated packing machine on the right which counts out the appropriate number of sachets per tin.
Trust us when we say there is order to this chaos. We try to be as green as possible when we produce and sell our teas, so this portion of our factory is typically filled with empty boxes that our tins are shipped in. After we fill the tins with our tea, we place them back into these boxes to avoid creating more waste.
This is our packing room where our employees draw tea from the large, blue barrels, weigh it by hand, and then put into tins, samples, and 1-pound bags. After the tea has been weighed, our employees apply the appropriate labels.
Welcome to our blending room, this is where the magic happens. The machine in the middle is our largest unit which blends 800 pounds of tea. The one on the left is our middle child, which blends 400 pounds. On the right, is our 50-pound blender. We use this little guy to create our specialty blends. To make the perfect cuppa, we add different types of tea, herbs, fruit, and flavours to each machine to create one unforgettable blend.
This is where we make our iced tea. The tea gets placed into the black square on right. From there, it travels up and then over to the left half of the machine where it is split into two cones. Each cone is then packed into a tea bag then placed into a box. If you are familiar with our iced teas, you know these tea bags are much larger than normal, as our iced teas are made by the pitcher. At the very front of the machine is a black conveyor belt where the filled boxes will travel down the line to get sealed and stocked onto our shelves.
Our final stop in our journey is our Japanese IMA machine. Big Blue makes up to 300 foil-wrapped and premium tea bags per minute. The rolls on the left are twine, tea bag envelope material, and the paper tea bag material itself. The foil-wrapped tea bags come together inside the glass casing, are placed in our cardboard tea bag packaging, then assembled by hand into case packs.