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!
That’s right folks, we finally found our forever home!
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!
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!
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
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.
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!
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.”
April gets me into a crafty mood. My mother, sister and I each have our favorite crafts. Mom loves to cross-stitch and scrapbook, Lexi loves to bake, and I love to decorate and organize! I also have a little brother named Chase who is in kindergarten.
Celebrating Easter is a big deal for us and one of our traditions is dyeing Easter Eggs the Saturday before Easter. At 5 years old, it’s awfully special to watch Chase experience arts and crafts for the first time.
Each Tuesday I post Avery’s Tea Tips on Anna Marie’s FB and Instagram . All sorts of unique and some crazy new ways to use tea!
Not just for eating or drinking. Staining fabrics with tea is one you have probably heard about. Tea naturally stains fabric that creates a rustic look. But painting with tea is a little more fluid with a lot of fun options. All you need is hot water, your desired tea bags, mugs, paper, and a pen or pencil. With different results each time you paint, it is always a surprise to see the finished product. It is easy to do and easy to clean up, plus who wouldn’t love the relaxing, wonderful aromas as you create?! Such a fun craft for all ages.
First steep your tea bags leaving them in the water. On your paper you can draw an outline of a picture. Take the tea bag and drop the brewed tea onto the paper or drag it across the paper. Once you are done all you have to do is throw away the tea bags and dump the tea (or better yet, drink it!) and that’s it! Super easy and super fun! It is also a great sensory activity for little ones.
The strawberry shown below is colored with Strawberry Kiwi Herbal and Strawberry Cream Green. The tea bag is colored with Peach Black and the lavender bunch is colored with Lavender Grey Black tea. Of course I chose to paint with several favorite Iced Tea Blends. The healthy hibiscus included in these blends make bright red, orange, and other great colors.
The basis for this activity was found on http://teaching2and3yearolds.com/preschool-art-with-tea-bag
The historic home is beautiful, elegant and a very intimate private event space to celebrate your people, milestones, and unique celebrations.
343 W. Liberty Drive, where Monthly Themed Tea Parties are hosted as well as Private Event Space and Private Tea Parties.
Al and Brenda’s historic home, which we fondly refer to as ‘this old house’ has sheltered many people through all her years. Just this past March a private Remembrance Event was hosted by a family who recently lost their mother. A couple of years ago we hosted several cultural tea parties centered around learning about the home. We welcomed our guest speaker Juarenne Hester, a native of Historic Liberty, MO who provided intriguing history about the home. The home was built in 1913 by a small family for $6,000!
104 years later, ‘this old house’ is still offering her beautiful space to many families and friends who are celebrating those timeless moments.
Graduations, Baby Showers, Bridal Showers, and Weddings.
The Remembrance Event last month was a very special event for our family and ‘this old house’. The family of Virginia Swieterman said good bye to their 89 year old mother in March of 2016. In March of 2017 the family hosted a private event as they remembered their mother in so many wonderful ways and happy times. The family called together one another and included close friends at a private tea called a Remembrance Tea Party. Virginia was a lady known for bubbling joy, laughter, and loving others! She also loved tea parties and attended our Monthly Tea Parties for about 12 years. Over the years her daughter Carol brought Virginia along with many family and friends to share everyday life together. (and lots of yummy cups of tea!) Oh, how we cherished hearing Virginia’s laughter over that cup of tea!
Give Brenda a call at 816-863-5941 to discuss available dates and pricing for the Private Event Space or a Private Tea Party.
Growing up I loved any chance I got to go over to my grandma’s house to spend the night. Grandma Diane was always having a good time and made sure I did too! With spring upon us and summer right around the corner I realize there is a lot about iced tea season that makes me think of my southern-born feisty & lovable grandma!
In fact, when I was really young, I never thought I got in trouble at her house and I never once saw her get mad… that’s because I was too young to understand that my grandma was a true southerner (she grew up in Alabama) and with that came the southern sayings. Instead of getting mad at me she would sit back, smile, and say in her best southern accent, “Oh, Avery! Bless your heart.”
That being said, I grew up influenced by every aspect of the south like good southern hospitality (good manners were always expected), good southern food (my grandma hands down makes the best fried chicken), and of course SWEET ICED TEA! At my grandma’s house there’s a pitcher of sweet tea out at all times just waiting to be poured into a glass. Most little kids drink water, milk, or juice out of their sippy cups but as for me and my siblings, we walked around with sweet tea in ours! As my sister and I got a little older, we would have a tea party with my grandma every time we came over. It would generally consist of cookies we would make and, you guessed it, sweet tea! Now that I am getting older I have ventured out and really began to like all kinds of tea, hot and iced! Working at the Tea Shop has certainly helped me be able to try all different kinds and flavors. Lately I have been enjoying Jasmine Monkey King green tea as well as making iced tea out of our Lavender Grey black tea.
Adding fruit to your iced tea is a great way to sweeten up your tea without adding sugar. Any fruit will work but my favorites are fresh peaches, blueberries, oranges and of course raspberries! Using Frozen Tea Cubes made with fruity or scented teas also adds lots of yummy flavor without the sugar.
So, getting back onto memory lane and my southern Grandma Diane. It didn’t take me long to realize that “Oh, Avery! Bless your heart!” was not always a good thing and usually had an edge to it. My vocabulary quickly grew to include “it’s blowin’ up a storm!”, “pretty as a peach”, “madder than a wet hen”, and “hold your horses!” among countless others.
Mark your calendar to pop into the Tea Shop, this Saturday, April 1 for our FREE Fruit-a-Licious Iced Tea Tasting or gather up friends, take a walk down your own summertime memory lane and find a new favorite iced tea at our Gentle Hints of Summer Tea Party on April 22!
We 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. One 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)!
All 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!
- Perfect Cup of Teaspoon
- Brewing Basket or Brewing Pockets
- Tea Storage
- Electric Kettle
- Mug Tree
Finally…on the Liberty Square! Last Saturday, was the Grand Opening for our little Tea Shop now located right on the square.
7 W. Franklin. What a fun filled day of new and old tea friends.
Needless to say, after 22 years of shop keeping “just off the Square” it is quite exhilarating to Brenda as she now can say her shop is “on the Square”! And it is also quite pampering to be able to “sneak up stairs” and have Alex and his Hammerhand Crew brew us up a cup of one of our own teas. Out of the Anna Marie’s tea selections that Hammerhand carries Brenda says to be sure to try her favorite…Organic Genmaicha.
We hope you stop in soon to check out our new little Tea Shop then pop upstairs for a little tea-pampering at Hammerhand Coffee. Be sure to check out more of our Grand Opening Photos on our Facebook Page.
Amazing Tea Shop Hours
- Tuesday 10-5
- Wednesday 10-5
- Thursday 10-4
- Friday 10-6
- Saturday 10-5
- Open till 9pm each 4th Friday! 🙂
We already know we have the best local customers in the world…so we couldn’t be more excited to finally share that YES we are expanding the Tea Shop Hours!
We will be closed a few short days while we are moving and setting up the new little Tea Shop. (Street-side Tea Shop!) But, we get you…no one can mess with your mornings. If you find yourself in a serious bind with your tea tin empty please email Selena and she will take care of you! firstname.lastname@example.org
- Feb 21 – open 10-4 at 124 S Terrace
- Feb 22-24 – closed
- Feb 25 – open 10-4 at new Tea Shop on the square
New Hours at 7 W. Franklin St ~ Liberty, MO 64068