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."


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