Thursday, November 18, 2010

" Crossed Eyes & Dotted Teas "

Here are some pictures of Richmond's FIRST optical / tea shop !!!!!!!!!!!
Come check us out, our holiday hours are 10-7 Mon thru Sat & 12-5 Sunday.
3506 W. Cary ( 2 doors down to the left on the other side of Burgers & Fries)

We are getting our signs in tomorrow, for now there is just a sign for Carytown Optical but we ARE here!!
A view from the window.
Changing some bulbs to brighten the space up.
Doing what we can to spice up a drab building.
I actually really love the neon glasses, at night it gives everything a soft glow.

New tea pots!
The optical shop is getting along pretty well, Cynthia is getting new inventory every day.
Neon lips that were once in a "business of the night".....

Stay tuned for the Tea Party/Fire Sale, awesome tea (duh), Designer frames for CHEAP and awesome local art and jewelry.........oh, and tea infused alcohol and wine!!!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Fresh Off The Boat !!!

Just got in this morning and just finished blending...Yerba Mate !!! YAY!!!!
Now We Have..
Green Raw Mate
Roasted Mate
Tupa Mate
Lemon Ginger Mate
Carob Mint Mate

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Today is the first official day that we are open in the temporary space (3506 w. cary st. / 2 doors down from the tea shop) with Carytown Optical.
While we are here the hours will be...
Tue-Sat : 1-7
Sun-Mon : CLOSED

Our teas are trickling in so not everything is blended but if you let us know what you cant live without we will put that at the top of we are getting there!!!!
This is what we have
In Stock
Decaf Ceylon
Kenya Milima
English Breakfast
Irish Breakfast
Palm Court
Richmond Blend
Supreme Breakfast
Black Rose
Chocolate Lover's
Chocolate Mint
Cranberry Autumn
Decaf Earl Grey
Earl Grey
Earl Grey Supreme
Ginger Peach
Hot Cinnamon Spice
Mistie's Blend
Patricia's Blend
Wuyi Oolong
Decaf Sencha
IZU Matcha
Dragon Pearl Jasmine
Masala Chai
Green Peach Rooibos
TISANE (herbal)
Sabdariffa Hibiscus
Fire Ginseng
Strawberry Kiwi
Red Clover Blossoms
Egyptian Chamomile

AND DONT FORGET!! We have tea pots, infusers, mesh balls, etc...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Aftermath...

Here are some of the pictures I took right after we got the go ahead to go back into the tea shop.

They really don't do it justice. It was too dark in the back of the shop to actually see any of the fire damage.
Our main problem is the smoke REEKED in there..every day I got home I had to wash my hair 3 to 4 times and it would still have a slight smoky smell.

It was horrible knowing that we had just the night before, finished blending all the teas and had the shelves totally full and ready to rock.
When we opened up the tins they all smelled like smoke, ironically, the Lapsang Souchong which is supposed to smell smoky, had absolutely no smell to it whatsoever.

Fortunately the company that specializes in fire and water damage arrived ASAP and I just talked to them yesterday and all of our furniture is smoke free and like brand new.

The shop , as of Wednesday is smoke free and now we are just waiting on the contractor to paint the walls and put the new ceilings in.

Again, thanks to everyone for the support. When we re-open we are going to break the shop in right, with a PARTY !!!!

Love you all, you are the bees knees!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Ah, the smell of burning tea...

On Wednesday October 6th around 8 in the morning the building connected to CaryTown Teas went ablaze.. destroying CaryTown Optical and Appointments Salon which resides on the second floor. CaryTown Teas sustained major smoke damage along with minor fire damage...
The optical shop and salon have extensive structural damage that will most likely take a couple months to repair, in the meantime you can still get ahold of them by calling their business numbers and also temporarily, Cynthia, owner of Carytown Optical is occupying the space directly above CaryTown Teas.
The tea shop is already undergoing repairs and is scheduled to open sometime in the next two weeks. We have already started to get fresh teas in from our farms and we are blending off site as we speak, so if you need your tea fix you can still purchase through our website .
When the store front opens up we are planning a big re-opening party for all of you lovely folks that have been so wonderful during this trying time...You Guys Are Awesome !!!
.........In the meantime I hope you all enjoy this lovely picture of Patricia from the CaryTown Teas Archives....

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Shop

Sometimes I forget how pretty the shop is, I am so lucky that I dont have to report to a cubicle every day....

Lazy Dayz

Just wanted to share this adorable sight......wish I got paid to do that. When Tartine is sleeping is the only time she isnt getting into trouble...dont let this cutepicture fool you....

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Immunity Booster

Today while riding my bike to work I noticed that besides the wonderful cool breeze, leaves were dropping of the trees ! The time has finally come. Autumn is almost here and with the beautiful gold and crimson leaves comes the cold & flu season.....

So in preparation I have started blended extra strength batches of the Immunity Booster and yes, it tastes awesome. It is great as a hot drink but surprisingly it is wonderful iced too.

Friday, August 13, 2010

CaryTown Teas - 2010 North American Tea Championship Winner

Richmond, VA ( Aug. 12, 2010). For the second year in a row Richmond's CaryTown Teas has been selected as one of the nation's best tea blenders. In this year's competition, competing against the nation's largest commercial tea producers, CaryTown Teas LLC's Tummy Tonic won second place at the 2010 North American Tea Championship in the Unflavored Herbal Blends category of the Hot Tea Class.

