A Steaming Cup of Tea

Legend has it that tea was discovered in China by the divine Emperor Shen Nong, the Father of Agriculture, around 2737 B.C. In reality, Shen Nong is actually a representation of the Chinese ancestors in folklore. While the discovery of tea and numerous inventions are attributed to him, they are in essence the embodiment of the collective wisdom of the people of the time. Nevertheless, it is an undeniable fact that tea did actually exist at that time. The offspring of those ancient wild tea trees still live in the forests of Southwest China--in Yunnan, Sichuan and Guizhou Provinces. Some of these 2,000 to 3,000 year old trees are taller than a ten story building.

The history of tea involves emperors and kings, wars and unsung heroes. The oriental philosopies and wisdom behind tea drinking has been passed down from generation to generation. Ever since it's discovery 5,000 years ago the medicinal qualities of tea have been recognized in Asia and more recently in the rest of the world as well. And in the course of those years time honored rituals and customs have evolved around the drinking of tea, the world's most popluar beverage. Examples of these are the Chinese Tea Ceremony, the Japanese Tea Ceremony and the British Afternoon Tea.

At A Thirst for tea we aim not only to provide you with the finest teas available from around the world but also to include you in our perpetual journey of discovery into the Way of Tea. We do this by offering monthly Tea Tastings, Chinese Tea Ceremonies as well as British Afternoon Teas conducted by Frankee Muller, our Certified Tea Master.

At our Monthly Tea Tastings we typically focus on teas of one particular country. We discuss the history of tea in that country and then sample six or seven different teas. Other times we might focus on one particular kind of tea, such as white or green, and then we would compare and contrast samples of that kind of tea from different countries. Depending upon the number of participants these tastings usually last between two and three hours. After a lively discussion about the history of the country or kind of tea, we follow the format of the Chinese Gongfu Tea Ceremony while tasting the teas, so as to appreciate and evaluate the tea with all of our senses--the look , feel and aroma of the dry and the infused leaves as well as the taste of each tea.

 Afternoon Tea platterAfternoon Tea is scheduled by appointment only and requires at least 48 hours notice.  Groups up to 15 can be accommodated at the Voss Inn Bed and Breakfast. We are also happy to take our tea service to your home. Our menu includes a variety of tea sandwiches and sweets as well as some traditional British items such as Welsh Rarebit and Potted Shrimps. Pricing can be A La Carte or you can choose from several prefix menu selections.

Reservations and inquiries can be made by calling Frankee at (406) 587-0982 or by emailing info@athirstfortea.com.

The Chinese Tea Ceremony is an ancient ritual that dates back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.) It encompasses the sensory exploration and appreciation of tea in all its aspects, utilizing a whole range of pleasures involving ears, eyes, nose, palate and mood. It also embraces the skill involved in the growing and processing of the tea leaves; knowing how to brew fine teas so as to extract the maximum flavor and aroma; cultivating a taste for ceramics and other accessories. Most of all, it is knowing how to relax and savour a brew in pleasant surroundings so that the tea session becomes a short retreat from the stresses and straiins of modern life.

Reservations can be made for private Tea Ceremonies either here at the Voss Inn or at your own home by calling Frankee at (406) 587-0982 or by emailinginfo@athirstfortea.com. For maximum enjoyment we recommend small gatherings of up to four people, as large groups are distracting.