Tea Adventure — A Visit to a Local Tea Shop

People who live the “tea life” (where tea isn’t just a beverage, it’s a way of life) will drive far and wide to try a new tea shop. Hubby and I, who live that “tea life,” have been “tweeting” with a member of the staff at TeaGschwendner nearby, and just couldn’t resist the allure of making an in-person visit to the shop. A Twitter pal was there to greet us and recommend some teas to sample.

I need to pause here for an important announcement:

Richard Hinson (brother of Store Manager Ryan Hinson) and Griffin actually know about tea! They are also well acquainted with the teawares and other merchandise in the store. Having had tea in various tearooms where the staff didn’t know Camellia Sinensis from Carmen Miranda, I was quite bowled over, not to mention tickled pink (figuratively speaking).

Hubby and I got to sample some teas and a Rooibos herbal (which – alas! – they call “tea”) and could have tried more. They’re very accommodating that way. I preferred to purchase small amounts of several teas to take home. One of their regular customers (unfortunately, I didn’t get his name) recommended Bossa Nova oolong tea to us, so we got a sample of that, also. We couldn’t resist buying a delicate glass teacup and saucer that I’m totally paranoid about breaking. It’s worth the fuss, though, and will doubtless end up in various tea review photos on Little Yellow Teapot Tea Reviews.

One thing you gotta see is the “wall of tea.” Actually, it’s a corner of tea bins. The fronts are solid stainless steel, not plexiglass or glass, and therefore block out light, something that makes tea go stale. They also keep out moisture. Unfortunately, they do allow in some air, but I suspect that sales are brisk enough that the tea doesn’t sit in the bins long enough to go stale. The teas were certainly aromatic and fresh in appearance.

 

My teas were packed in special bags that only TeaGschwendner (a German company) has. They have three layers: plasticized paper on the outside, uncoated paper on the inside and foil in-between. You could opt for a tea tin, though. For me, the bag is best, since I can squeeze out excess air as I use the tea and roll the bag up. The bags aren’t biodegradable due to the layer of foil, but they are reusable around the house. Each tea also comes with a label telling about the tea and how to prepare it for best taste. For tea newbies, that’s great info.

This is definitely a tea store to spend a little time in and browse the teas as well as the teawares. They also have tea videos showing on a flatscreen TV. Expand your tea knowledge and appreciation for this beverage enjoyed for millennia around the world. You can also get a cup of tea to go and enjoy it outside at one of their tables or while you walk around the rest of the shopping center (plenty of neat stores and eateries).

Little Yellow Teapot’s a bit miffed that we didn’t bring him along. Call me overprotective, but I didn’t want him to get chipped or broken. He’s pretty special. (I think he sneaked over to the computer and did a bit of Photoshopping on the pics we took of the store.)

Our tea reviews will be posted on the other blog in the coming few weeks. Hope you’ll be able to read them and make your own trek to this wondrous tea shop. If you do, tell them that hubby and I say, “Hi!”

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