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Finding Your Tea Joy!

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Please enjoy another lovely piece from Sandy Lane! We were thrilled to learn more about her tea journey and tea joy!

Okay, I admit it . . . I love tea! My love affair with tea started when I was an adolescent, and my one and only tea choice at that time was Lipton teabag tea. I knew nothing of the joy of loose-leaf tea, the history of tea, or the pleasure of steeping a delicious pot of tea involved in finding your tea joy. As I moved through college and graduate school, those Lipton teabags, and graham crackers, helped me through long hours of nighttime studying. In the early years of our new century, I became intrigued by loose-leaf tea and wanted to learn much more about it. However, like so many people, when I entered a teashop, I felt overwhelmed by the many types of tea, which to select, and how to prepare it.

Fortunately, I discovered a teashop in the Kansas City area whose owner helped me learn about loose-leaf tea and how to enjoy it. While shopping there, I met a lovely group of women who were also on a tea journey, and over time our eyes and hearts were opened to the world of tea. We found our tea joy together! A few years ago, my tea friends and I became acquainted with Anna Marie’s Teas located in Liberty, Missouri. This was a serendipitous find for me, as I live north of the river. Anna Marie’s family tea business includes a quaint, well-stocked teashop selling loose-leaf tea, teapots, and all manner of “tea things” (as Jane Austen referred to them). Owner Brenda Hedrick offers several types of classes, and provides delightful monthly themed tea parties in her grand, historic home. My love affair with tea continues!

I find my tea joy throughout every day, mostly hot, sometimes cold, and in a variety of types and flavors. Being a loose-leaf tea gal, I always use a teapot, a tea infuser, a tea measuring spoon, an electric water kettle with a temperature gauge, and a steeping timer. Making tea is never a chore. The preparation involved brings to mind the long and fascinating history of tea, the faraway places where tea is grown and processed, and the many hands along the way that make it possible for me to enjoy a calming pot of tea. I find it so interesting to watch the steeping tea leaves unfurl to release their hidden fragrance and flavor.

Certainly, the health benefits of tea also come to mind, as do the friendships I’ve made over countless cups of tea. These include the kindly teashop owners and staff I have met, as well as my “tea lady” friends, a group of women with families, jobs, and common interests. We enjoy sharing tea news and events, discussing life and to-do projects, and supporting each other through good times and stressful times. My Tea Peeps . . . our love of tea truly brought us together!

As for my “tea schedule,” I start my day with two scoops of Matcha, the finely powdered Japanese green tea, in 5-6 oz. of almond milk, “shaken not stirred,” in a very effective shaker bottle available at Anna Marie’s. I brew some flavor of black tea in the morning, such as Cinnamon Almond or Pineapple Upside Down Cake. In the afternoon, I usually switch to a green tea (Dragon Well, or Strawberry Cream Green), an oolong (Pouchong), or a white tea (Melon Pear White). I’ve found that a Rooibos herbal, such as Provence or Cappuccino Cream, is a good choice for evening as herbals are caffeine-free. All of these delicious teas, and many others, are available at Anna Marie’s teashop, or on their website.

The thing to know about tea is that there are so many types and flavors to try, and so many interesting things to learn about it. The mindful preparation of loose-leaf tea is satisfying and not at all difficult. I have my favorites, and I know you can find yours. Seeking and finding your tea joy will change your life!

We Are Finally Home!

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That’s right folks, we finally found our forever home!

Pat working in the new space!

Join us for our GRANDEST Opening Saturday, July 15th from 10am-6pm at 9 W. Franklin just off the square in downtown Liberty! We are so very excited for our new space and hope that you will celebrate with us. The various members of our Teashop family have been hard at work preparing our new home and we can’t wait for you to see it. Not to worry, we aren’t moving very far, only next door! You can still drive or walk down Franklin Street and spot our signature gold teapot in the window! Of course we will still be hosting our monthly themed tea parties at 343 W. Liberty Dr in Liberty, MO, that will not change!

