Thursday, June 13, 2013

Afternoon Tea Across America

Some readers might be wondering how the little plum teapot started its travels across America. Who are the hosts who've so carefully tended to their roles? The traveling teapot is a project of Afternoon Tea Across America. It's purpose is to promote the enjoyment of afternoon tea and friendship.

Afternoon Tea Across America is an online group that was established in June of 2000 for those who enjoy having afternoon tea with friends either at their home or in tea rooms. Afternoon Tea Across America allows individuals who enjoy the tea experience to share ideas for afternoon tea menus, table decor, etiquette, recipes, preparation and service of the tea beverage, and other aspects of tea hospitality. It is also a place to share about tea room experiences and offer reviews of those experiences. Tea room information from all parts of America is shared along with information that will assist others in visiting a wide variety of tea rooms.

The online group was founded by Shirley Collins in June of 2000. She wrote a book called Afternoon Tea Across America which was a directory containing listings of tea rooms, hotels, bed & breakfast inns and other locations, from coast to coast, who served afternoon tea. The online chat room was a supplemental element. The book is long out of print, and Shirley Collins has moved on to other interests in life, but the online group still actively remains.

I was fortunate enough to find a used copy of the Afternoon Tea Across America directory on Amazon. It's a pretty little book, although I suspect that the fluid nature of tea rooms mean that most of the listings are obsolete and have been replaced by other options.

The description of Afternoon Tea Across America still aptly applies. Members of the Afternoon Tea Across America online group still love to sip tea, sample delicate tea sandwiches, scones, and assorted cakes! And many individuals in the group have gone far beyond sampling tea in beautiful tea rooms. The group includes magazine editors, book authors, gourmet cooks, tea sommeliers, tea room owners, vendors of fine teas, and many who have obtained tea certification status. Additionally, there is a wealth of energetic, creative individuals who enjoy sharing about serving afternoon tea parties in their homes or in the homes of friends. Afternoon Tea Across America is a melting pot of like-minded individuals who graciously share thoughts and ideas about the service of afternoon tea.

Afternoon Tea Across America is always happy to welcome new members! If you enjoy afternoon tea, please consider joining us! In addition to our Traveling Teapot blog, we can be found on Yahoo Groups and on Facebook. You are invited!

In March of 2012, a plum teapot was purchased at a gift shop on the Oregon coast. Thus began the journeys of our traveling teapot. It has served as ambassador of tea, sharing the tea experience with a variety of hosts and many guests.

It has helped many to enjoy the pleasure and atmosphere of afternoon tea across America!

After more than 32,000 miles of travel, it is still happily pouring tea.


relevanttealeaf said...

What a fun and informative post, LaDonna. I have a copy of the ATAA book by Shirley Collins which I purchased in March 2002. I must have bought it at a tea room because the price sticker is still on the back cover for $15.99. All three of the tea rooms listed for Michigan are now closed. Alas, I only made it to one of them.

Marilyn said...

Thanks for telling the ATAA story here and sharing this book. I had not seen a copy of it. Now I am wondering what Shirley is doing now. What interests she is pursuing and does she still drink tea with whatever it is she is loving.