Sunday, March 2, 2008
New Tea Room in Royal Oak - A "Gold" Mine for Tea Lovers
Happy March!! It's been a busy, snowy, tea-filled week here in Michigan and, in anticipation of spring weather, today's tea selection is a "S'oo-long" to winter and hello to milder temperatures. Yes, this afternoon's tea is Ginseng Oolong and this particular loose leaf comes from "Goldfish Tea", a brand new tea room in Royal Oak that I had the pleasure to visit last week.
Tuesday, I met with Jim Girling, who co-owns the tea room with his wife, Janice. Along with the other resident tea guru, Mike, we spent a few hours at our designated table and sampled a variety of Goldfish Tea's impressive private label inventory. The Girling's lived in China for a number of years and learned first hand the customs and tea preferences of the country. They have turned their passion for tea into a venue that not only serves tea, but educates as well.
Everyone will feel comfortable in the Asian-inspired decor of Goldfish Tea. Tables, chairs and couches, as well as the modern art canvasses that hang on the wall, are all direct from China. There's a gallery of Chinese teapots and cups that are on sale and in all sizes and for all budgets. You may be surprised that some of the tiny teapots are not just decoration - these miniatures are actually used for serving and preparing tea. (My daughter Rachel brought one of these lilliputian teapots home from her trip to China and I never thought to actually use it. But, Jim assured me, it's quite alright - many folks simply collect them!)
The Girling's run the operation from import-to-counter, so they have control and ownership in the entire process to serve their customers better. The quality, care and pride is evident in every detail of this tea room. Here you can quench your thirst for both tea and knowledge.
BTS gives another gloved-thumbs up for Goldfish Tea.
Mike prepares our beverage of choice at the tea bar.
And, other tea happenings this week. . .
February 27th, BTS held "Tea Tasting - Beyond the Tea Bag" at The Community House in Birmingham. Although, we set a limit of attendees, a few additional guests were added at the last minute and we hosted to a full-house plus! With the help of our Community House volunteer, Paula, we were able to serve all our guests and sample a range of teas from Ginseng Oolong (!) to "Civlitea", an expressive black tea blend from Harney Teas (which is only offered to Tea Etiquette Consultants from the Protocol School of Washington). Along the way, we also sipped on Silver Needles white tea and BTS's favorite herbal - strawberry kiwi. Guests took notes of their tea tastings and it was fun to compare preferences. BTS conducts several tea tastings year round. Be sure to call or email Barb's TEA Shop for more information.
Tea Tasting at the Community House. Barb's TEA Shop conducts in-home tea tastings, too . Call 248-840-4356 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for information on BTS hosting a personal tea tasting for you and your friends in the comfort and convenience of your own home.
So, dear friends, steep another pot of ginseng oolong and let it melt your cares away like the warmer temperatures of this coming week will hopefully dissolve the ice on my driveway. And, with the luck of the Irish, and a pot of gold(fish) tea at the end of the rainbow, St. Patty's Day will be here and snow-free in the north!
Yours in tea and friendship,