Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Music City Tea - Nashville,TN

Jenny of Music City Tea!
A few weeks ago I was in Nashville to visit with some of my girlfriends family and I happened to remember that there was a teashop in the city! Naturally, I had to have a visit! Upon entering the strip mall where Music City Tea is located, I was greeted by "Tea" in huge letters above the storefront. Upon entering the corner shop, I was enveloped by tea related items everywhere. Making my way around floor shelving full of tea pots and gaiwans, I went to the back of the store to say hello to the owner.

One packed island!
Different view of island!
Unfortunately Jenny, the owner, was ill and wasn't able to drink tea or stand due to doctors orders but still entertained guests and genuinely looked happy to be in her store. I sat down with Jenny to talk about her teas and tea ware available. I was told that most, if not all, of her teas come from her family's tea farm in the wuyi region. Being an Oolong fan, I couldn't help but crack a smile. She went on about the care that they take and told me to sit at the main tea table for samples of a few teas of my choosing. With the assistance of some friends(of Jenny's) helping run the store; I choose to sample a dark roasted wuyi, a green tieguanyin, and a flavored tea my girlfriend was interested in.
Different view of island!
Different view of island!
Our samples were prepared "gong fu" style by a child of one of the friends helping run the store. While the tea may not have been prepared to my standards/tastes, I cant help but commend the young girl for being so involved in culture at such a young age. I was able to get the notes I needed from each cup prepared and found that the High Roasted Wuyi Oolong was a tea that fits my current flavor profile. I can say that all the tea I saw looked very nice and was priced very fair.

Lots of pictures of Jennys
family farm
Pictures of tea sets/tables
After our session I wandered the small store looking for some new tea items. Jenny makes it hard not to spend your whole paycheck in her store. Like a traditional Chinese woman, she is a bartering queen. I would pick up an item to ask the price and would consistently be quoted less, sometimes much less than the tag on the item. I was able to pick up a full set of gongfu tea tools, a 100g bag of the dark roasted wuyi, a small container of the tea my girlfriend liked, a pixiu tea pet, two bamboo coasters, and a scent cup for just over 40 dollars. I could have easily (and strongly debated) picked up a tea table, a new yixing pot, or even a few more bags of her family's tea!

With Jenny's warm welcoming presence and the quaint store with teaware on nearly every surface of the shelf's, my visit to Music City Tea was a great experience. This was my first visit to a tea store specifically catering to gong fu style brewing and I was not let down at all. All I can do is advise you to stop at Jenny's store if you are ever around Nashville, Tn. She will take care of you!

*I wasn't able to take pictures of everything in the store. I was too interested in looking and talking with everyone!