...it probably is but it could be a coffee pot or even a chocolate pot. Can you spot the difference
Recently a friend asked me to look at a silver service she had found and explain its pieces. There were two pots which seemed one too many for a single service. Hmmm....what do you think?
Now, to make matters even more confusing, look at each of these silver services. How many pots do you see? And what about that second bowl? Looks like another sugar bowl without a lid. Well, in case you are wondering what all these pieces are for, here's the explanation. The three different pots are for tea, coffee and the one on the warmer in the middle is for hot water. This was used by the hostess to dilute stewed or bitter tea or to weaken overly strong coffee. The water in the middle pot was kept warm by the candle burning beneath it. The extra bowl? Well, that's called a slops pot. Yes, you read that correctly. When your hot beverage was no longer hot enough to suit you or was not to your liking, you simply poured the contents of your cup into the bowl and refilled it with something possessing more taste appeal! So there you have it, more information about tea pots than you ever thought you needed to know but now do know!
When Barefoot Girl's birthday arrives, just what kind of tea does she choose to drink?
Can you guess? It's smokey, oaky lapsang souchong steeped strong with cream and just a tiny sprinkle of raw sugar. Lapsang is a singularly unique tasting tea which has been smoked over a pinewood fire. It is often called "camp fire tea" here at The Three Sisters' Tearoom and the name seems to fit perfectly. Try a cup when you are feeling adventurous or when you are looking for a strong tea to accompany your roast beef sandwich or when you're with Barefoot Girl and she's celebrating her birthday!
When Butterfly Girl asks you to a wildflower tea..
She'll probably have to pick some flowers first. Jewel weed here..
...red clover there
Then you'll have to wait patiently for water to boil and flowers to steep.
But be patient, the results will be...ethereal!
So, when Butterfly Girl asks you to a wildflower tea, just say yes!
Sometimes all it takes is a bit of inspiration, just a germ of an idea, and, as quick as the kettle sings, something special is brewing. And that’s just what happened to us. Over five years ago, an article featured in Tea Time magazine highlighted a mother and daughter team hosting monthly teas in a converted section of their garage in a remote area of rural Illinois. The mother served tea and home-baked treats, while the daughter played classical music on the harp. Over time they outgrew their quarters and renovated the entire garage to further their tea vision.
The day we read that article our tea dream began. We had no tea room, we didn’t even have a garage to convert into one! Quick inventory of what we did have turned up a 40 foot Air Stream travel trailer affectionately dubbed, “Silver Bullet.” Could we use that to host teas? Yes, we could and we did, one small party at a time. The Three Sisters’ Tearoom opened for business! Next we also began to travel, taking teas to libraries, nursing homes, senior centers, churches, schools, and more. It was wonderful but we still longed for a real tearoom right on our property when, without warning, out of the ashes of a barn fire came a beautiful new barn with guest quarters which, when not hosting out-of-town guests, became our tearoom!
June 2017 marked our 2nd anniversary serving tea in our own tearoom. Thank you for turning our dream into a reality!
106 N Anderson St, Tullahoma, TN 37388
Dancing Girl and Butterfly Girl were my guests as I journeyed east to The Celtic Cup in Tullahoma, TN. The girls love anything Irish so they were excited. We found a charming bungalow-style house converted into a tea/lunch room by day and an Irish pub by night, in the middle of a residential neighborhood.
Sadly, once inside we were informed that afternoon tea was only served between the hours of 2pm - 5pm and since we were there at about 1 pm we had to be content with just a pot of tea and a scone. They had a large listing of teas, all in bags, and we each chose our favorite- oolong for me and Lapsang for the girls. Tea arrived in individual pots with charming white teacups laced with green shamrocks. Scones were large and fresh but unadorned. So we had to purchase a pot of lemon curd in their gift store to top them off.
It was a nice warm day and we chose a table in the sun on their side porch instead of sitting inside, which was a bit dark with large leather booths that did not say TEA TIME to us! Overall, we had a nice time despite the detached staff and the disappointment of arriving before afternoon tea was served.
Actually, tea is for any day of the week, but the Three Sisters feel strongly that Tuesday IS tea day. Our tearoom is open a couple of Tuesdays each month but when it is not, we still have tea together. The children invite one another to a special tea time in a well appointed spot, indoors or out.
Scones are made and tea trays are set. Even the boys relish this Tuesday ritual because good food is involved.
Time and time again I am tempted to rush through tea time with the children or skip it all together.
