Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tea 103

I am a tea drinker. Although there are times when nothing tastes as good as a cup of strong, black, French pressed coffee, I usually prefer tea.

I am fortunate to have the best tea parlor in Northern California, right here in Newcastle! “An Afternoon to Remember - Tea Parlor & Gifts” serves delicious food, well-brewed teas and has a fabulous gift shop. It is the best place to spend an afternoon or to pop in for a refreshing “cuppa” & a warm scone. Mandarin orange is my new favorite!

The owner, Amy, and her delightful staff are super-friendly, and are ever-willing to share their love of tea and extensive knowledge of “all things tea” with everyone!

This being the case, my first real outing (not to a Drs. appointment, ugh!) after my surgery was to attend an event at Afternoon to Remember: Tea 103 – Oolong Tea Tasting. What a great and informative couple of hours we spent learning about & tasting Oolong tea! Then, just to make it even better, we were served two kinds of scones. Mandarin Orange & Jamaican Banana – Lemon Curd & Devonshire Cream included!

I took a few photos during the tasting. I hope these will give you an idea of how the tasting was conducted and encourage you to find a tea parlor of your own!

Please take the time to visit the An Afternoon to Remember website. You can shop for tea and accoutrements & their wonderful cookbooks, see more photos & sample menus, and view a great video of a tea tasting with James Norwood Pratt, which I also attended. The video is lengthy but very entertaining and if you are interested in the history of tea, you shouldn’t miss it!

This is the entrance. I love the little butler with his tea cup!

Interior View

Table set for tasting/class

Amy - parlor owner

Some teas were brewed in glass pots to show off the color
& served in a small cup. (see next photo.)

This is our individual tasting set up.
Small cup for tasting from glass pots, 3 traditional tea "bowls",
and three individual tea pots.
Tea brewing in individual pots.

Then, we tipped the pot onto the tea bowl.

Here are the steeped leaves.
Most Oolongs can be steeped multiple times! Some prefer the 2nd or 3rd steeping.

I learned so much and tasted such wonderful Oolongs at Tea 103! If you'd like to hear more, leave a comment and I'll post a mini-class about these delicious Oolong teas!

Enjoy! Chris


  1. You're back! And talking about tea, my new favorite thing in the world. I feel so elegant when I drink tea.

    I wish we were neighbors, too. We could head on down to Amy's, drink tea and discuss grammar!

    I'm very gald to see you back here.

  2. Chris,

    What a sweet tea room! Thank you for sharing your visit with us.

    I'm glad you are feeling better! :O)


  3. Can I come along to ;) discussing tea is a favorite subject and I would be thrilled to sit with you and Bee while you discuss grammer HA!!!

    Good to see you Chris....... i missed ya.

  4. Hi Chris!

    What a fabulous place! I love tea and it looks so wonderful. I'm glad you're feeling better and going to your favorite places again!!
    Save a cup of tea for me!
    Hugs, Sherry

  5. Hi Chris! I haven't even read this post yet (I'm sure it's good and I will go back and read it), but I am soooo happy you posted!!! I was worried about you! This is such a relief! Okay, now I'll go read.

  6. You girls are all so sweet! I missed you all too!

    I am REALLY glad to be feeling better!

  7. How fun is that! Wish I could come along on your next tea outing!
    I am so glad that you are out and about...I've missed you!:)

  8. What a wonderful thing to do! You are so lucky to have a neat place like this to go. I have tried mandarian orange tea as is so good. So glad to see you back to blogging! blessings,Kathleen

  9. How fun! Honestly, I get nervous around tea parlors and whatnot... I always feel like the elephant in a china shop... like I'm gonna break everything I come near! :)

  10. Hi, Miss Chris!

    I'm so happy you're back and feeling better!!!!!!!!

    What a charming tea parlor! I can see why you love it so. So fancy but it looks like so much fun (if I could ever get over being intimidated so ealiy!) Until, and if that day ever comes.... I guess I'll be drinking my iced, sweet tea!

    Hey, I wonder how much dynamite costs??? If it's too expensive, maybe we can go in together and split the costs! You had me giggling at the thought of blowing your gopher and my mole out of the ground!!!! Our neighbors might not like us, though.... oh well... what's Plan B? :*)


  11. OH What a wonderful outing! Thanks so much for sharing with us! I will check that site out! I LOVE tea and the cermonies of making and drinking tea. Of course it is the best when shared with dear friends and surrounded with scones and a long chat!!!

  12. So glad to hear your doing better and back blogging. Thanks for sharing about your tea tasting party. I would love to one day go to a tea tasting party. Maybe next time I go to visit my mom, aunt and sister in San Antonio. We ususally visit a tea room or two.

    Hugs :)


  13. Miss Chris, You left a comment on Mary's blog, Across the Pond about the turquiose depression glass dishes from Suzanna's. I am so sorry to say they have sold. I can keep an eye out for more and let you know!!

  14. Glad you're feeling better, Chris! The tea room you visited looks sweet ... I love having tea!


  15. Hi Chris,I have been wanting to drink more tea . Could you suggest some for me. Some that I could find just about anywhere. If I really like it I could venture out.

  16. Hi Chris!

    Just stopping by to say HI and see how you are feeling! I hope you're doing good and will be blogging soon so we can chat with you over a cup of tea!! Miss you girl!

    Big huge hugs, Sherry

  17. Glad yo are feeling better...What a beautiful and elegant our for tea..another favorite drink of ours!!

    kari & kijsa

  18. I'm interested in your little class on Oolong teas! I've had several teas with my lady friends and we all have so much fun - we even dress the part to increase our fun! PAM


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