Saturday, January 9, 2016

My Country 'Tis of Tea — Alabama

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, 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!

Next week's featured state: Alaska


  1. Already a fan of this series!

  2. LOVED reading Alabama's tea history. I've visited the Chocolate Biscuit Tea Room in Trussville, Alabama [near Birmingham], and have three of their spiral bound cookbooks.
    This is a wonderful new series.

  3. I enjoyed this new series. Looking forward to more.

  4. Great new series, Angela - I had no idea how many neat tea facts there were, right next door in Alabama. Love your photos and the story about F Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda, very charming. Thanks for sharing such interesting stories, Joanie

  5. Great Alabama review! Makes me very pleased I live in this tea-happy state! ;)

  6. Great fun of these series. Thanks for sharing interesting Alabama stories.

  7. Great new series! It will be a year of learning about these states and their tea connections without leaving my kitchen!

  8. Great series for this 2016! Thanks for sharing..


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