As it happens we will also be hosting our July Tea Tasting event on the same day. Stop by to enjoy some of our caffeine free favorites and check out our new Caffeine Free Sampler!

New Shop at 9 W. Franklin in Liberty, MO!

Speaking of Monthly Tea Tastings we hope you’ve been enjoying them! June’s theme was Backyard BBQ Crowd Pleasers and we featured some of our favorite iced teas including our brand new Iced Tea Sampler! We’d love to hear what you would like to see over the next coming months. There’s lots going on at the Teashop these days! This summer may end up one of busiest we have had yet! As a result there are lots of new and wonderful things we’d love you to both taste and see! There may even be a new private blend introduction at our Grandest Opening as well!

 

We will also be hosting a special Christmas in July Event! This fun season swap will take place July 27-29 with a special Christmas Tea Tasting on July 29th!

Stay tuned to our Facebook and Instagram pages for more information on our upcoming schedule and exciting events!

The Joyful History of Tea Parties

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We’re very lucky to feature guest writer Sandy Lane! Sandy is a longtime tea friend as well as a wonderful human being. Please enjoy her piece on the history of tea parties below!

If you have had the pleasure of attending a tea party at Anna Marie’s Teas in Liberty, Missouri, you may be wondering how tea parties actually got started.  It is believed that sometime between the late 1830’s and early 1840’s, taking tea in the afternoon, along with assorted edible treats, became a new English social event which provided some nourishment during the long hours between lunch at noon and the evening meal.  Legend has it that Anna Maria, the 7th Duchess of Bedford, experienced afternoon “sinking feelings” which led her to seek relief from her hunger.  She requested her footman to bring to her private room a tray of “tea things” (probably something similar to the Buckingham Breakfast or Kenilworth Estate blends sold by Anna Marie’s) and something to eat, possibly bread and butter and cake.  She so enjoyed this refreshing afternoon indulgence that she began inviting her friends to share it with her.  Over time, afternoon tea became an enjoyable and well-established event in British countryside villages as well as in the court of Queen Victoria, an enthusiastic tea drinker.

As the years passed, tea party rituals evolved and included such things as tea times and invitations, tea selections, standard menus, equipage (or, “tea things” as Jane Austen referred to them), china, attire, hats, and etiquette.  The format, gentility, and popularity of tea parties spread to other countries and cultures, and today, tea parties remain a most pleasant pastime for tea lovers of all varieties.

When you attend a tea party at Anna Marie’s, you will notice tea tables beautifully set with tablecloths and napkins, china, silverware, decorations, clotted cream and jam.  The servers deliver to each table a three-tiered cake stand containing three courses of traditional tea party treats: first, savories, which are usually tiny tea sandwiches; then, scones; finally, sweets, which are an assortment of pastries.

Throughout the tea party, the servers will visit each table to keep tea cups filled from steaming teapots of nicely steeped loose-leaf tea.  Brenda Hedrick, owner of Anna Marie’s Teas, strives to create a welcoming, friendly, and satisfying experience for tea party attendees.

If you’re in search of an opportunity to be greeted by some lovely people, to have a relaxed visit with friends or family, to be served delicious tea and tea treats, to spend some time in a grand and gorgeous 1913 historic home . . . come to tea at Anna’s!

Two wonderful books were used in preparing this blog entry:

Tea & Etiquette, by D. Johnson & B. Richardson; and

A Social History of Tea, by J. Pettigrew & B. Richardson

Tea for Healing the Body

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Tea for Healing

Recently we’ve been thinking a lot about the different reasons we love tea so much. Tea can do so many things for us but one of the most poignant is healing effect it can have on our bodies.

Brenda with sisters

Brenda with her sisters!

Currently, Brenda’s brother-in-law is being treated for cancer. Guess what some of the doctor’s orders were…drink four cups of tea a day! We weren’t surprised to say the least. But for someone who doesn’t drink tea regularly this seemed like a monumental undertaking.

