Sunday, August 8, 2010

Hot Tea Travels Make for a Great Summer

Hello TEA Friends,

This summer, Barb's TEA Shop has been on the road and, along the way, we've tasted mint tea, corn tea, Sense and Sensibili-tea, sweet tea, Keweenaw tea, and mojito tea avec liquer. From Las Vegas to Louisville to Michigan's upper peninsula and all places in between, one constant held true - all the tea we drank may not have been hot, but we were hot wherever we drank it.

Naturally, when visiting Las Vegas in June one expects heat and it's not a stretch to anticipate sultry afternoons in Kentucky in July, but hot, humid days in northern Michigan as we approached August only proved that as interesting and fun as our travels were, we were never going to have a good hair day.

But, that was a small price to pay for some the most enjoyable tea trips we have had. In our journeys we met many entrepreneurs, craftsman, educators and folks passionate about tea. We learned so much and have so many stories to share, I just can't wait for you to get acquainted with them all (not to mention the update on the Pemberly Pines tea garden).

We caught up on the latest with Shelly Richardson and Jane Pettigrew at the World Tea Expo and were introduced to new products such as corn tea and teaspoons made of honey. In Louisville, we met Kim Wilson, author of "Tea with Jane Austen" at the third annual Jane Austen Festival at Locust Grove.

From Kentucky, we headed north again, but this time, went past the Mackinac Bridge to be guests at the only tea room in the Upper Peninsula, The Four Seasons, owned and operated by a delightful mother/daughter team. Driving along the Lake Superior coastline, we made another stop at Enerlei, a unique, northern Michigan gift shop with beautiful tea accessories.

Then, from one Great Lake to another, we took the long way home from Pemberly and visited the town of Lexington on the shores of Lake Huron. Here we met twin brothers who are making their career in pottery. Their one-of-kind teapots with driftwood handles are amazing. (I had to purchase one for Pemberly - and some matching cups, too!).

This resort town is also home to the Lexington General Store which has a great selection of tea, tea cups and a charming old fashioned candy counter and the nearby "Off the Beaten Path" gift store, with a nice selection of fine home accessories, coffees and even some Chai Tea.

So, with the suitcases packed away, at least for a little while, I'll be at my desk - or weekends at Pemberly by the pond with the laptop - with a cup of freshly brewed tea, my hair being held against its will with barrettes, hairspray or hat, and begin posting pictures and stories from this hot but eventful summer.

Yours in TEA and friendship,


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