Since Alabama is one of my neighbor states and a place I do visit on occasion, I looked forward to finding some new tea-related info about my fellow southerners!
Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
• Did you know that a famous literary figure is said to have met his wife at a tea in Alabama? According to a November article that appeared on Alabama.com, F. Scott Fitzgerald, best known for "The Great Gatsby," met his future wife, Zelda Sayre, at a tea in the now-abandoned Montgomery mansion known as Winter Place. "Joseph Winter Thorington, a descendant and former owner of the home, claimed Scott and Zelda were introduced by his aunt at a tea in the mansion's gallery," the article said. Winter Place is on the National Register of Historic Places, and I sure hope to receive word that someone is restoring this place. (Click here if you'd like to see some terrific photos of the home today.)
• Fairhope, Alabama is the home of a tea plantation. While I love and appreciate the Charleston Tea Plantation in South Carolina, it bothers me when I occasionally read that it is the only place where tea is being grown in the US. Tea is growing at quite a few places in the US, including Fairhope, Alabama. Last year, the US League of Tea Growers visited Fairhope and made a video of the tea production process there, and you can see it here. (This low-tech production looks like something I could try with my own backyard tea plant.) While I haven't yet visited the Fairhope Tea Plantation, I have enjoyed sipping some of the black tea produced there, which is sold at The Church Mouse, a darling shop in Fairhope (above) that sells British imports. It's definitely worth a visit if you're in the area!
• Huntsville, Alabama's Piper & Leaf Artisan Tea Company was named a winner in the Southern Living Food Awards for 2015! The company's Front Porch Special black tea blend was named one of the year's best Southern-made foods by Southern Living magazine. I haven't yet tried this company's tea, but tea friend Denise P. of Alabama loves these teas and says the company is "a real treasure to the tea world." So I guess some Front Porch Special tea is going on my bucket list of new teas to try in 2016!