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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!

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.”

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

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

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

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Valentine's Day Gift Guide

Feeling loved. And loving others.

After 22 years of being in the service world with 15 of those years immersed in the professional tea party business we have become pretty adept at reading people – especially when people feel genuinely appreciated and cherished.

Our Valentine’s Day Gift Guide is simple yet hand selected.  Crafted from our favorite times of people watching and witnessing when a friend really feels treasured.  The nature of tea is generous.  Friends listen and care for one another over tea.  It’s good for our bodies and a gift from nature.

So, take a moment to shop around the tea products and experiences in our Valentine’s Day Gift Guide. Something here for everyone. Valentine’s Day is about your loved ones.  Your family – grown from those closest to your heart.  Often times from different social and family circles.  We believe Valentine’s Day is a pretty important day.  The perfect opportunity to show those special people you have been blessed with just how much you treasure and cherish them!

  • NEW! Valentine’s Tea Bundle – $9.50, a trio of specially selected premium dark teas.  The best way to lavish your loved ones and favorite friends.  Dessert Teas just have a way of making one feel happy, extravagant, and no guilt!
  • 7 Days of Chocolate Tea Bundle – $25, premium rich dark teas paired with warm, creamy chocolate.  More than a sampler but a great way to enjoy a little cozy every day where ever you are.  According to EAT THIS, NOT THAT blog – splurging on a dessert tea instead of a dessert is a very good choice! And with 50+ cups of tea in this one bundle it’s a cozy+comfort gift that lasts all winter (or maybe all of February for your serious tea drinker!).You're My Cup of Tea
  • Treasure Thy Friend Tea Party – February 10 at 6:30pm or February 11 at 10:30am.  $26, Tucked in the middle of winter…our Valentine’s Tea is a blessing for circles of friends, family and loved ones to gather together and enjoy a little chocolate therapy. Warm and cozy – the tea cups will be full of tea and our hearts filled with good times.
  • *You’re My Cup of Tea!* – $12 Megan is at again with a super cute teashop gift!  Milk-white teacup & an ounce of chocolate tea all wrapped up with crystal cello & Valentine’s ribbon! Limited quantity only available in the teashop.
  • Night at the Inn – A stay-cation at the Teashop!  Enjoy the tea bar, dessert teas, and just a few blocks from delicious restaurants and shops in Historic Downtown Liberty.  Of course you must pop in at Hammerhand Coffee and order a cup of Anna Marie’s Genmaicha for an afternoon pick me up, or an Orange Spice Rooibos – Orange Metro, or a Masala Chai Latte made with Anna Marie’s Masala Chai.

 

 

Masala Chai Latte at Hammerhand Coffee

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Hammerhand CoffeeHello everyone! My name is Avery and I work Tuesdays and Thursdays at the teashop. One of my new favorite things is drinking tea and a new love of mine is a masala chai latte.  I am a Senior in High School,  and I take all of my classes through Mizzou Online.

Recently a few friends and I went to Hammerhand Coffee in Historic Downtown Liberty to have coffee and exchange Christmas gifts. While my friends got coffee, I opted for tea! It was cool to see Hammerhand serving a selection of Anna Marie’s teas as well as the option to have a Chai Latte made with our Masala Chai Tea. If you have not been to Hammerhand I highly suggest trying it sometime.  It’s a favorite place for students to hang out, catch up and do homework.

Masala Chai Latte

Anna Marie’s Masala Chai Latte at Hammerhand Coffee – premium loose leaf and spiced chai

The coffee not only tastes great, but the latte art done by the talented baristas is like no other!  It is always fun to get together with friends and enjoy each other’s company over a warm cup of tea! Tea at Hammerhand-2 - Copy

As I mentioned before, I work Tuesdays and Thursdays here at the teashop and have been doing this since the end of summer 2016. I used to drink Strawberry Cream Black Tea and only Strawberry Cream Black but as soon as I started trying more and more of the 100+ premium teas we have, I quickly began to find so many new favorites! Of course Strawberry Cream Black is still my all time favorite, but now my favorites include Pineapple Upside Down Cake, Lung Ching (which so happens to be January’s featured tea of the month), Red Velvet, Lavender Gray (which makes an amazing iced tea), Jasmine Monkey King, and so many more!

I take all of my classes online through Mizzou where the professors write up their lectures and we correspond through email. I have done this for both my Junior and now Senior year and it has been such a great experience! Not only do I get to sleep in everyday, but I also have all of my schoolwork done around noon! That leaves me plenty of time to pursue hobbies like volleyball, photography, and of course Netflix! Taking these online classes has also allowed me to start college at Truman State University next year with a whole semester of classes out of the way which will be very helpful as I plan to study Communication Sciences and Disorders and continue on to Grad School.  

🙂 Avery

Teashop Girl Avery

 

Megan’s Twelve Days of Tea

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Twelve Teas of ChristmasThe holidays have arrived! I’m so glad to be celebrating my first holiday season with the Anna Marie’s family. We have so many exciting things lined up for this most wonderful time of the year and I was lucky enough to be able to put one of those items together!

The Twelve Days of Tea is a gift set that’s perfect for the beginner or the tea veteran. It includes one of our beautiful glass mugs with the newly redesigned logo and twelve unique individually wrapped pre-filled tea pockets, one for each of the twelve days of Christmas!

Since each tea is already in a tea pocket, simply add hot water to your mug and violà, a warm soothing cuppa! The sampling is a mix of our premium herbals, rooibos, green, and black teas.

I chose each tea personally in an effort to help make your season merry and bright! Who knows, you might find a new favorite in our collection!

Each tea pocket package comes complete with a ribbon that can be used to hang on a tree or in any other festive location. I hope you all enjoy this holiday bundle that is near and dear to my heart!Meet Megan

Happy Sipping!

Megan

Meet the artist behind the tea plant

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artisan-cans-collage

Meet the artist

Lee, Ben, and Baby-on-the-way!

 We love tea.  But, if you know our family…you know we love people even more!  It’s a great day when a door opens and these two worlds (tea+people) collide.

We feel this new door opening with our artisan tea cans.   Our gorgeous hand-drawn artisan labels are popping up in unique and special locations.  Hammerhand Coffee, Irish Crystal, and The Elms Hotel and Spa.

22 of our premium leaves, rooibos, and herbals are available in the artisan cans with the simple pencil sketches of the young artist.  Her nature-inspired idea won our hearts. The simplistic yet refined sketches speak the nature, the earthy, and the timeless way the tea leaf has given people a place for celebration and a place to heal.  A place to feel good.

Meet the Artist

Tea Plant

So, have you seen the cans? They are beautiful!  And to see the artisan tea cans you have to know the artist.  Lee.  Lee is a darling woman from Columbia, Missouri.  A new mom (baby is almost here – like a trickle of days away!)  A full time art and design student for ten years allowed Lee the skills to execute any design challenge.

Rooibos Plant

Rooibos Plant

Lee is currently a full time design team member at Pinnacle Graphics helping her mom Kim with a variety of design projects. Most recently, the two designed the logo, package design and illustrations for Anna Marie’s Tea. Once Kim finalized the logo, Lee completed three beautiful pencil sketches for representing the Leaves, Rooibos, and Herbals that we carry.

A diverse line of nature that is loose, premium and trustworthy.

We are so excited to have prints of Lee’s hand drawn pencil sketches in our new location!  7 W. Franklin Street.  The natural and organic look is so pretty tucked into the re-purposed historic location on the Liberty Square!