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Although the vernall equinox was March 20th, it's really not until mid-April when we can be assured that Spring has finally arrived. Soon the migrating birds will return, flower bulbs will be poking up through the earth, the trees and bushes will begin to bud, and, with that, the first flushes will start to be plucked in Darjeeling and Assam. Let's all welcome this much anticipated season.
Wishing you all a Happy Easter and Happy Passover, Maureen

Hurry and order the teapot that you've always wanted. Our Teapot sale ends April 15th.

~ Click to View Notting Hall Teapots ~

TEA of the MONTH
Introducing .... White Lavender
Our newest blend combines hand-plucked, antioxidant-rich white buds which have been blended with long, delicate green leaves and soothing, relaxing, fragrant French lavender. The results are a delicate, aromatic tea to soothe you at the end of a stressful day.
Create your own spa environment ... a hot bath and cup of our White Lavender tea. There's nothing better!

Order yours today.
Just click on the link. Available in
2 oz. pkg, 4 oz. pkg, 8 oz. or 16 oz. bulk

White Lavender

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In 1965 Bridget Vogelsang, a/k/a Nana B, with her husband and young children, left her homeland of Ireland and moved to Connecticut. She spent the following years raising her family and working as a waitress; but always dreamed of opening her very own European-inspired tea room. A place "where friends could enjoy one of life’s greatest pleasures in an atmosphere of tranquility and peace" says Nana B.

In 2004 Bridget and her husband moved to Charlton, MA. It didn’t take long for Bridget to get bored, “Try looking for a job when you’re 74.” But, when a Café hired her as a waitress, which closed a year later, Bridget started talking with the owner about subletting space for a tearoom. So, last October, at the age of 75, Bridget , with the help from her daughter, realized her dream.

Located in an old mill, the tearoom is charming with all-white lace tablecloths and curtains and upholstered chairs. In addition to delightful afternoon tea fare, Nana B’s offeres a full dinner menu serving beer and wine, "authentic" Irish coffee and Bloody Marys, along with traditional loose leaf teas.

Located in Southbridge, MA, a small industrial town, full of Victorian charm with easy access to all major highways. Be sure to visit Nana B's Teas - open from Wednesday to Saturday.

Nana B's Tearoom
12 Crane Street, Southbridge, MA

Tea grades are one of the most confusing subjects with regard to tea. There are no standardized worldwide “grading systems”. Also, the grade of a tea does not necessarily indicate its flavor or quality. Flavor and quality are determined by different factors and is usually determined by the professional tea taster. Each major type of tea has a unique grading system that may vary by region or country of origin.
In India and Sri Lanka, black tea, as the most commercially valuable type of tea, has a grading system that is used by most tea producers.
The following is the standard for grading most teas:

Tippy (T) - tea which has many tips (the newly budding leaf)
Flowery (F) - tea which has the fine young leaves with a certain proportion of tips
Golden Flowery (GF) - tea which contains young tips and/or buds from early in the season
Finest (F) - Top grade production
Special Finest (SF) - Highest grade production
Pekoe (P) - Pekoe (pronounced peh-ko) is an unbroken leaf shorter than Orange Pekoe
Orange Pekoe (OP) - Orange Pekoe is an unbroken leaf between 8 and 15 cm in length which is rolled lengthwise
Pekoe Souchong (PS) - Shorter than Pekoe and more coarse
Souchong (S) - Large leaves which are rolled lengthwise

The number "1" may be added to a grade to indicate top quality tea. The tea grading acronyms are combined together, so we see tea grades such as FTGFOP1. This means Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe First Grade. Some common whole leaf grades:

FTGFOP1 (Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe First Grade). Finest top-grade production, mainly from Darjeeling and Assam.
SFTGFOP1 (Special Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe First Grade Leaves). An even higher grade than the previous grade.
TGFOP1 (Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe First Grade) Fine quality with many tips, used in India and Sri Lanka.
TGFOP (Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe). These two grades are the main grades of fine quality Darjeeling and Assam teas.
GFOP1 (Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe First Grade). Most commonly applied to top grade Kenyan teas, but can be used for Indian teas.
FOP (Flowery Orange Pekoe) and FOP1 (Flowery Orange Pekoe First Grade). These two grades indicate second grade tea from India.
OP (Orange Pekoe). This is the main grade of Ceylon and Java teas.
BOP1 (Broken Orange Pekoe First Grade). This grade is most commonly used for Ceylon teas.
It is a mixture of whole leaf and broken leaf tea at an approximate ratio of 40% Orange Pekoe and 60% Broken Orange Pekoe.
Fannings – Very small, broken particles of leaf, slightly larger than “dust”. Generally used in “bagged” tea.
Dust – The smallest particles left behind after sorting the leaf has taken place. Most often used in ‘bagged’ tea.

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