To choose the recipient of this award, the North American Tea Championship judging panel of professionl cuppers asessed eachsubmission through blind organoleptic analysis of the following characteristics: dry leaf; brewed color; brewed aoma; brewed flavor; brewed mouth-feel; brewed harmony. The ratings of each characteristic were then used to calculate an overall numerial value on a 100-point scale, and winners were determined by rank.

In recognition of its excellent evaluation, World Tea Media presents the Second Place North American Tea Championship Award to CaryTown Teas LLC for its Tummy Tonic Blend.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Friday, March 12, 2010

Ladies Love the " T "

more_tea, originally uploaded by cakemix.

I just started getting really into Flickr. I keep finding these great photos of girls that love their tea just as much as I do. I thought it would be fun to start sharing these sweet finds with you. Hope you enjoy this first one by cakemix

Through the Looking Glass

Today is a bummer. It is warm yet rainy. It is Friday yet feels like Monday. It is just one of those days.

EXCEPT we just received the new spring harvest of Green Jade !!! It is a wonderful high grown green from western Hubei, China. It is selected from the farmer's earliest spring batch.

I steeped 1 Tbp at 185 degrees for 3 1/2 minutes. It has a wonderful mellow and refreshing character that suggests toasted chestnut and fresh cut grass.

Hot or on ice this is definitely going to be keeping me company this spring.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Rembeng TGFOP Assam

So last week I was sent a sample of an Assam from the Rembeng estate. I didn't really pay it any mind at first because we are really happy with the Assam that we carry. But as usual, whenever I am in the mood we run out. I decided that it was the perfect opportunity to do a taste test with a couple other Assams that I was recently given. I used the exact same measurements , same temperature, and steeping time.
The Rembeng came out #1 with flying colors. I wont even bother mentioning the other two for fear of making them cry.
Extremely smooth with little to no astringency. Rembeng is definitely a new favorite of mine. It is extremely versatile, I have already forgotten about it while steeping ( left it for approx. 12 minutes) and it was still not bitter at all. It is a great blending base and absolutely fabulous as an iced tea. I highly recommend it to anyone that is a lover of black tea.
So if you are in the area , stop by the shop and check it out.....yes, I ordered it the same day I tasted it.....its that good..AND, of course, it is Fair Trade & Organic !!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Behold the Beauty that is Blooming Tea !

Every year it is the same thing, teddy bears, chocolates, flowers ...BORING !!!!!!

Put a little thought into your gift this year. You dont have to spend a lot of money to make your lady/man happy. Let them know you have a mind of your own and dont follow the drones.....drones are lame....dont be lame...
Although they are somewhat new to people in the United States, the practice of hand crafting leaves into "blooming teas" is an age-old Chinese art form that dates back centuries.( Remember Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette )
Carefully created by skilled artisans in China these teas are a breath of fresh air , not only are they beautiful but they are a wonderful way to sit back, relax and appreciate the little things in your girlfriend..wink.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Thinking Outside The Cup # 3 , Iron Goddess Shrimp

This is a recipe that a friend put me onto, he uses Sencha but I seem to really enjoy the slightly roasted flavor that the Iron Goddess of Mercy lends to the shrimp.

Iron Goddess Shrimp

2 Tbp Iron Goddess of Mercy Oolong
1 cup spring water
1 dozen fresh , large shrimp
1 bunch of spring greens, washed and dried
1 tsp lemon zest for garnish
1 Tbp chopped chives for garnish

- Steep tea in spring water for 15-20 minutes.
- Pour gently into skillet and heat gently over low heat. Poach shrimp in heated tea for about 3 to 5 minutes, until shrimp turns pink: drain.
- Arrange greens on platter. Scatter shrimp over greens and garnish with lemon zest and chopped chives.
Option: May drizzle a light vinaigrette if desired. Serve with steamed rice.

Tea Can Do What ?

Tea is a completely recyclable plant. Don't pour that leftover tea down the kitchen sink or throw those used leaves into the garbage can Recycle Them !
Tea is great as a deodorant because it absorbs odors , is full of nitrogen that feeds your garden plants and wards of those pesky insects.

- Is great for cleaning washable surfaces, such as air mattresses, yoga mats and counter tops.
- mix your dry used tea leaves into the cat litter to help diffuse the odor and help deter fleas for both cats and dogs during those hot summer months.
- place your dry used tea leaves in a bowl and place around the house, it will freshen the area. I a couple of days place them on a baking sheet in the sun for about 1- 2 hours and you can do the same thing again.
- place your dry used tea leaves in a bowl in the fridge to absorb unpleasant odors, after about 2-3 days, sprinkle those same leaves around your indoor and outdoor plants.
- after cutting garlic, fish or onions , rub your hands with wet tea leaves to rid your hands of the odor and also the pan in which you cooked.

- throw your used leaves onto the top layer of soil in you plants and let them naturally rot to release nitrogen which is great for the plant with out using any harsh chemicals .. AND its free !

- Moths. put your dry tea lives into a muslin bag and place them in your closet or dresser to keep moths away from your wool clothing.
- Mosquitos. place your dry used leaves into a fore proof vessel or right into a camp fire to keep the mosquitos away... and it is pleasant smelling as well.

- sprinkle dry green tea leaves onto your carpet and rugs, rub in gently, brush off then vacuum. It will clean and deodorize.