Now that we are almost two months into the new year those resolutions can seem so far away! Many (like me!) are lucky if we get through the first two weeks let alone the first month. It can be hard trying to break old habits let alone start new ones. The good thing is it’s never too late to start over or augment what you are already doing. This year I had adopted the general (and perpetual goal) of “being healthier” but didn’t get off to a very encouraging start.
But I digress, back to the new year’s resolution. One of the subparts of my “being healthier” goal was to drink more green tea. I have always liked the less fermented sibling of traditional black tea, I use it in as many ways as I can! I love using it in soups and putting matcha in smoothies but I wanted to make an effort to drink more of it. I’m not generally too picky when it comes to greens, I love how versatile they are and that they take so well to re-steeping. Other than teas where the main note is some sort of perfume or scent (jasmine, rose, bergamot, etc just as a personal taste preference) it’s rare that I meet a green tea I don’t like. Also, as many of you may know, within the last six months I have moved to Atlanta, GA which means I am much too far away from my favorite teashop for my liking.
Luckily I was able to visit a couple times over the holidays and stocked up on lots of yummy teas and let me tell you, our little teashop has been stepping up it’s green game!
Historically my favorites have been the Cherry Green, Genmaicha, and, Lung Ching Dragonwell. I like a fruity green tea year round but also revel in the roasty-toasty nutty notes of Genmaicha come winter. But when I visited the shop during my trip home I was greeted by some shiny new labels in the green section. Gojiberry Green and Strawberry Green (decaf). Of course I didn’t leave without stocking up on an embarrassing amount of my staples but I also snagged a few ounces of each of the newcomers to give them a try. Folks, I’ve managed to make room in my heart for these two gems! The Gojiberry Green is just what I wanted from a berry/fruity green both hot and cold. Hot it’s a lighter take on some of my cold weather favorites, perfect for the transition to spring (let us hope that comes quickly) or just a nice break in the afternoon. However, its Strawberry decaf companion might be on its way to a place in my top three.
There’s just something about the taste of green tea that I find so soothing and calming but I could never drink it before bed as the caffeine would keep me up (I’m pretty caffeine sensitive). But this little jewel has reconciled these opposing wants! For those who have had our Strawberry Cream Green, I find the taste pretty similar. It has an even green base with a delicate touch of strawberry to finish. It’s perfect hot or cold!
I can’t wait for spring to finally arrive (it might even already have arrived in Atlanta) so I can sit on my porch and sip some of this wonderful brew with some fresh mint or basil!
If you’re someone who has hesitated when it comes to green tea or just haven’t found one you like I encourage you to give these a try! For now they are available in-store at our shop in Liberty, MO but we’ve got lots of other wonderful greens on our website (like my other two favorites Cherry Green and Genmaicha). Just remember, even if we can’t win the war of overhauling our lives to fulfill every new year’s resolution, it’s not too hard to incorporate the small things!
We are so excited for the arrival of autumn here at the Teashop! Who doesn’t love a brisk fall breeze and leaves changing from green to fiery shades of orange, yellow, and red. There are few things better than sitting on the porch with a nice warm cuppa while watching dutiful critters rush hither and yon as they prepare for winter. With all of the wonderful outdoor experiences come yummy indoor ones too! Fall and winter bring a wonderful tradition of recipes bursting with seasonal produce, warm homey spices, and ooey-gooey goodness! Some of our family favorites are already in our Recipe Box so that we could share them with you.
For warm savory flavors we love this Roasted Carrot Soup recipe from Tea Time Magazine. It was a hit at our Tea on the Farm Tea Party a few years back! On the sweeter side we’ve got even more goodies. They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away so we are always looking for new ways to enjoy them. Stewed Apples are one of our favorite ways to enjoy them, but we try not to do it every day. 😉 However, in our opinion some of the best recipes are usually dessert. If you’re craving a s’more but don’t want the hassle of a bonfire try these Indoor S’Mores Cheesecakes, complete with a graham cracker crust and a golden marshmallow right on top!
While we all have a special place for the season, our Molly might just love it the most.! She has been working on special ways to celebrate the season and has come up with a yummy seasonal bundle. Cleverly named, our new Falling for Fall Tea Bundle has something for all autumn lovers. This sampler has teas from our collection that are especially good this time of year like Pumpkin Bread Rooibos, Autumn Blooms (our own private blend!), and more! It’s available now on our website and in store at 9 W. Franklin in Liberty, MO! It won’t be around forever so hurry and get yours before all the leaves have fallen!
It’s never too early to start planning for the holidays! Join us for our Holiday Open House November 2, 3, and 4 where we will be hosting classes to round out your seasonal preparation.
Watch our Facebook page, website, and future newsletters to stay updated on details! As always we’ve also got a full calendar of tea parties this season. Check out our calendar here!
Over the last few months we have been thinking a lot about all of the wonderful interpersonal aspects of tea. From tea journeys to Tea Joy, there is so much more to a lovely cuppa than just leaves and water. Relationships and experiences that come to us through tea is one of our favorite things about being in this business. One of our most special relationships is with the Kansas City Chapter of the English Speaking Union (or ESU for short)!
Every year we are privileged to host the Kansas City Chapter of the English Speaking Union for an annual British Tea Party. They are always a wonderfully English tea experience, complete with a toast to Queen Elizabeth II! As always, this regal event will be complete with Brenda’s Signature Scones and endless tea.
There’s lots to celebrate this year in the monarchy including Queen Elizabeth II’s 91st birthday and the Queen and Prince Phillip’s 70th wedding anniversary.
Don’t worry, the fun is open to everyone! Just like all of our monthly tea parties, anyone can join us in the 1913 house on Liberty Drive for an ESU Tea Party Fit for a Queen.
This year we are also hosting a second exciting event in conjunction with this wonderful group.
In November, we are honored to be hosting Lord Alan Watson!
Lord Watson will be speaking about his newly published book Churchill’s Legacy: Two Speeches to Save the World.
How thrilling to be able to enjoy tea with a genuine British Lord!
Just like our other ESU tea parties this is not limited to members of the ESU. Don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to take tea with Lord Watson! We can hardly wait!
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’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.”
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
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!
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!).
- 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.