Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Market That Still Yields High Interest - Tea Shopping at R. Hirts General Store

Hello Tea Friends!

With the stock market in free fall and change, for better or worse, right around the election booth corner, it's nice to know there are still a few things that are as reliable and comforting as a warm cup of tea on chilly fall day. The "market" of which I refer to is Eastern Market, located in an almost "time-stood-still" portion of Detroit and I headed there this weekend in search of tea.

Now, many of my tea trips are taken from my personal list of legendary sites I must get to, some are serendipitous and, others, like Eastern Market, come from recommendations of those who have attended Barb's TEA Shop Seminars. This summer, I met Peg D., and upon her approbation of R. Hirt General Store's tea selection, I knew I'd be down there as soon as a free weekend opened up.

And this weekend was the one! Yesterday, my husband, Chris, and I ventured down to be part of this bustling shopping populous that forsakes the warehouse stores and strip malls - at least for a Saturday morning - and conducts business like our families did generations back. Here, you get to meet first-hand the farmers who made the pies and jams and harvested the squash and strawberries displayed in the open air market. But, for tea lovers, it's yet another glorious trip back in time, as you enter R. Hirt's door and step down on the well-worn wood floor to get your first glance at a number of amply-stocked shelves of tea about mid-way down the store.

There are loose teas and bag teas from a variety of brand names including Harney, Republic of Tea and Twinings. Prices are good and there is a lot to choose from. I picked up a few tins of Twinings Darjeeling, a couple of organic teas from an English importer I've never heard of - but anxious to try - and for my college freshman daughter who seems to have been the victim of every virus/flu bug on campus, I purchased "get wellness" an "herb tea for immunity". (I can't vouch for it's authenticity, but even if it's a placebo in a tea bag, it may still have recuperative powers in knowing that it's sent from Mom).

The general store's display is downright fun and visually engaging. There are many more teas I wanted to bring home, but, considering the "other market" we're dealing with, I tried to be somewhat fiscally responsible. Next trip, though, I want to take some selections from the tins on the shelf marked "NEW" and some from the shelf of familiar Harney black containers. From the latter, Peg recommends Peaches and Ginger - - and doesn't sound delicious?

We are so appreciative of the Eastern Market suggestion! Chris and I were only sorry we hadn't, in all our years in Southeastern Michigan, been there before. Fresh produce, cinnamon rolls, gourmet cheeses, candy and tea (!) - there is something to suit, quite literally, every one's taste.

So, dear TEA friends, whether it be Darjeeling, organic, or ginger and peach, I highly recommend preparing yourself a cup of tea and use your extra hour this weekend to treat yourself to some good old fashioned rest and relaxation. (You may want to save the "get wellness" for next month's 401k statement!)

Yours in TEA and friendship,


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