Much of the joy of vacationing is to be found in a chance to slow down, look more closely at the world around you, savor new flavors, just stop and smell the tea.
Oh, you thought we were going to talk about flowers, in winter, in Missouri?
No, I'm inviting you to join me on a Show-Me State exploration that will involve your senses, your emotions and that elusive feeling of total relaxation - provided by the perfect cup of tea.
As they say at Anna Marie's Teas in Liberty (near Kansas City), "You can't buy happiness, but you can buy tea ... and that's kind of the same thing." They really enjoy helping people find their favorite. Just step in the door and drink in the aromas of exotic teas and tea blends. Sample brews with hints of chocolate, winter apple and herbs, mint and almond-coconut. They even have a floral tea bundle, so how about that? We are talking about flowers in winter in Missouri!
In Southwest Missouri, don't miss a stop at Chabom Teas and Spices, a cozy shop on historic C Street in Springfield. They carry the largest selection of loose leaf and packaged teas, herbs and spices in town, as well as locally made baked goods, jewelry and pottery. Relax in their cozy seating area as their friendly staff helps you discover the right teas - or a new tea -or take a cup of your favorite out and explore the wonderful C-Street community.
Tradition is important to Shang Tea Company in Kansas City. Their blended and infused teas bring you the very best flavor because they use time-honored Chinese techniques that preserve the integrity and goodness of the tea leaf. All their teas are high-mountain grown in the Fujian Mountains, which are renowned for having the perfect climate, soil, and water, and then hand-picked so they can select the very best tea leaves at the pinnacle of freshness. It's tea the way nature intended.
Traveling Tea in Maplewood specializes in organic, fair trade teas with no synthetic or artificial flavors. They sell in small quantities, making prized teas affordable for all because - in their words - everyone deserves to enjoy good tea. In addition to their Maplewood store, you can find Traveling Tea at the Tower Grove Farmers' winter market, located indoors at City Garden Montessori School.
Traditionally, drinking a cup of tea was an opportunity for contemplation, meditation and an elevation of mind and spirit. Sounds like the perfect vacation to me: the Zen of tea - right here in the Show-Me State.
Written by Barb Brueggeman