However, with Brenda’s help, he learned how to Brew the Perfect Cup of Tea. She also put together a gift set for him, part of which was some of our Ceremonial Matcha. The matcha is really the star of the show when it comes to healing the body and encouraging healthy cell generation! It contains many potent antioxidants, one of which is EGCg which may aid in the prevention of cancer. Furthermore, matcha also contains compounds called Catechins which researchers believe may not only slow or stop the progression of cancer cells, but possibly even kill them!Ceremonial Matcha for Healing

After learning the ins and outs of tea from the master herself he was ready to begin his tea journey! But she’s not done with him yet! Next on her list for him are our Green Tea Bundle and our Relaxing Herbals Tea Sampler. The teas in both of these sets are sure to calm the stress and help the healing of the body!

Another longtime Tea Shop friend drank tea for healing during her cancer treatment too!

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen tea help someone heal during their cancer treatment. One of our dear friends Joyce King Vazquez has told us her story of how tea helped her overcome Stage 4 Throat Cancer! Read her inspiring story here! Some of her favorites include Mountain Mao Feng Green (a Chinese green tea) and Golden Pu-Erh (a premium black Chinese tea that is semi-fermented).

As Brenda says:

“I began my tea journey because of health issues. It has led to better health and lots of pleasure for me.”

DIY Tea Station

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DIY Tea StationWe here at the Tea Shop love a good DIY project, especially when it involves tea! A couple of months ago I decided that I wanted to have a more dedicated space for my near constant tea brewing. And with iced tea season quickly approaching I knew I wanted the space to keep both iced and hot tea at the ready.  

I began to list the items I wanted to include in my snazzy new set-up; electric kettle, mug tree, a place to store my tea, Perfect Cup of Tea (measuring spoon), my tea infuser, and signage. Here comes the tricky part, I was on a graduate student’s budget, ugh. Luckily I had already received the kettle (the most expensive item on the list) as a birthday gift so there were just the rest of the items to hunt down.  

Over the course of a several weeks I slowly acquired all of the “necessary” components. I was able to find a fairly priced storage box at Ikea and combined that with a re-purposed gift box to store the tea itself. DIY Tea StationOne day an email came through that boasted a sale on kitchen items at Target.  That lead to a great deal on a quirky copper mug tree! Big Lots kitchen aisle also played a starring role providing jars with locking lids that I put chalkboard labels on to use for storage on the counter top. Finally, came the signage. I found an old frame at Goodwill and covered the glass in the chalkboard contact paper. Then with a chalkboard marker I made an abbreviated tea menu (it would be nearly impossible to list EVERY one of my teas and it still be legible) that would serve as both a reminder to me and a list of options for any guests. It was also, of course, full of tea puns. I also included basic brewing instructions with general outlines for temperature and time for different variaTEAs (sorry, I couldn’t resist)! 

DIY Tea StationAll in all it came together quite nicely and my lovely little tea station has proven its usefulness on the daily. I hope that the story of my tea station might inspire you to put together one of your own and that you can do it on a budget!

I believe that tea is just as much about the experience as the taste and creating a specially dedicated area has enhanced my tea-making experience!  And come by the Tea Shop on April 1 our Free Fruit-a-licious Iced Tea Tasting!

If you put together your own tea station, or already have one we would love to see it! You can share it to our Facebook or Instagram pages and be sure to tag us at @annamariesteas. Happy brewing!

Items needed:

DIY Tea Station

Living Well Workshop Series

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Matcha Bamboo WhiskIt’s no secret that we love tea for many reasons, but one of the most poignant reasons is health! Tea is chock full of antioxidants (compounds that work to neutralize tissue and cell damaging free radicals that our body produces naturally), not to mention it serves as a wonderful alternative to sugar laden juices and sodas. To help further our mission of sharing how tea can positively impact health we have started our Living Well Workshop series this year.

