Successful Regional Tea Event Gathers the Industry,Recognizes Harney & Sons Founder with the 2011 Cha Ting Lifetime Achievement Award

AS VEGAS, Nev. (Sept. 22, 2011) - The World Tea East Lebut was a success as tea industry leader John Harney, founder of Harney & Sons, took the spotlight at the event, held Sept. 9-10 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, Harney was presented with the Cha Jing Lifetime Achievement Award from World Tea Media, organizer of the new regional convention, for his significant contributions to the tea industry. Along with Harney, the conference gathered more than 50 leading-edge tea manufacturers and suppliers and more than 800 highly-qualified tea buyers and decision makers. The event, which premiered in Philly, provided professionals with the opportunity to discover new products, optimize merchandise, gain product knowledge and hear insights on emerging trends, and network with peers in an intimate setting.

At World Tea East, Harney received the Cha Jing Lifetime Achievement Award before a crowd of his peers, to recognize the considerable contributions he made to the growth, innovation and education of the specialty tea industry throughout his career. Harney accepted the award during a special reception, where U.S. tea professionals from the east coast as well as numerous international delegates congratulated him.

George Jage, president of World Tea Media, said, "John Harney is celebrated and widely respected by his peers, He's a role model for many, and he's made a significant impact on the specialty tea industry through mentoring and service. We're thrilled to recognize him as the first recipient of World Tea Media's Cha Jing Lifetime Achievement Awards."

Michael Harney, vice president of Harney & Sons and d second generation master tea blender, said, "I am extremely proud of my father and delighted that he was recognized with this significant ward at World Tea East. I joined my father's tea company in 1988 as its second employee, and it's been an amazing adventure as his partner in pursuing and finding the best teas from around the world. My dad is passionate about great tea as an everyday luxury, and it's been amazing to see how he's impacted other tea professionals, businesses that serve tea and the industry at large."

Author and tea pioneer James Norwood Pratt, who presented Harney's award at World Tea East, noted, "Nobody in the world of specialty tern is more loved than John Harney, and nobody has contributed more to the industry. If it's possible for a lifetime achievement award to be overdue, this would be the example."

Pearl Dexter, editor and publisher of TEA A MAGAZINE, said, "John Harney has been an inspiration for tea entrepreneurs. His love for people and tea has touched the heart of many, John exudes kindness, love and laughter."

Industry veteran FaithAnn Bailes said, "John Harney was one of the very first people I became acquainted with in the tea industry, and he was always so willing to unselfishly give his time and resources. He's always been eager to help out other tea professionals get started in the industry. I just don't think our tea industry would be the same without his kindness and generosity."

Harney & Sons is known for its high quality and unique array of teas and master tea blende, selling more than 200 gourmet teas from China, Taiwan. Indian Sri Lanka, Africa and Japan. As the patriarch of the Harney family and president of Harney & Sons John Harney is considered a gentleman with old-world charm and a hospitality approach to his business. Having founded the company in 1983, he continues to serve as the quintessential brand ambassador and televangelist," spreading the everyday luxury of tea through-out the world. To this day, he is a major advocate for tea education, and his company is known for the in-depth instruction it provides for restaurants, hotels and stores that offer its teas. Harney can be found at the company's headquarters in Milverton, N.Y., or traveling the world, spreading the good word about Harney & Sons fine tea and sharing the knowledge he's acquired over the course of 25 years in the business.

2011 Cha Jing Lifetime Achievement Award Sponsors

World Tea Media's 2011 Cha ]ing Lifetime Achievement Award to John Harney was made possible by the following Gold Sponsors: HTH Ham-burger Teehandel GmbH Im & Export and QTrade Teas & Herbs. The Champion Sponsor was ITO EN and the Leader Sponsor was Dethief-sen & Balk. Additional Supporter include: Sereni-dipiTea, Tea Association of Canada, TeaSource, Walker Tea and Zojirushi. Friends of the 2011 Award include: East Indies Tea Company, Fresh Cup Magazine, Jane Pettigrew, Jodie Cohen, Mid-Atlantic Tea Business Association, Perennial Tea Room, Bruce and Shelley Richardson, Tea Roses Tea Room and The Tea House Times.

Additional World Tea East Highlights

Overall, the launch of World Tea East was a success for a smaller regional conference. The event gathered tea professionals, food and beverage manufacturers and decision makers in related industries, including hoteliers, spa owners and restaurateurs, The objective of World Tea East was to support and fuel the expanding demand for specialty tea and related products in the northeast, mid-Atlantic and southeast United States, The event also provided solid tea education, and was designed to facilitate immediate or near-term business for the holiday season and first-quarter business.

Verna L. Hamilton, president of Tea Philosophy LLC, said, "World Tea East combined two of my great loves: I'm a native Philadelphian and tea is my passion. For me, the show's size was ideal for having meaningful conversations, spotting industry trends and drinking all the tea one's gongfu tea cup can hold."

Tea author and expert Jane Pettigrew said, "World Tea East - as well as the annual World Tea Expo in Las Vegas - gives us tea people a very special platform, and all done with such charm, warmth and thoughtfulness. I am so honored to be a part of these leading industry events.

World Tea East featured mimerous sessions, seminars, focused tea tastings and hands-on skill building workshops. Seminar topics covered the latest trends in the industry, answered current business challenges, provided real take-away solutions and debunked both tea and business myths. Organizers marketed World Tea East primarily to states east of the Mississippi, since it was a dedicated regional show. However, five percent of the total expo attendance included international registrants from Barbados, Bermuda, Canada, Israel, Jamaica, Romania, South Africa, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. And based on a World Tea Media survey; 84 percent of attendees had buying authority; 78 percent came to find new products; 45 percent attended to place purchase orders; 23 percent had been in business three to five years; 18 percent had been in business six to 10 years; and 22 percent had been in business more than 10 years.

About World Tea Media

World Tea Media is an integrated media company, dedicated to providing business solutions to the global tea industry. Events include the annual World Tea Expo in Las Vegas, Nev., and World Tea East. World Tea Media also produces tlie North American Tea Championship, which evaluates the top teas in North America, and World Tea News, the premier news portal for the tea industry.