Sunday, June 30, 2013

ATAA Sharing Tea from Sea to Shining Sea

Afternoon Tea Across America is an online chat  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. In March of 2012 the group decided to host a traveling teapot and to blog its adventures. Fifteen people signed up to host the teapot. During the month that they hosted the traveling teapot, they used it as an ambassador of tea, sharing many pots of tea with family, friends, and strangers along the way. Each host spent one month blogging about their adventures with the teapot. 

The teapot logged more than 30,000 miles during this project and traveled to three countries. The Traveling Teapot blog has 200 published posts and 908 comments by readers. It has been viewed more than 29,000 times by people in ten different countries. It was admitted into membership of the Association of Tea Bloggers, a resource for the exchange of ideas and information within the tea community, soon after the project began.

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. 

If you are not a member of our tea community and would like to be,  you can subscribe to Afternoon Tea Across America by sending a request using the subscribe box on the sidebar of this blog. We can also be found on Facebook. We would love to have you join and share with us!

Members of Afternoon Tea Across America love the tea experience! Below are photos that they have shared for this last post of the traveling teapot blog. Each picture illustrates something about the pleasure that the individuals of this group garner from the tea experience. Friendships have been formed that will be treasured for a lifetime. We have enjoyed afternoon tea with one another, with our parents, spouses, siblings, and children. And we've shared with the next door neighbor, classmates, and strangers. We share tea casually or for celebration. It is the tie that binds us together in a world that frequently pulls humanity apart. Thank you, ATAA members, for so generously sharing photos of meaningful experiences in your lives. I believe that this generosity exemplifies the genuine love you share from your hearts.
















Click on the photo collages to enlarge.

When asked "what does the opportunity to take tea with family and friends mean to you?", ATAA members responded with these words:

Linda K *Priceless.

Joa Jane *It means a chance to sit and just enjoy the beautiful tea table and to have that rare moment to look a friend or loved one in the eyes and actually converse, share and just live in the moment. Ahhh, bliss.

Lee *My family all live in different states, so getting together is always so special. We are all tea drinkers, from the youngest to the oldest, so sitting down to have tea together is especially wonderful, so we make a party of it and break out the nice china and make coconut cake and scones with freshly made jam.

Karen D *Taking the time to share tea is giving and sharing time. The time planing and preparing tea is a gift of love and a time to be creative. Setting the tea table a time to share cherished things with your guest. The act of sitting for tea is giving of yourself and taking care of yourself. A bit of respite from cares and responsibilities. You can choose to leave your cares far away from the table or invite comforting conversation to console a friend or family member. It can be a celebration, a magical escape or a warm hug. When the kettle sings it's music to my ears and my heart.

Rose *Taking tea with my family or friends is a precious gift to me.

Karen P *No gatherings give me greater joy than those that involve a good pot of tea, fresh scones and close friends.

Val *Just being together with my friends and being there for them.

Barbara *One of my favorite times of "Serving Tea & Making Memories" is when I put my first tea party together. I gave it to my only granddaughter! It all started with her; the love of my life, when she was 10 years old. Out of the blue (I later realized it was the Lord tapping me on the shoulder) I asked her if she would like to have a tea party with all her best friends (8). She went for the idea, so quickly I went on the Internet and starting reading and reading...and found lots of "first time tea party" information so I could discuss it with the girls. We had a wonderful time together, giggling, even to the point of tears in our eyes! Loved making the scones, desserts and tiny heart shaped cherry tea sandwiches! What an eye opener for those girls finding out you are supposed to ask permission first before getting up from the table! They couldn't believe that one, a lost art, one art I wanted to bring back at a real tea! Since then I have given my granddaughter and the same friends a birthday tea, a high school graduation tea, a bachelor party tea, and a going away to college tea! Every tea time they talk about that first tea party at grandmothers. My heart is so happy to hear how much they love their tea times at my house. You think THEY got a lot out of it? NO! "I" am the one getting so much out of this tea party presentations, especially for these girls. All because one day the Lord Jesus tapped me on the shoulder! His idea!

And when asked "if you were given the opportunity to thank a tea picker for the hard work they do so that you can enjoy your pots of tea, what would you say?" they responded in this way:

Linda K * Your gift is a blessing to many.

Dianne * You're not just picking tea, you're giving happiness to many and making the world a better and kinder place.

Lee * The work you do blesses us each everyday.

Angela * Your hard labor is lifting the spirits of people all over the world.

Thank you, blog reader, for joining us on this journey. It has been our pleasure to have you follow us as we have shared so many adventures with the little plum teapot. If you choose, please leave a comment with this post, expressing a way that the traveling teapot has inspired or influenced you. I know that the blog authors would love to hear your feedback. Thank you for cheering us on as we have shared along the way.


Linda @ Friendship Tea said...

This is a beautiful post, and a lovely way to end the adventures of the journey of the traveling teapot. My life has been enriched by the friendships I have made and the tea lessons I have learned from being a member of ATAA. Thank you, thank you, LaDonna!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing the journey. It has been a real adventure.
Rochelle, ATAA

Time Traveling in Costume said...

Wonderful culmination of our shared lives together with ATAA.
Thank you, LaDonna.

rosejory said...

What a lovely post. I have so enjoyed traveling the world with the little plum teapot. I treasure the friendships I have made through ATAA, they have brought such joy to my life as we share our love of all things "tea". Thank you, LaDonna!

Sparkly Engineer said...

What a lovely close to the Little Purple Teapots reign as tea embassador. She has truly lifted spirits and bound hearts and minds.

Thank you

Karen's Place said...

LaDonna, How creative. Such a fitting way to share the little teapots journey. Love seeing all the pictures of everyone enjoying the pleasures of sharing tea time together. Karen

Gwen said...

I have really enjoyed this journey and thank you, LaDonna, for making this possible and accomplishing this in the beautiful, enriching way that you do all you do. Love you.

Storybook Woods said...

I think what has been cool about the traveling tea pot, is how it has brought so many people together. It should what a small world we do live in! Clarice

Marilyn said...

How amazing to see each of these gatherings for tea. The little plum teapot definitely brought those of use together with a shared love of tea. Thanks, LaDonna, for coming up with the idea and initiating it. It was a lovely adventure!

Colleen said...

Oh my! Reading this post and looking at the pictures brings tears to my eyes. The celebrations are so varied and fun, the memories wonderful! Thank you LaDonna for such an incredibly perfect close to the wonderful adventures of the Traveling Teapot.

amherstrose said...

I have so enjoyed the adventures of the Traveling Teapot and will miss reading about all of the places where the teapot enjoyed sharing the joys of tea and friendship. It was an honor to be one of the hostesses and have the opportunity to participate in this grand tour.

I will be waiting to hear of the next great odyssey for the Little Plum Pot. Have a nice rest recalling all of the wonderful tea lovers you met during your time as the ATAA Tea Ambassador.

Mary Jane