Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tea Tuesday: Inside the Spice Merchant

Thank you everyone for joining Kimmie (players are on her sidebar) and the rest of us T Tuesday gals as we explore the world of tea drinking. Last Tuesday we saw the outside and learned a bit of its history. Now let's walk through the open side door of The Spice Merchant and see what's inside.

Look at this display of antique coffee and tea pots. Aren't they really intriguing? I could have taken photos of just this display all day long, but was on a mission, so had to move.

The mission was to buy some wonderful new teas that I had never tried before. After all, how can I have tea on Tuesday without wonderful, aromatic tea? I do, however, apologize for the really poor quality of the photos. I seemed to have a lot of trouble because there were so many people and I was horribly rushed while taking these.

So many teas, so little time. I picked out several of these.

and set them out for weighing and bagging. Yep, I succumbed to flavored tea. Simply couldn't resist blueberry (which is full of antioxidants) and cherry.

I had a hard time reaching the white tea I so wanted.

Here was my sweet server, who weighed the teas. After I had chosen 12, I went back and found more. While she bagged these and more I sat on the counter,

I took a look at some of the tea and kitchen paraphernalia they offered.

And just so I wouldn't have to leave my tea infuser in my 50's kitch ashtray, I bought a couple of these hand painted tea bag holders. I couldn't find an infuser, though. The only ones they had were the same style as my seriously ugly one.

I found even MORE tea I wanted, along with Pu'er, which Steph, who lives in Singapore, told us tea gals about during her first Tea Tuesday post.

and some with a genuine British flair I'll enjoy with warmed milk.

Then it was off to enjoy the lovely tea pots.

You name the style, they probably had it.

Tea pots were everywhere.

Many of them had unique shapes. Some even brought out a laugh.

All with the tea drinker in mind.

I was sad that I had chopped off the white tea pot. It has two cups built into its front. It was a very clever design.

The store was so busy, I didn't bother getting out my camera to take photos at the register, which is an eye candy feast in itself. And please don't even think about what the total bill was for FOUR POUNDS (yep, that's 64 ozs or 1.81 kg) of loose leaf tea. Suffice it to say, I could provide tea to a small country for a year for what this little venture cost. But it was truly worth the effort. Now one of these days, I'm going back for their coffee.

I hope you have enjoyed what was inside the Spice Merchant (old Mentholatum Building) as much as I did showing it to you. Have a lovely Tea Tuesday.

Today's tea blog is written by a Tea Master who lives in Taiwan, Stephane. Traveling all over the world, he shares his knowledge of tea with us mere mortals. I believe you will enjoy this tea blog that takes tea drinking to an entirely new level. Much like Steph (Purple Lotus Art our tea member who lives in Singapore), Stephane definitely knows the proper way to prepare and drink tea.

20 thoughtful remarks:

Julia Dunnit said...

Four pounds of aromatic tea! Yikes. I've never heard of Windsor Castle as a tea blend - spect it's one of their own, nor have I ever ever heard of warmed milk in tea - how interesting. Would love to wander round the Spice Merchant - love when an old building gets new life.

Diane said...

What a great store and coffee too!--loved this!

Halle said...

Cool place! I bet it smelled heavenly.

Stephanie Mealor Corder said...

WOW, you are so lucky to have found such a wonderful collection. I can only imagine to eincredible aromas of that store!

Dianne said...

love the teapot with the head on top! a fun adventure...thanks for sharing!

Healing Woman said...

Loved it! We both posted spices today!!!! Serendipity! I knew they would be different and in my opinion, both fun.

Liverpool Lou (Anne) said...

Really interesting post and those teas sound yummy ;-)
Anne xx

~*~Patty said...

Isn't that a fabulous spot Elizabeth
Enjoy your tea(s)!!!
and Happy Sweet T Tuesday!

Kimmie said...

oh my goodness - it must just smell heavenly in there!!! I honestly wouldn't know where to begin!!! Thank you for sharing your experience with us!
Happy T today! Kimmie

La Dolce Vita said...

happy t and thanks for these photos, I couldn't wait to see what was inside that white building!! fantastic! guess you will have good t for a long time!!

Karen said...

WOW I would spend ages looking round there and probably bought as much tea as you Elizabeth! I have had Windsor Tea...not too bad but I love the idea of blueberry tea...yum!!! As for warm milk in tea...yuk! Mind you I do drink all my ta black! X

Tammy Freiborg said...

Love that monkey tea post. Thanks for taking us inside - wow!

bad penny said...

It may just have been a subliminal message but I could SMELL this post aaahhhh !

Terri said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. I love tea as well. I used to get some really fab loose tea at a place called Urth Cafe in LA, now that I live out east I miss it. I used to buy Awakened Buddha, Spirit Mint, and Peaceful Mind (which was so beautiful you just wanted to put it in a dish and look at it!).
Those are some really creative tea pots in your photos. I will check back again and see what other things you post for Tea Tuesday.
BTW, I host (along with Martha) Tea Cup Tuesday
Terri (Marlynn's friend)

ooglebloops said...

OMG! I could move in there!!! A local tea room has a "sniffing" bar - to help with the overwhelming task of choosing your tea!!! Great post - my tea post is up - altho I know you already dropped in for the political "discussion"!!!!

Anonymous said...

What a lovely adventure, I do hope that you cherish every drop of that lovely tea! Hugs, Christen

Terri Kahrs said...

Once again I'm late to the party, but I had a play date with some friends. You document your excursions so well, Elizabeth! What a great place! Thanks for the awesome tea and tour! Hugs, Terri xoxxo

Steph said...

I'd love love to visit this shop!!! those tea and the antique teapots are screaming out to me.... ha ha....thank you for sharing your little adventure.... big hugs... steph

Roberta said...

What is it with us Altered Book Lovers and loving our tea as well? For me I think that it must the ceremony of tea and appreciating being in the moment. Be sure to check out this site:
I bought one of these infusers and LOVE IT! They sell them in my local grocery store, Harris Teeter but for more bucks...but with S&H it probably works out the same and they don't sell all their great teas! Enjoy, fondly, Roberta

Shaiha said...

I love the photos but I wanted to warn your about purchasing tea from that shop. Tea should be kept in dark containers to keep it fresh and seeing it in clear containers really makes me wonder just how fresh the tea is and how much they really know about the product they are selling.

As you can tell I am a tea addict.