Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Upton's is here!

Steve Martin once got excited when the new phonebook came, but I am most pleased when something like the new Upton Tea Quarterly appears in my mailbox, as it did today. I've gotten great tea and service when ordering from Upton Tea in Hopkinton, Mass. (, and their quarterly newsletter/catalog is always so information-packed, I can hardly believe they send this out for free! I also enjoy reading the lush descriptions of the new teas they offer. Example: "Oolong Super Fancy: An exquisitely-crafted Formosa Oolong, with a balanced body, fresh fragrance, and a lively cup. Steeping for four minutes or longer produces a cup with chestnut notes and hints of grape-like sweetness." (How could you NOT want to try this after reading such a description?)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Springtime Cup & Saucer

This may be a little nutty, but one way I celebrate the seasons and holidays is by switching to a "new" design for my everyday teacup and saucer. Since today was the first day of spring, I reached for a longtime favorite, a cheery yellow design blossoming with pink and lavender roses and tulips.

Monday, March 12, 2007

An Agreeable Hour

"There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea." So said Henry James, and so say I! Yesterday I got to take tea at the new home of my longtime tea-lover friend Beth here in Newnan. It was the first time I've seen her new place, and it was so pretty. She has lovely, feminine things all over, and the bedrooms were truly bed-and-breakfast charming: Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic prints on the bed linens, a white wicker breakfast tray, roses everywhere. Her tea table, too, was resplendent with linens and fresh roses. Ahhh ... Henry James wrote about the "hour" dedicated to tea, but with my friends it's more like "hours." Why hurry when you're being treated to homemade pimiento cheese finger sandwiches (and classic cucumber), pink-rose-decorated petit fours, chocolate treats such as buckeyes and hand-dipped strawberries? I drank cups and cups of delicious Chocolate Hazelnut tea, and it was just a yummy afternoon, all the way around!

Thursday, March 8, 2007

World Tea Expo coming to Atlanta!

Just found out I will get to attend the World Tea Expo, which is coming to Atlanta June 9-11. I've read with envy about the tea expos they've had elsewhere (usually Las Vegas), so I cannot WAIT to go to Atlanta and hang out with tea vendors and attend tea seminars and workshops for a few days. Should provide lots of inspiration and information for future tea columns. (I'm attending as media, but anyone with a tea-related business may want to check it out at

Sunday, March 4, 2007

A Beach-worthy Tea

My husband and I just returned from enjoying several days at a friend's condo in Florida. Although I generally prefer drinking loose tea, I think when you're traveling it just makes sense to take along tea bags. They are convenient to use, easy to clean up, and take up very little room in your bags. One of the varieties I took along was Twinings' Lady Earl Grey (in the royal blue box), an old favorite that was part of a Christmas gift I received last year. My, was this stuff good! After I learned a little about tea I guess I strayed away from classic flavors such as Earl Grey, and rediscovering this old friend was such a pleasant surprise. Sipping tea while looking out at the ocean, catching up on reading, relaxing with my fella ... THIS was my idea of a great weekend!