Producer: Karen Smyles
While tea has always been a part of our lives, it has never reached the popularity of coffee here in the United States. Most of us drink tea when we have a cold or some other illness. But, throughout the world, it is the 2nd most consumed beverage after water, and an important part of everyday life. Here, tea is becoming trendy and more widely appreciated, and considered to have certain health benefits.
In recent years, tea shops and restaurants focusing on tea have been popping up all over, even in shopping malls, and while you can get good teas in tea bag form, many are opting for more traditional loose leaf teas. This is the form that many around the world have always used. It may take a little more effort, but the quality and taste are winning people over.
Friday Arts travels to The House of Tea on South 4th Street in Philadelphia, to talk to owner Jessica Litt. In 1991 her father, Nathaniel Litt opened the shop after studying at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, France, one of the first cities where you could find a shop to actually purchase tea, not to just sit down and have a cup. He decided to open a store here in Philadelphia committed to selling the most exceptional teas from around the world. Jessica gives a brief history of tea and talks about the almost 250 varieties of loose leaf teas that you’ll find on the shelves.
Then we travel to Wayne on the Mainline, to A Taste of Britain to experience all of the deliciousness of a British tea. Owner, Debbie Heth and partner, Edward Pierce, take us around their beautiful shop and restaurant, and chef Lisa McNutt shows us the art of making tea sandwiches.