Wednesday, January 15, 2014

My Tea Journey and Blogging Anniversary

I am often asked about how and why I began on my tea journey.
Growing up in the south, everyone drank sweet iced tea  or "ice tea" in the summer. 
My mother kept a box of Lipton tea bags in the kitchen cabinet,
and gave me hot tea to drink when I was sick.
She kept that box of tea bags for years.  She wasn't a tea drinker,
but I had developed into one.  However, back in those days,
I didn't know the difference in old bagged tea compared to good loose leaf tea.
In February, 1993, I visited Bruce and Shelley Richardson's Elmwood Inn Tea Room.
That was my first "formal" afternoon tea experience.
In July, the same year, we traveled to Denmark with our
younger daughter's teenage folk dance group. 
During that trip we stayed with host families. 
We learned that everything and everyone stops at three
for a coffee or tea break.
Since I drank tea, our hosts provided me with tea at three.
When we arrived home after that 17 day trip, I had a major three o'clock tea habit.
The 1994 book, If Teacups Could Talk, by Emilie Barnes,
 was the first book about tea I purchased. 
The beautiful Shelley teacup, also in the photo above, was given to me by my Aunt Ida
in the 1980's along with about a dozen of her prized teacups
she had collected while out "antiquing."
The Shelley was the only English teacup she gave to me at that time. 
Her gifted teacups were the beginning of my "tea cup collecting."
I began collecting English teacups during our first trip to England, Scotland
and Wales in 1995, again traveling with the teenage folk dance group,
and staying with host families. 
Our first homestay, on that trip, was with a family in Evesham,
on the edge of the Cotswolds. 
 Our host family took Glenn and me to the Small Talk Tearoom
 in the delightful village of Broadway for our first ever "English Cream Tea." 
We purchased my first Chatsford English teapot
and several teacups that day.  
The Tea Journey continued with several more trips back to England,
 Scotland, Wales, and Denmark,
and many American tearoom visits. 
Along the way I have participated in several tea education classes and seminars,
including the memorable 2007 Tea in London Tour and the UK Tea Council's
Tea Master Class with Jane Pettigrew.
It will be interesting to see how the tea journey continues in 2014.
The teacup and teapot collecting, and tea travels eventually led to this blog.
This week I am celebrating my Friendship Tea Blog Anniversary. 
I began blogging on January 16, 2008,  with no real expectations.
Blogging has been therapeutic at times, and stressful at times.
However, the best reward from blogging has been the friendships
developed over the past 6 years with other bloggers and blog readers.
Join me in celebrating this week by enjoying a cup of tea.
Thank you!  I appreciate you all!
From the book, If Teacups Could Talk, Emilie Barnes says:
"It's not the tea...that makes teatime special.
It's the spirit of the tea party."


Bernideen said...

Happy Anniversary!!!!

Marilyn said...

I've enjoyed reading your posts, but don't often comment as I'm trying to spend less time on the computer. But, an important occasion, such as your "anniversary", requires me to add my good wishes to you! Thank you for sharing all your posts with us!♥♫

Beth said...

Congratulations on 6 years of blogging! I enjoyed hearing about your tea journey. :)

Marilyn said...

Congratulations, Linda!
6 years is quite an accomplishment. I am right behind you. Loved reading your tea adventure.

Ruth Weston said...

I think we really started at the same time...from different directions! So nice to hear about your tea journey. It's amazing how we get "the tea bug"! Congratulations! And many more...cups and blog posts!

Michele @ The Nest at Finch Rest said...

WOW!! Congrats, Linda!

And it is so special to read your "tea history."

I am so happy for you and wish you many more happy years of sipping.

relevanttealeaf said...

Happy Blogging Anniversary, Linda! Your "Tea Journey" was such an enjoyable read. I'm glad that we had the opportunity to meet during our respective journeys, and share many cups of tea together in wonderful places! And I'm glad more tea times are yet to come. Hope your aspirations in the tea world come to fruition in 2014!

parTea lady said...

Thank you for sharing your "tea journey" with us and happy anniversary. I too started drinking tea early on (12 yrs old) which is surprising since both my parents were coffee drinkers. I also didn't become a real tea enthusiast until later in life. ☺

Angela McRae said...

Congratulations on this blogging anniversary, and I hope you have many, many more! I find it interesting that your early tea experiences all seemed to happen around the same time -- like God *wanted* you to be involved in tea, somehow!

Sylvia said...

6 years wow, that's great. Congratulations!

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

I'm glad you found the delight of hot tea Linda, and congratulations on 6 years of blogging.
With an English background, afternoon tea was common at our home growing up and I try to stop for this ritual every day wherever I am. I would enjoy taking a tea course or just getting to Europe where it all began. There is a garden tour trip I'm taking in June to Ireland so I am looking forward to taking tea there.
I can honestly say the tea bloggers I've met are among the nicest women and the most views on my blog come from tea posts.
I've enjoyed my visits to your blog (although I don't always leave a comment) and wish you a happy journey for 2014.

GardenOfDaisies said...

What a sweet tea story. The teacup from your Aunt is lovely. And your daughters folks dancing sounds interesting, as well. One of these days I need to write down my own tea history.

Laura's daughter said...

VERY INTERESTING, always enjoy your blog and your friendship.Mary

hula-la said...

I have this book and often refer to it for our monthly Arty Tea Parties. Aloha

Joy said...

Congratulations on your blog anniversary, and I enjoyed reading about your tea journey.

Rosemary said...

Happy Anniversary! Has it really been 6 years!? Looking forward to sharing your 2014 tea journey with you!


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