Over the course of the year Brenda and other guest experts will offer workshops about how tea and other things such as essential oils can be incorporated into our daily lives in ways that benefit our health. The three part series will be repeated throughout the year so don’t fret if you miss one!

When I first approached Brenda about offering a rotating workshop series her response to me was “I would love to share some of the roads I have taken on my journey to solve health issues. It began with a tea journey but has also progressed to a better understanding of nutrition and essential oils.”

Living Well with Essential OilsPart one is Living Well with Matcha & Green Tea.   Brenda shares focused information about matcha and demonstrate preparation. Attendees will also have the chance to learn more about green tea and sample different varieties.  In Part two Living Well with Essential Oils Brenda and a guest speaker discuss the benefits and various uses of essential oils. Participants have the opportunity to learn about essential oils from an over 30 years of combined experience, perfect for beginners or veterans!  Different healthy teas will be sampled and discussed such as relaxation herbal teas.  In the third and final portion of the series Living Well and Cooking with Tea Brenda will discuss nutrition for living well and share fun and unique ways that tea can be included in our diet aside from drinking it.

We hope that you’ll join us on this journey to Living Well and find the information we share interesting and hopefully useful! Admission to each workshop is $5.00 which includes the workshop takeaway reading materials and plenty of sampling throughout each workshop! Watch for the workshop dates on our website Events Pages or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.   Living Well Cooking with Tea

The Living Well Series will rotate  throughout 2017 and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions! Join us as we sip our way to health!

 

 

Self-care is a comfort+cozy experience

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Self-care with Tea

As we’ve mentioned many times before, we believe that cozy is a comforting experience. It can be different for everyone, from curling up with a good book to enjoying your favorite comfort food.  However, self-care as a lifestyle is also part of the comforting and cozy experience . Sometimes it can be very difficult to relax our minds or shift our routines.  Focusing on our own health and well being in the middle of caring about those we love.

For us, tea is something we include in our efforts to become better about self-care. It’s something simple to incorporate into your routine whether you’re at home, at work, or on the go!

It’s hard to imagine how something as simple as a cup of tea could be considered an act of self-care. However, the experience that is generated around the act of brewing and drinking tea is quite unique. The tea experience can serve as a reminder to slow down and enjoy things and not get swept away by the day! Comforting + cozy teas are especially good for this. The calming experience combined with smooth tasty flavors creates an experience that allows you to take the feeling of comfort + cozy with you throughout your day. Some of our favorites for this type of experience are Spiced Coco-Mint, Winter Apple Herbal, Scarlett Romantic Blend, Rosebud Black, and more!

It just so happens that we will be sampling some of our favorite cozy and wintry flavors this Saturday during a FREE all day (10am-4pm) tasting event! Come by and taste the teas mentioned above as well as others and try before you buy!  10% off all wintry favorite teas at the event – and a great chance to shop Valentine’s Day Gift Guide with a 10% discount!

Make a commitment to yourself to take better care of you and find a tea that will help you do it. Megan will be at the shop during the Wintry Tea Tasting of our Comfort + Cozy teas to answer any questions or help you select teas that are perfect for you this weekend. Hope to see you there!  

Valentine's Day Gift Guide

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

Green Tea Chicken Soup Recipe

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Lung Ching Dragonwell Green

Lung Ching Dragon Well Green

Green Tea Chicken Soup Recipe

Total Time: 80 minutes

Serves: 2-4

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 quarts chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons of green tea
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 1 cup chopped celery (about 2 sticks)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 chicken breasts, chopped into medium sized pieces
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Bring 2 quarts of broth to a boil, then turn off the heat and add tea bags. Allow to steep for 10 minutes, then remove tea bags.
  2. Place chicken into pot and bring to a boil again, then turn down to a low simmer for 40 minutes to cook the chicken.
  3. With about 20 minutes remaining, add the remaining ingredients.
  4. Serve hot or store refrigerated in glass containers for 4-5 days.

