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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.”

Painting with Tea

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Painting with TeaApril 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.  

Painting with Tea

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.

Painting with Tea

Don’t forget to order your Gentle Hints of Summer Tea Party Tickets.  A great time to try several blends with hibiscus and other iced tea favorites.

The basis for this activity was found on http://teaching2and3yearolds.com/preschool-art-with-tea-bag

This ‘old house’ remembers her.

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Private Event Space

Each guest received a gift reminding them of Virginia’s laughter at the Remembrance Event.

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!

Private Event Space in Liberty104 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!

Private Event Space

Give Brenda a call at 816-863-5941 to discuss available dates and pricing for the Private Event Space or a Private Tea Party.

Grandma Diane’s Southern Sweet Iced Tea

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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.

Gentle Hints of Summer Tea Party

Gentle Hints of Summer Tea Party – April 22 at 10:30am or 2:30pm

 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.

Grandma Diane's Southern Tea

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!

 

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

Finally “on the square” – Woohoo!

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Finally on the square

Thank you D’Agee Co & Florist for the beautiful welcome bouquet in our Gold Teapot!

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.

Grand Opening

Love, love, love our welcome bouquet from our Tea Suspects!!

 

 

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! 🙂

Grand Opening

 

 

New Hours & New Location

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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!smiley4

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!  selena@annateashop.com

  • 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

  • Tuesday 10-5pm

  • Wednesday 10-5pm

  • Thursday 10-5pm

  • Friday 10-6pm

  • Saturday 10-6pm

March Events at Anna Marie’s Teas

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Anna Marie's Tea MugLots and lots of things happening at the Tea Shop in March!  Be sure to check out the Event Calendar for more information or to purchase tickets.

March 4 – Grand Opening at our New Location!  10-5pm 7 W Franklin St, Liberty, MO.  Super excited to be moving to our street side tea shop and back to our roots on Historic Downtown Liberty Square.  We are on the north east corner of Main and Franklin. Next door neighbors to Hammerhand Coffee and Casablanca Salon.  Join us on March 4 as we do our Free Monthly Tea Tasting.  Megan will be brewing some of our favorite tried-and-true Old-English inspirations such as Blackberry Mint Private Blend & Earl Grey Supreme; along with several light and floral-y tea blends such as Prince Henry Floral Melange and Lavender Lemon!
So, please pop in, say hello and take a peek at the new Tea Shop! Sampling will be from 10-5pm. Enjoy 10% off the featured sampling teas, too!

March 11 – Living Well with Essential Oils Workshop at 12:30pm. Come and join our small group essential oil workshop. Discover how therapeutic grade oils can make a difference in your daily self-care over a cup of delicious tea in a small group setting.

March 17 & 18 – A British Tea Party.  Sit, savor and drink in cups of rich premium black tea, milk and a tasty hand crafted traditional full tea menu. Always complete with crumbly scones topped with dollops of rich cream.  An evening British Tea on March 17 at 6:30pm and a morning tea on March 18 at 10:30am.Anna Marie's Gift Certificate

 

New Tea Shop Location & Grand Opening

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New Location and Grand Opening

New Tea Shop Location – March 4

Our little Tea Shop is moving to a cozy new location!

7 W. Franklin St – Liberty, MO 64068

New Hours /// Tuesday-Thursday 10-5pm /// Friday-Saturday 10-6pm

So excited and feeling very blessed to be returning to our roots – the Downtown Liberty Square. Truly a joy to once again be located and a part of the amazing Historic Downtown Merchants and Liberty Square. We say thank you to all the Small Business friends who have continued to embrace and support us these past 8 years while we have been off the square and busy inn-keeping! 🙂

Other than our Tea Shop moving EVERY other part of our tea business continues to be business-as-usual.

Historic homes seem be in this tea shop family tree – and we will surely miss this 1928 Dutch Colonial home. But, super excited to be moving to our street side tea shop on the north east corner of Main and Franklin. Next door neighbors to Hammerhand Coffee and Casablanca Salon.

Be sure to call 816-792-8777 or email us at selena@annateashop.com if you plan to visit the Tea Shop between Feb. 24-28. Now would be a great time to try out our Online Tea Ordering and take advantage of the Free Shipping or Free Delivery!

Can’t wait to see you at 7 W. Franklin St and be sure to read about our NEW HOURS!!

Anna Marie's Tea Mug

Historic Downtown Liberty since 1994