Sometimes I come to the lovingly set tray under our huge Hemlock tree in a huff and sit down with a thud. My poor tea companions! But as tea is poured and the coolness of the creek surrounds us, refreshing more than just my over-heated body, I'm thankful for my children and that Tuesdays are for tea.
1401 Market Street
The English Rose Tearoom is located on the ground floor of an old historic building on the corner of an artsy neighborhood just 2 miles from the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga. The big teapot sign and flying British flag make it easy to find. Plenty of street parking available. Once inside one quickly realizes this is a traditional English tearoom. Queen Elizabeth’s portrait hangs over the fire place, a life-size cut out of a palace guard is positioned at the rear of the dining room and Downton Abby memorabilia accent the decor. A small gift shop comes first; clotted cream and lemon curd are for sale in tiny glass jars along with Weetabix cereal and digestive biscuits. Several tea-inspired gift books, cook books, note cards and tea cozies are also on display for purchase. Lilting instrumental piano music fills the entire shop lending a refreshing note to the tea experience. We did not have a reservation and at 2 pm we were seated promptly in a comfortable corner at a table for two. Approximately nine tables, seating 2-6 guests, were attractively arranged to create intimate corners for couples as well as central tables for larger groups. The menu offered English-style pub lunches; bangers and mash and Yorkshire pudding, in addition to tea with scones and a full afternoon tea. We ordered two afternoon teas. The tea selection was small, only about six loose teas, but offered a sampling of everything. Barefoot Girl chose an Assam and I ordered Darjeeling. The tea arrived very quickly, to our relief, as we had been caught in a deluge and were wet and chilly upon our arrival. Loose tea was steeped in disposal bags and left in the pot. We did not know this and got a weak first cup, perfect second and stewed third. A little extra hot water corrected the problem and we didn’t let it happen again! The three-tiered tea tray arrived quickly and contained the traditional chicken salad, egg salad and cucumber sandwiches, all freshly made on nice bread followed by a large scone on the middle tray served with lemon curd, jam and clotted cream. Although a little dry, the scone was flavorful and enjoyable especially with various spreads liberally applied. The bottom tray had a selection of commercially prepared English biscuits; some fruity, some buttery and some plain but all delicate and crisp and the perfect accompaniments to tea. The service was warm and friendly and we were left to linger over the last of our tea and generous portions of delicious food. We left our tea time refreshed and very full!
Over all our assessment is, The English Rose Tearoom is a perfect place to experience British-style afternoon tea. The menu is very reasonably priced at $16.99 per afternoon tea and the food well balanced in flavors and attractively presented. Be sure to print off coupons from their website before you go!
5348 Hickory Hollow Parkway
Dancing Girl and I found Shineworthy Tea in Antioch, TN located in a strip mall with ample parking and a large illuminated sign making it very easy to find. Once inside, the shop is large and open with minimal seating - 2 couches facing each other and 3 square tables positioned along floor to ceiling windows. The center of the room is spacious and open. The inside wall of the store housed shelves of silver tea tins, a small glass pastry case and a bar with seating for 6 patrons. A small smattering of tea paraphernalia such as books, pots and cups, are on display for sale. The steely gray, black and white color scheme is modern and monochromatic.
We ordered afternoon tea for one with and extra pot of tea. Choosing the tea was delightful! With over 40 teas to choose from, it took a few minutes to read the descriptions and smell some from a display on the counter. The tea was definitely the highlight of this afternoon tea experience! It quickly arrived at our table, which had been beautifully laid for us after placing our order. The loose tea was perfectly brewed using correct water temperature and steeping time and served over glass warmers. I enjoyed each sip of my countryside blend and Dancing Girl loved her Lapsang Souchong.
Despite the 25 minute wait for our three-tiered tea tray to arrive, the service was friendly. We found chicken salad, egg salad, pimento cheese and Nutella sandwiches, which were all fine, on the top tray. Next tier was a plate of grapes and a few sliced strawberries followed by the bottom tier dessert plate. This was the least appetizing portion of the meal; a selection of commercially prepared, bland tasting cookies and tiny “cake cubes” with thick sugary glazes. Scones were not included in this afternoon tea.
When the tea tray had been removed, we were served a glass flute of chilled Jasmine tea, a square of caramel chocolate and a chocolate truffle. The presentation was very attractive but the tea was floral and sweet and difficult to get down after the sweetness of the food and chocolates.
Overall, our assessment is that Shineworthy Tea is a tea bar which also serves an afternoon tea upon request. The cost was $30 for afternoon tea for one guest, which we shared, and $10 for an additional pot of tea. The total price seemed high for the quality of food and ambiance of the shop.
"Drink tea and make friends." Chinese Proverb
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