Brenda Wilson, owner of Michigan’s new Lit’l Cuppa Tea Trailers, recently suggested I share more personal stories in these blog posts. Well, when someone as successful as Brenda talks (her first open summer season booked solid), I listen! So here’s the behind-the-scenes story of our newly released infographic,
“The United States of Afternoon Tea.”
You can’t tell by looking at it, but this one infographic represents two-ish years of research. When the four kids go to school, Destination Tea’s office is open! I hear my father’s oft repeated, “Patience…” at every school closing, holiday, kid sickday and summer break, when I need to pause my Destination Tea alter ego and resume the role of Mom. When I can, I combine the two, consulting with my tech-savvy kids about social media or iPhone photography, or bringing the family to review afternoon tea venues.
Finally, last May before the kids came home for summer, I finished and released our 50th state directory for behemoth afternoon tea state California. Since founding Destination Tea in 2016, I’ve had several “I DID IT!” moments like that one: when I built the website, when I found a way to add the functionality I wanted, and this week, when I designed this infographic. I’m DIYing it all over the place and hoping you all like the results!
What I Learned Researching Afternoon Tea Countrywide
- Every tearoom does not serve afternoon tea, just as every afternoon tea is not served in a tearoom. Have any of you yet gone to an Alamo movie theater’s afternoon tea showings? It’s on my personal bucket list in the company of many other scrumptious, beautiful venues I found during my research.
- Many American tearooms and afternoon tea goers call the meal “high tea,” likely because we think of it as a “high fashion” or “high society” event. Actually, high tea is a very different meal from afternoon tea. A few U.S. tearooms do offer true afternoon tea and high tea menus.
- The Middle and South Atlantic states adore afternoon tea!! They swept the state rankings, with dozens of afternoon tea venues in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and Florida. I’m guessing these states still have significant populations with ties to England, where the tradition began.
- My research turned up some surprises, such as how few afternoon teas are offered in Las Vegas, with its promenade of upscale hotels, and many a bachelorette party coming to town. Is afternoon tea too chill for the Vegas tourist looking to party? I also didn’t expect superhot Florida to have oodles of tearooms (assuming tea is most often taken in colder climates). But then, that warmth also attracts retirees — likely the single largest demographic of tearoom owners — to make Florida home.
Along the way, I’ve met several tea tour groups who organize fabulous week-long destination tea trips, both locally and internationally. Whether you have such great ambitions or are just looking for an afternoon-tea-lover’s paradise for your next trip, I hope you enjoy our report of afternoon tea in the U.S., and share with a friend. Also, please keep those tearoom tips coming – it helps us keep our directories up-to-date. Happy tea travels!