Sep 11 2015

September; Sizzling, Sad, Sentimental, School

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September is a full month no matter who you are, what age, or what gender. First, it always denotes the end of summertime activities and the start of the school year, if not in our reality, certainly in our memory. This year, September is  still sizzling which makes me full of sympathy for teachers and students who have had to spend their days in the classroom. But after such a gorgeous summer, I don’t think any of us have regrets for  missed sunshine or water activity weather.

Marianne & Mike cut cake

Marianne & Mike cut cake 1970

It is also a very sentimental month for me, as it is in this month that my husband and I were married. September is a beautiful month for weddings with some of the most gorgeous days of the year, making for lovely receptions and honeymoons to just about anywhere.

For all Americans, September will now forever carry the sadness of the day our lives changed on that September 11th morning of 2001 when attacked on our own soil, with the loss of so many innocent lives. The truly heroic acts of so many who came together in the aftermath speaks volumes of the stuff of which Americans are made. The heart wrenching stories over the years since then continue to remind us of the heroes and the angels who were born that day.Girl Scout 100th anniversary 008

 

Whether you have headed back to school, are planning a long awaited September getaway, or have embarked on your Fall schedule after a more leisurely summer, it is lovely to make tea a part of your daily routine. It’s a beautiful time to reconnect with friends over tea, perhaps outdoors while the weather still allows. We’ll raise our cups with you and look forward to seeing you soon.

 

 

old ladies tea and books

 

chengdu-old-mans-teahouse.jpg

 

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May 7 2015

Moms and Tea

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teapot centerpiece There’s something about Moms and tea that seem to go together. As young children, we often have invited our moms to a school Mother’s Tea. Or when there’s a troublesome period in our lives, Mom will often sit down with her child over a cup of tea to chat about it. Even if a mom is not a tea drinker, somehow the tea allows the child to feel more adult while still indulging in an adult beverage other than the higher caffeinated coffee. In my family, even though my Dad was the British immigrant, he drank tea as an every day habit, while for my mother it was an avenue to conversation and understanding, or sometimes contemplation. As I grew up she became a special friend to many young girls in our neighborhood, taking care of them while their mothers worked, and I have over the years been told by so many how much their little talks over tea with my mother meant to them as they were growing up. She usually didn’t serve anything very fancy with it, but she could make the everyday seem special. She would set up a small table with a linen cloth and napkins, get out her special cups and saucers and plate. If she made a sandwich or toast to go with the tea, it would be cut in triangles with the crusts cut off. Although I often credit my British paternal grandmother, Nellie, with my inspiration to have a tea business, it really was my mother who taught me the civility and ceremony of having tea and how important it can be in our bustling, everyday life. Here’s wishing each of you fond memories of your mother or mother-like figure on this Mother’s Day. Cheers!

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Nov 4 2014

Great Tea Parties of the Past and Present

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The celebration of tea takes place in many cultures of the world, and within each culture there are customs and rituals associated with taking tea. In Eastern cultures China, home to the tea plant, has been using tea as medicine and later as a source of entertainment and hospitality for almost 5,000  years.

In Japan, the Japanese Tea Ceremony,  Cha Do, or Way of Tea is surrounded by a philosophy  of the uniqueness of each moment linking host and guest, balance between the refined and nature, and peacefulness through a bowl of tea.

Japanese Tea Ceremony, Chado

Tea was introduced to Japan along with Zen Buddhism in the 13th century by the monk Eisai, who brought tea seed back to Japan with him from China. The tea ceremony as known today grew out of the Zen Buddhist culture of Japan in the 16th century.

Antique tea caddy for storing the precious leaf

Tea appeared in Western Europe in 1610 when the Dutch began shipping tea home along with other desirable goods such as silk, spices, lacquer objects, and porcelain. Its use spread to other countries of Europe and to the New World, everywhere welcomed as a delicious and fashionable beverage. In Britain it was popularized when, in 1662, Charles II wed Princess Catherine of Braganza of Portugal who was an avid tea drinker. This led to the popularization of social traditions and, eventually “tea time” for British ladies. Those who traveled to the New World brought with them their love of tea and embraced the customs and traditions of their homeland.

Today, tea is enjoyed in the style of many cultures of the world, but also in a more contemporary, casual style, either in the company of friends or as a meditation, alone and contemplative. In any style, enjoy

Tea pots of all styles.

Formal Tea Service

the civility, the aroma and beauty of the leaf, and the many benefits of partaking of such a delightful beverage.

 

 

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Mar 23 2014

Congratulations to John Harney & Sons!

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John Harney, founder of Harney & Sons Fine Teas, started his tea company 30 years ago from a basement room in the White Hart Inn in Salisbury, CT where he was the owner/Inn Keeper. It was at the same inn 10 years ago that I first met him when I attended my first tea education event. A Tea Tutorial presented by Pearl Dexter, founder and Editor of TEA, A Magazine was an intensive long weekend course with 5 of us in attendance,  focused on how to go about having a tea related business. Mr. Harney was a guest presenter at the Seminar, charming us all with his Irish wit and friendliness. The following day we had a lovely tour of the Harney tea shop and the factory in the nearby town of Millerton, NY, all under the personal attention of John Harney. It was following that weekend that I returned home and took a leap forward in opening my very small business.

Celebrating 30 years of continued growth and achievement, it is easy to see why this company has been so successful. Through hard work, extraordinary vision, continuous development of new products, and outstanding customer relations, they have not lost sight of the most important ingredient ~ sourcing the finest teas, taking great pains in developing their specialty blends, and producing a consistent product every time.

So, 30 years later, not only are the Harney sons and daughter-in-law  involved in the business, but the young adult grandsons are as well, leading to their newest establishment in NYC where they opened a tea cafe and shop several years ago now.

I look forward to many years of continuing to see them grow and prosper, and I wish them a hearty congratulations on their first 30 years of success!

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Jan 31 2014

Welcome Tea Across America Tea Plant

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We recently received the newest member of our staff here at Nellie’s. CaMEllia TeaMEllia is a true tea plant (AKA Camellia Sinensis, Sinensis), the plant from which all true tea comes, whether it is green tea, oolong tea, black tea, Puehr tea, or white tea. As part of the Tea Across America Campaign, two tea producers, FiLoLi Tea Farm and Tealet, have supplied one tea plant to someone in each of the 50 states that make up the U.S.A.  to highlight that tea can be, and is being grown in the United States. Still in early stages of development, we think the potential is there to be able to receive high quality, domestically grown tea in the future here in the USA.

Meanwhile, here at Nellie’s we will be nurturing our newest addition to protect it from our frigid Maine winter, and will use CaMEllia to help us educate and spread the LOVE of  TEA! So stop in soon to enjoy a cup of tea and have a chat with CaMEllia TeaMEllia!

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