Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Todd & Holland Tea Merchants: Forest Park, Illinois

If you love tea, you only have to visit Todd & Holland once to know that you'll be back.  It is a tea-lovers paradise. 

In my adult life, I have sought out tea moments. I've visited tea farms, been to tea tastings, had high tea in England and sipped blends in the tea salons of Paris.  If you think of life as college, I sometimes I feel like I've minored in Tea.  Not a bad way to live, I say.  I'm probably the only one of my friends that longs for a temperature-specific tea kettle that lets you select the perfect temperature for brewing "Green Tea", "Black Tea" etc. 


Anyhoo, I say all of this because I know about or have tried just about everything in this shop and I approve!  What a selection.  The variety of tea they offer is mind-boggling.  Pretty teapots and mugs are everywhere - displayed in a way that gives them the attention they deserve.
The photo (above) is of their tea station.  You are to help yourself to one of several different hot or iced teas (in pretty glass mugs) that you can enjoy while you shop.  Love it!

You can also see in the background that they have a gorgeous selection of dish towels too.  Their dishtowel choices were lively, interesting and fun - a far cry from the dismal choices I have seen lately in other home stores.  I liked everything about Todd & Holland. Bravo, Aberdeen, for insisting we stop and shop.  

When you click the link to visit their website, I encourage you to watch the video tour of the store.  It is informative and can give you a true sense of their tea selection. I particularly enjoyed trying the "sniffing jars" in person.  They have a small jar of each tea displayed with the packaged tea for sale.  You can shake the jar and then open it and take in the aroma of that particular blend. It is a great idea and gives customers a better sense of what each tea is like.

I found what I was looking for: Japanese Matcha (powdered tea leaves) that I like to add to smoothies.  The powder is loaded with antioxidants. And I bought a mesh tea strainer with a bamboo handle (there were at least five sizes to choose from!).  I brought it home and it fits perfectly inside my glass teapot.  Score.

If you are ever in the Forest Park area of Chicago, you must treat yourself to a cup of tea and a wander through Todd & Holland.  I guarantee that you'll find something you need.  

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