On my trip to Kentucky last week, the Traveling Tea Friends got to enjoy a visit to Elmwood Inn Fine Teas in Danville, Kentucky thanks to our host, Linda!
If you've been reading Tea Time magazine for years, as many of us have, you know that tea expert/author/blender Bruce Richardson is one of the superstars of the tea world. He and his wife Shelley for many years operated a tea room at their home, the Elmwood Inn in Perryville, Kentucky. They no longer have a tea room, but they do have a wholesale tea operation and, "just for fun," he says, have the tea shop in Danville that is open to the public Monday through Friday. Here, he shows us an old wooden chest which was once used to transport Twinings Tea.
Nancy and Linda listen as Bruce shares a bit of tea history with our group.
We got to sample several delicious teas while we were there, including this rare Forest White Hawaiian Tea. Bruce let us pass around some of the loose leaf tea so we could examine it before we enjoyed sipping it.
Preparing our tea was his assistant, Lois, who was so friendly and chatted with our group after the presentation.
Here, Bruce shows a puerh tea brick he received from a friend in the tea world.
All too soon our learning and sipping time was up, because of course we had to have some time to shop, and what a shop this was! There were teawares in every color of the rainbow.
No matter what your taste, the shop had something to make you happy.
I just loved seeing all the colorful teawares on display!
Of course my favorite souvenir is always a book, and here you see one of the book displays, with Linda and Shelley in the background.
One of the books I brought home was A Social History of Tea by Bruce and British tea expert Jane Pettigrew. Here, he kindly autographs the book for me. He is a very down-to-earth man, and I appreciated the story he told about some cards he received for his recent birthday. One card came from his brother in Georgia and had a "Duck Dynasty" theme, and the next card he opened came from his friend Dorothea Johnson, the etiquette expert and founder of The Protocol School of Washington. "I walk in both worlds," he laughed.
And last but not least, the hard-working Linda was kind enough to take a picture of me with Bruce. What a fun, fun time! And if you're not in Kentucky, you can shop Elmwood Inn Fine Teas online here. Once I've had time to try them, I'll tell you about the new teas I got at the shop!