Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"I Break for Tea!"

There has been a lot of chatting lately on Afternoon Tea Across America (an on-line tea chat group) about an "I Break for Tea!" bumber sticker, and we now have one available!  Due to a very limited initial supply, we haven't posted these on the Wild Orchid Teas web site yet, and they are only available here.  To order just call Elaine at 866-TEA-LADY (832-5239) during our posted hours: Tues/Weds/Thur 10am-5pm, Fri/Sat 10am-4pm EST.  Cost is $7.95 + $2.95 S/H. 

AND...for a limited time, and only for the first 20 orders, we will include a *FREE* coordinated magnet with Eleanor Roosevelt's famous (and our favorite) quote: "A woman is like a teabag...you never know how strong she is until she gets into hot water." 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Tea Cup Story

One day a middle aged couple came into the shop and when they saw the tables at the front of the shop, asked quietly if they could sit and have a cup of tea.  I said, "Of course--have a seat and I'll bring you a menu.", in my normally cheery voice.  They sat, ordered tea and scones, and said how much they appreciated this opportunity for respite from their weary travels.  I didn't probe, but garnered that they were here in town because of a family illness or possibly even for a funeral.
They chatted softly with each other over their tea and within their time there, seemed a bit more relaxed by the time they had finished.  As they got up to leave, they said how appreciative they were for the opportunity to relax and refresh in our serene environment, and said that this Tea Cup Story, which is in one of the pages of our menu, had deeply touched them and was so comforting to them at this juncture in their lives.
I love what I can bring to my community through the sharing of tea.  I make very little money doing what I do, but this, fellow tea-lovers, is what it is all about. On this particular day, I was richly rewarded.

The Tea Cup

There was a couple who used to go to England to shop in a beautiful antique store. This trip was to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. They both liked antiques and pottery, and especially teacups. Spotting an exceptional cup, they asked, "May we see that? We've never seen a cup quite so beautiful." 

As the lady handed it to them, the teacup suddenly spoke. It said: "I have not always been a teacup. There was a time when I was just a lump of clay. A potter took me and rolled me pounded and patted me over and over and I yelled out, ‘Don't do that! I don't like it! Let me alone!’ but he only smiled and gently said, "Not yet!!" 

"Then, WHAM! I was placed on a spinning wheel and suddenly I was spun around and around and around. He spun me and poked and prodded and bent me into a shape he liked. 'Stop it! I'm getting so dizzy! I'm going to be sick!' I screamed. But the potter only nodded and said quietly, “Not yet.” 

”Then he put me in the oven. I never felt such heat. I yelled and knocked and pounded at the door. ‘Help! Get me out of here!’ I could see him through the opening and I could read his lips as he shook his head from side to side, “Not yet.” 

"When I thought I couldn't bear it another minute, the door opened. He carefully took me out and put me on the shelf, and I began to cool. Oh, that felt so good! ‘Ah, this is much better,’ I thought. But, after I cooled he picked me up and he brushed and painted me all over. The fumes were horrible. I thought I would gag. ‘Oh, please, Stop it, Stop it!!’ I cried. He only shook his head and said, “Not yet!” 

“Then suddenly he put me back in to the oven. Only it was not like the first one. This was twice as hot and I just knew I would suffocate. I begged. I pleaded. I screamed. I cried. I was convinced I would never make it. I was ready to give up. Just then the door opened and he took me out and again placed me on the shelf, where I cooled and waited… and waited, wondering ‘What's he going to do to me next?’

“A few hours later he handed me a mirror and said “Look at yourself.” And I did. 
“I thought, ‘That's not me; that couldn't be me! It's beautiful. I…I…I'm beautiful!’ I said.”

Quietly he spoke: "I want you to remember…” Then he said, “I know it hurt to be rolled and pounded and patted, but had I just left you alone, you'd have dried up. You'd still be nothing more than a lump of clay. 

“I know it made you dizzy to spin around on the wheel, but that is what has given you your magnificent symmetry. 

“I know it hurt and it was hot and disagreeable in the oven, but if I hadn't put you there, you would have cracked and crumbled. 

”I know the fumes were bad when I brushed and painted you all over, but if I hadn't done that, you would not have had any color in your life. And if I hadn't put you back in the second oven, your colors wouldn't have become so bright and beautiful.  ”Now you are a finished product. Now you are what I had in mind when I first began with you." 

So when life seems hard, and you are being pounded and patted and pushed almost beyond endurance; when your world seems to be spinning out of control; when you feel like you are in a fiery furnace of trials; when life seems to "stink", try this.... Brew a cup of your favorite tea in your prettiest tea cup, sit down and think on this story and then, have a little talk with the Potter.
(author unknown)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Love a Local Business!

Help us win a $25,000 or $50,000 Hiring Grant!

Vote (you can only vote once) for us and tell your friends who are also fans of tea and our shop.  Search for Elaine's Tea Shoppe with Toledo, OH as the location.  We need as many votes as possible in this voting period: October 1-December 3, 2010. 

This economy has been brutal on all businesses, but especially on the very small businesses.  I can no longer afford to hire any employees, and if I get sick, I have to close the shop!  That's no way to live!  So, help us earn a Hiring Grant through Intuit, which would enable us to get through this recession with a little bit of help.
Elaine is grateful to all those who will take the time and vote for Elaine's Tea Shoppe!  I know how busy everyone is, but we must remember to take time to help our friends once in awhile!  Please help us if you can--it only takes a couple of minutes.

A huge heartfelt THANKS!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Our New Location

We've Done It!!!
Finally, the move to our new location on Monroe Street is completed!  We are so happy with the outcome!  Our register area has a new addition--a blown up photo of the colorful tea pluckers in a tea field from our journey to Sri Lanka.  So, everyone who comes into the shop gets a preview of that beautiful tea-land. 
The entire shop seems to be a mirror image of the old one, so I'm having to move left where I used to move right, but everything is fresh and clean, bright and beautiful, so it's all good!  Here's a peek of our expanded tea wall which now has almost 150 different teas and room for expansion, the new tea bar, and our "Tea Cottage" which houses tea tins ready for refills in the service area. So, if you find yourself in the area, please check out our new space, munch on our home-made, made-from-scratch scones and, of course, pick a nice cup of tea from the largest selection of premium teas in the Midwest.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sri Lanka - A Tea Paradise

Whew!  It's been a long time since I've blogged!  We've been to Sri Lanka and back and what a tour that was!  We visited 4 different tea estates and saw many of the island's wonders, like all the animals on safari--water buffalo, elephants, leopards, beautiful birds, peacocks, wild boar and monkeys.  We visited a spice garden and batik factory, and stayed at many wonderful hotels along the Indian Ocean. 
The people are so lovely there.  Warm, gentle, friendly, and as un-stressed a population as I've ever seen.  It was in the balmy 80's every day.  We had a light afternoon rain on only one day, when we saw a rainbow end-to-end while driving up into the mountains to visit one of the high-grown estates. 
The food was interesting---hot spicy curry in everything!  Because of the British influence of the island's history, there were some bland, more western selections too.  And of course, tea!  Lots and lots of fresh Ceylon tea.  Every meal, every meeting, every gathering whatever the reason was punctuated with tea.  That suited us just fine, of course. 
I promise to write more later, and post more photos as time permits.  We are moving our shop soon to a new location.  Like many small businesses, downsizing and belt tightening is essential for our long term survival, and so, we'll be very busy over the next few months preparing our new digs for a grand opening.  We'll keep you posted.
Photos Copyright January 2010 by Phil and Elaine Terman