Recipe adapted from https://draxe.com/recipe/green-tea-chicken-soup/

You can either replace the water entirely with freshly brewed tea or add a smaller portion for an added dash of flavor. Lung Ching or Gunpowder Green are two excellent green tea choices.  Marinades and salad dressings are also a great way to incorporate green tea into your meal by simply substituting all or a part of the liquid for green tea.

Green Tea Broth

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Gunpowder Green Tea

Gunpowder Green Tea

Green tea broth makes an excellent addition to cooking as a way to flavor a broth as shown in the recipe below. A green tea broth has a slightly savory, nutty flavor and is sure to add that little something extra to your next soup, rice, or pasta dish! 

You can either replace the water entirely with freshly brewed tea or add a smaller portion for an added dash of flavor. Lung Ching or Gunpowder Green are two excellent green tea choices.  Marinades and salad dressings are also a great way to incorporate green tea into your meal by simply substituting all or a part of the liquid for green tea. 

Green Tea Chicken Soup Recipe

Total Time: 80 minutes

Serves: 2-4

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 quarts chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons of green tea
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 1 cup chopped celery (about 2 sticks)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 chicken breasts, chopped into medium sized pieces
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Bring 2 quarts of broth to a boil, then turn off the heat and add tea bags. Allow to steep for 10 minutes, then remove tea bags.
  2. Place chicken into pot and bring to a boil again, then turn down to a low simmer for 40 minutes to cook the chicken.
  3. With about 20 minutes remaining, add the remaining ingredients.
  4. Serve hot or store refrigerated in glass containers for 4-5 days.

Recipe adapted from https://draxe.com/recipe/green-tea-chicken-soup/

Lung Ching Dragon Well

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Lung Ching Dragon WellMegan’s Tea Muse

I hope you are all well after the holiday season and were able to cherish time with family and friends! One of our Teashop resolutions for 2017 is to feature a tea every month spreading the word about some hidden gems in our collection. That said, I’m pleased to announce that the featured Tea of the Month for January 2017 is our Lung Ching (Dragon Well) green tea!  Don’t miss this month’s Green Tea Chicken Soup Recipe!

This tea has a lovely golden liquor with a slightly vegetal but also warm and nutty taste. It’s the perfect starter green tea for those of you looking to add some healthy habits to your routine in 2017. Brewing varies a little from the traditional black tea. For the best flavor, most green teas should be brewed between 170-185⁰F for 2-3 minutes to avoid bitterness.  Stop by ANY Saturday in January to sample Lung Ching Dragon Well.

Health Benefits:  Green tea is widely renowned for its various health benefits and is also called the tea of 1001 properties.

Green Tea can aid in many things including cardiovascular health, liver function, stress relief, and focus. These are in addition to all of the wonderful antioxidants that are found in tea to begin with! Lung Ching (which can be directly translated as Dragon Well) is especially good for clearing the mind and promoting focus. It is used by monks for this purpose specifically!

Cooking with green tea also makes an excellent way to flavor a broth.  A Green Tea Broth is sure to add a slightly savory, nutty flavor…that little something extra to your next soup, rice, or pasta dish! You can either replace the water entirely with freshly brewed tea or add a smaller portion for an added dash of flavor. Marinades and salad dressings are also a great way to incorporate green tea into your meal by simply substituting all or a part of the liquid for green tea. No matter how you choose to enjoy your Lung Ching, it is still perfect for a wonderfully comforting and cozy afternoon cuppa on a chilly day.

Are you new to green tea or are curious about what else is out there? Then you’re in luck! Check out our Tea-Tasting Tea Party on January 21st. The morning session has sold out but there are still plenty of spots for your tasting pleasure at 2:30pm.  Don’t miss our new Living Well Series in 2017.  Kicking off in January 28 with Living Well with Matcha & Green Tea.

We would love to see you at the Tea-Tasting Tea Party and share a variety of teas with you along with hand-paired treats! Or pop into the Teashop any Saturday of January to sample the Lung Ching Dragon Well.

Happy Sipping!

Megan

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