Aug 28 2007



In just a few short days I will be leaving for a long-planned trip which will take me to Japan for just three days, and then on to China for almost three weeks. This will be a once in a lifetime trip for me, I suspect. I will travel on a Tea Tour being led by Dan Robertson of The Tea House, a wholesale supplier in Naperville, IL. Dan has been traveling to China since 1994, and leading these tours since 2000.

We will visit¬† tea estates, as well as small family owned plots,¬† where we will see tea being grown, plucked, and processed by hand. We will have the opportunity to taste endless wonderful teas, many of which are never made available outside of China. This is the country where tea has grown wild for centuries and where it has long been celebrated for its medicinal and spiritual effects. We will be staying both at modern hotels and at more personal traditional guesthouses. While on our tour we will have the opportunity to spend time at many tea houses as well as at a calligraphy school, a porcelain factory, and a Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital. I am so excited to be undertaking this voyage, and I look forward to sharing stories, pictures, and tea knowledge for a very long time upon my return. In my absence, the shop will continue to operate smoothly under the care of Patricia of Cellar Door Floral Designs, and Shirley of Gallery 265. On Saturdays, you will have the chance to meet my daughter, Chrisy McKinney who will be filling in for me. Although my access to e-mail will be spotty while I’m away, I will be happy to try to respond to questions which can’t wait for my return if I can. Otherwise, I will look forward to seeing you all in October! Marianne