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.
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.
Scones & Spreads, Savories and Sweets
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.
Cinnamon chip and blueberry scones precede the dessert course, which includes pistachio and raspberry macarons…
Fresh berry blend and, la pièce de résistance…
…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.
Just when you think you’ve reached your sweet limit…strawberry chocolate cream torte
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.
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.
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.
I revisit the tea collection to take home some goodies.
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.)