Saturday, March 29, 2014

Tea Shopping Day with Uncle Sam's Niece

Today I went to a fun open house hosted by Uncle Sam's Niece.  The proprietor, Kathy Hamilton, had a wonderful shop in Gainesville, VA.  Uncle Sam's Niece had a tea bar in the front as you walked in, with all sorts of different blends, and a couple of rooms in the back displaying antiques and gifts (especially tea related!) for sale. 

I loved the shop and was very sad when I visited this past December and learned they were closing at the end of the month.  Luckily, a couple of weeks ago I received an email that Kathy was having an open house this weekend at her home!   I jumped at the chance to see  her new teas and merchandise.

As I walked into Kathy's home, off to the side was this room:

The colorful basket to my right caught my attention.  Here's a closer look:

Sue Panky, Kathy's friend who I had met originally in the shop, made this adorable basket.  This is the perfect Easter gift for a tea lover!  Each egg has a different tea (one of those in the list under the bow) that was wrapped in a baggy and then placed the egg with a description of the tea. What a terrific idea!  It's a complete surprise what tea is in the egg until it is opened.  Wouldn't this make a cute favor idea for an Easter tea? 
The other front room also had assorted gifts on display and Kathy's own tea stuff.
These lollipops are teapot and teacup shaped, another cute favor idea:

On the opposite wall was another table full of additional goodies for any tea lover, including these clever spoons:
If you look closely, you can see that different sayings have been etched into the bowls of each of these silverplate teaspoons.  For example, the spoon on the bottom left says "bees prefer you use sugar in your tea," the middle spoon says "a good cup of tea warms the heart," and the one on the right says "tea is liquid happiness."
I loved this little crocheted teapot.  It almost made me want to try crocheting again, even though I never got beyond rather badly made scarves.
In the back of the home in the family room there was more merchandise but my attention was drawn to the kitchen table, which had some sale bags of tea and the little gift for a friend below:
   Isn't this little teabag holder cute!  You could slip it into a card and mail it to a friend.
But then I turned and my attention was caught by the same tea display that had been in the Uncle Sam's Niece shop.
(Picture borrowed from Uncle Sam's Niece)
I was so distracted, I didn't even manage to take a picture of it!  All 4 of the shelves were full to the brim with canisters full of different loose leaf tea blends.  Around the corner Kathy had a tasting bar set up with 5 different blends, including Pomegranate San Francisco (black tea with hints of vanilla and dashes of pomegranate); Crime of Passion (green tea of papaya and passion fruit); Monk’s Blend (black tea with a mixture of vanilla and grenadine); and a Rooibos tea with vanilla.  They were all delicious, but I actually didn't buy any of them...instead I bought 3 different blends for myself and 2 for my sister (which I'm sure will show up on the blog one day). 
In the kitchen across from the tea bar (once I managed to tear my eyes away) were scones for sale as well as these rosewater chocolates:
Another terrific idea for a tea favor! 
It was a wonderful day :).  More on my fun finds tomorrow. 

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