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Dear Tea Friends,

There’s just enough light left to see the wind scouring the snow from the roof of the brick building that houses the Korean grocer. The snow looks like glitter dusting the shopper struggling to wrap his scarf around his neck while pointing a paper cone of lipstick-pink tulips through the glass doors. I shopped there, too for cake flour and leeks. Dinner will be salmon on a bed of leeks and a fabulous (I hope) chocolate cake from a new recipe.

Recently, I volunteered to help organize tables at the James Beard Foundation’s cook book sale. Well, you know the saying, “No good deed goes un-punished.” At the end of the day, all the orphan books (even the glossy $29.95 full-color photo books) were marked down to $1.00! I couldn’t pass up The Pastry Queen, royally good recipes from the Texas Hill Country’s Rather Sweet Bakery & Café, Irish Heritage Cooking, and 9 other treasures to off-set the 10 books I’d donated. My husband just took the Pastry Queen’s Mahogany chocolate cake out of the oven; when it’s cool I’m going to make her chocolate-pecan glaze. Maybe we’ll just have that with a glass of champagne for dinner!

Speaking of chocolate, a woman who makes hand-made chocolate truffles took my January English-French tea traditions tour and here’s what she and some friends had to say:

The next English-French Tea Traditions Tour will be hosted on
Sat., March 24th.

For details, click here>>


It took some doing, but I’ve discovered some less well- known locations or was able to negotiate and significantly lower the prices of all the tours, just in time for Chinese New Year. Some adventures are now as little as $85-$110 per person.


March 16th, Salt Lake City, Utah

I’ll speaking about Celtic Tea Traditions and signing copies of both my books.
For details, (pdf) click here >>

If time and distance prevent Mom from joining you, honor her by celebrating the day surrounded by warm, wise, and nurturing women. Grab a girlfriend(s); invite your neighbor, office mate or gym pal, but most especially reach out to someone who needs a comforting cup of tea. And come talk to me. I’ll be presiding over afternoon tea on Sat., May 12th at the Peninsula Hotel, in NYC and hosting my own tea table at Arium on Sun. May 13th. Pls. contact me at info@teainthecity.com for details and to reserve your spot.

Join me for a behind-the-scenes tour of Harney & Sons Master Tea Blenders, the headquarters for fine teas in America. This joint guided tour has never been open to the public before and is being extended exclusively to Tea with Friends.

Meet members of the legendary tea family and tour the facility before visiting the tea tasting room which stocks over 150 varieties of tea, gourmet treats, brewing accessories and books. In addition to Harney’s charming shop there’s an antique mall, a book store, classic and vintage clothing stores, home goods including elegant hand-made glass and jewelry, all in one block! This tour also includes a delicious lunch. 

This all inclusive package is being offered for a limited amount of time and will fill up quickly. Tours may be booked Monday through Friday beginning January 19, 2007.

Price: $199 per person; minimum 10 people, maximum 20. 


Reservations Required! Call Toll Free 866-616-1154 or email info@teainthecity.com to check availability on your preferred date.


The Chinese Lunar New Year begins on Sun., February 18 and lasts for 2 weeks. This is the Year of the Pig or Boar. The Chinese believe that it is the “Animal that hides in our heart” which determines human character and fortune. People born in the year of the pig, including Lucille Ball, Humphrey Bogart, Thomas Jefferson, Ernest Hemingway, Alfred Hitchcock, Mahalia Jackson, David Letterman, and Arnold Schwarzenegger are thought to be honest, kind, loyal, patient, tolerant, optimistic and intellectually curious.

I’ve long been curious about the little pig sculptures placed on tea trays at demonstrations of the Chinese-style tea ceremony. Tea Masters like Michael Wong, of NYC’s Tea Gallery (131 Allen Street, Tel. 212- 777-6148), doused his ceramic “tea pet” with hot water while warming the tea utensils. When I visited China last year, on a month-long tea tour, I learned that pig was often considered a rich man’s food. Lesser folk, who could only aspire to have a taste on special occasions, displayed a pottery pig as a good luck charm. If you’d like to shop for tea pets and learn how to order typical dim sum teas with sign language, there will be 2 Chinese Tea Traditions Tours- Sat., Feb. 24th and Sat. March 3rd. Tours are limited to 11 people so email me quickly at info@teainthecity.com to reserve your spot.


The tea world celebrates the anniversary of the death of Sen no Rikyu, Buddhist priest and ancestor of the Sen Schools of Tea, in March.  Sometimes called the “tea saint," it was he who gave the Japanese Tea Ceremony its present shape.

Whether you’re a tea room owner or a passionate tea fan, if you’ve longed to learn about ancient Asian tea traditions, this tour is for you! Our tour begins with a traditional tea ceremony in the Omotesennke Tradition of Tea hosted by Tea Master, Masako Sohga Koike in her private Sohga-an, tea room. Mr. Michael McKenna, who lived in Japan and studied the ritual for 12 years, will explain the elegant ceremony. Following instructions in basic etiquette, our group, seated on tatami mats or comfortable sofas, will be served a typical sweet and freshly made “thin” green tea.

After the ceremony, we will take a short walk to a restaurant selected by Ms. Koike, to enjoy a contemporary Japanese lunch followed by a visit to a famous confectionary store to see and sample wagashi sweets artfully shaped like seasonal fruits and flowers. There’ll also be opportunities to browse for books about Japanese tea traditions as well as shop for beautifully packaged loose teas, teapots, and tea-related accessories, including bamboo charcoal, said to sweeten tea-brewing water. 

This tour is offered only on
Sat., March 10th and is limited to 14 people.


© 2007 Elizabeth Knight - Tea With Friends | Website design by Susan Newman Design