Destination Tea: Southern Roots Spice Shop

Where:  Chamblee, Georgia
Style:  Inviting cafe, sup de luxe kitchen
Tea Selection:  35+ loose leaf teas by Adagio Teas
Teatimes:  Tuesday to Saturday 7 to 9 pm; Sunday 10 am to 12 pm
Reservations:  Required with online deposit
Contact: Reserve here or 404-832-0533
Cost:  $25 Private Tea Party (plus $75 deposit)
Destination Tea Tips:  Try the Bewitching Tea! We recommend leaving time to shop their shelves of all-natural spices and high quality teas. Southern Roots also offers an optional spice tasting, which we loved as a follow-on activity after our teatime.

Prices and teatimes are subject to change. Please see our Georgia afternoon tea directory for the latest details.

exterior tea party at Southern Roots Spice Shop in Chamblee, GA

Destination Tea Notes: Don’t let this new spice shop’s unassuming storefront deceive you. At least half the guests at our Southern Roots Spice Shop tea party commented that this was one of their best afternoon tea experiences yet. Once you meet the hosts, “The Seasoner” Todd McKinley and his husband Lynn Brewington, you’ll see why. No staid teatime, this tea party is interactive from start to finish, peppered with lively storytelling and shared laughs.

Upon entering, we walk past the inviting cafe area, where coffee, teas and treats are sold, to the back of the shop where two full walls are lined with spice shelves, and our beautifully set tea table awaits. After enjoying our meal, we each take a little basket and tiny tasting spoon, and begin our spice tasting journey, touring the entire spice collection with Todd as our guide. Everyone finds several treasures to take home, from loose leaf teas and granulated honey to gourmet salts and one-of-a-kind spice blends. Looking around at my smiling friends, I think Todd and Lynn have a proprietary seasoning they freely share: a sprinkling of happiness.

speakeasy cafe before tea party at Southern Roots Spice Shop in Chamblee, GA
The cafe is styled like a Speakeasy lounge, with tufted leather and velvet seating.
seating at Southern Roots Spice Shop in Chamblee, GA
A pony wall gives these gorgeous armchairs some privacy.
spice shop at Southern Roots Spice Shop in Chamblee, GA
So much to explore in the spice shop
afternoon tea table at Southern Roots Spice Shop in Chamblee, GA
Our tea table fits perfectly into the space between the tasting counter and spice shelves.
vintage china at Southern Roots Spice Shop in Chamblee, GA
Loving this table setting, which successfully combines modern furnishings with mix-n-match teaware, including several vintage pieces, and a daisy ribbon runner

Tea Service

sampling teas at Southern Roots Spice Shop in Chamblee, GA
Todd starts us in the tea corner, smelling teas to find our choices for the day.
smelling teas at Southern Roots Spice Shop in Chamblee, GA
We like that Todd points out his favorites, but also finds out about our tastes to help us find our teas. Choices range from herbal and rooibos to green, oolong and black.

Scones & Spreads, Savories and Sweets

tea sandwiches at tea party at Southern Roots Spice Shop in Chamblee, GA
Naturally, some of the Spice Shop’s seasonings must make an appearance in the tea menu. The Seasoner’s paprika is blended with cream cheese for the cucumber sandwiches. Well-loved by the whole group, these tea sandwiches get some variety from smoked salmon, prosciutto and grape tomato toppers.
scones and macarons at tea party at Southern Roots Spice Shop in Chamblee, GA
Cinnamon chip and blueberry scones precede the dessert course, which includes pistachio and raspberry macarons…
fresh berries at Southern Roots Spice Shop in Chamblee, GA
Fresh berry blend and, la pièce de résistance…
fresh whipped cream at tea party at Southern Roots Spice Shop in Chamblee, GA
…Fresh whipped cream, which I am not ashamed to say is refilled for us at least once. Delicious with the scones and the berries, the cream is a delightful surprise under this china cloche.
chocolate strawberry torte at Southern Roots Spice Shop in Chamblee, GA
Just when you think you’ve reached your sweet limit…strawberry chocolate cream torte
Todd and Lynn chatting with us at tea party at Southern Roots Spice Shop in Chamblee, GA
Todd shares some afternoon tea history with us. I especially appreciate his inclusion of ugly truths, that “the trading of people brought down the price” of sugar (by producing it with unpaid, enslaved labor). As he says, “black folks have a toe in everything” and these poignant thoughts are especially appropriate on this day (it is Juneteenth). I am glad we are here, in Todd and Lynn’s establishment, putting our luxuries into context, and celebrating the success of their wonderful business.
spice collection at tea party at Southern Roots Spice Shop in Chamblee, GA
How can we not explore this spice wonderland? I love learning that Southern Roots uses NO thickening agents or chemical compounds in their products, rather sourcing all-natural ingredients from small U.S. growers.
tasting spices at tea party at Southern Roots Spice Shop in Chamblee, GA
Todd aka The Seasoner is an amazing host. He has an energetic way of sharing backstories and descriptions of all the spices without tiring his audience, and we happily make our way through the entire collection, tucking our favorites away into personal shopping baskets.
teas at tea party at Southern Roots Spice Shop in Chamblee, GA
I revisit the tea collection to take home some goodies.
happy tea friends with Todd McKinley at tea party at Southern Roots Spice Shop in Chamblee, GA
Thank you Todd and Lynn! Everyone had a great time. (And p.s., my family instantly loved your Mango Chipotle Rub, which I used on chicken thighs with sweet and poblano peppers.)
DestinationTea
Tea Voyageuse, discovering the world of afternoon tea, based in Atlanta, Georgia.

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