Can We Grow Tea in America?

Robert FortuneWhy can't we grow tea in America?  We can, and we now do. The history of tea planting in the United States can be traced to the years just prior to The Civil War.On July 21, 1857, Charles Mason, United State Commissioner of Patents, wrote to his seed suppliers in London to inquire about…

Five Best Afternoon Teas in London

"Where can I experience the best afternoon tea in London?" is a question I am asked again and again as my friends and readers prepare for their first trip to England.   I've been writing about the tea scene in London for over 20 years and have had ample opportunities to sit at countless tea…

The Tea Things of Jane Austen

  What tea did Jane Austen drink? And what role did tea play in her novels? This Regency period writer often used tea as a literary tool to bring the sexes together, and the term tea things was frequently employed to set the stage for conversation. In Sense and Sensibility, Elinor attends a social gathering…

A Wee Tea Story from Scotland

2014 White, green, and black teas grown in Scotland and cupped at Elmwood Inn Fine Teas in Kentucky.Would you be surprised to learn that a Scottish tea garden produced a ton of tea last year? I’ve been to Scotland many times and I assure you the climate is not that of Sri Lanka! Somehow, a…

Gentleman’s Tea at London’s Athenaeum Hotel

Jane Pettigrew chats with Bruce Richardson over tea at The Athenaeum.I had the opportunity recently to preview the new Gentleman's Afternoon Tea offered at London's 5-star Hotel Athenaeum, located in fashionable Mayfair on Piccadilly across from Green Park. Afternoon tea unfolds here every day in the sunny Garden Room, enclosed on one side by the hotel’s unique ‘Living Wall’ – home to…

Everything Stops for Tea

The song “Everything Stops For Tea” was first performed  by Scotsman Jack Buchanan and featured in the 1935 musical film Come Out Of The Pantry, which was set in New York.In Great Britain, everything did stop for tea throughout the first half of the 1900s as British workers took their tea break. By 1900, tea…

Afternoon Tea Reigns Supreme at The Empress

I had the opportunity to return to the Empress Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia last month for TeaTime magazine’s Occasion for Tea. The other speakers included Jane Pettigrew, Norwood Pratt, Shelley Richardson, and editor Lorna Reeves. We were joined by 70 devoted tea enthusiasts from across the United States and Canada for a weekend of…

Birth of the American Tea Room

America’s great twentieth-century tea party was stoked by three remarkable social phenomena 1) the advent of the automobile, 2) the temperance movement, and 3)· women’s quest for equality.    Put a thoroughly modern woman into the driver’s seat of a Ford, ban alcohol, build good roads that spiral out of major cities into the scenic countryside, and you…