Weekend Foodie Warriors – Take 66! Tea Time & TR Farmer’s Market
Hello hello, again, Foodie Friends 🙂 Hope you’ve had a great week! For this edition of Foodie Adventures, we’re reviewing products from an awesome local tea company called Petals Tea Shop and check out the Traveler’s Rest Farmer’s Market for the first time! 🍵 👩🌾
Petals Tea Shop
The Power House is one of my favorite networking groups I’ve joined in the last couple of years since moving to Greenville. It’s an all-women’s business owner’s empowerment group, made up of those willing to build each other up, bounce ideas off each other, and support one other through the different stages of starting their businesses. From the ideas stage to finding their first brick and mortar, to “what do I name my next product?”, I’ve met such awesome and inspiring people through this group, many of whom you’ve seen my reviews for on the blog already, like Jamie from Comfort & Joy and my favorite sisters Katie and Larissa from Creative Cakes by Larrisa, to name a few.
Today’s review is no different, as the Power House has once again connected me with another amazing businesswoman, Lynn Flake from Petals Tea Shop in Greenville, SC. I sat down with Lynn to ask her about herself and how she got started:
I’m a mom of three and a teacher at Green Charter School, but I’ve also taught in Greenville County and Spartanburg 6 in the past. After years of studying herbalism and gardening, I decided to open a tea shop this year. I also sell jams, scones, all kinds of butter, and tea accesories locally. One day I’d really like to have a brick-and-mortar tea lounge. All the boho vibes, art from local artists, and be a safe work environment for people with special needs to learn job skills.Lynn Flake, Owner, Petals Tea Shop
I grow many of our ingredients in our garden. If I don’t grow it, I aim for locally grown produce and high-quality organic ingredients from around the world.
I have always been a nature lover ever since I was a child. Nature is nothing short of miraculous and I find it the absolute best way to steep myself in the beauty of God. When my husband and I first got married I attempted several different patio gardens in each apartment that we lived in. They failed miserably. I longed deeply for the day when we would become homeowners so that I could have a yard to work with.
Because we built our home, our yard was a completely blank slate. Literally. No grass, no topsoil. Nothing but think dry, hard red clay. The challenge was accepted! I wanted to create a place of beauty and nature for my family. But my passion for gardening goes deeper than just that. Gardening connects with my soul. I never dread the hard work, instead, I welcome it. It’s never a chore or an obligation, it is pure joy. I never walk away from my garden feeling tired — instead, I am always restored. Which says a lot on its own because I absolutely hate sweating. In fact, I’ve never even mowed the lawn before. But I’d be more than willing to play in the dirt all day.Lynn Flake, Owner, Petals Tea Shop
Did you always love tea or was there someone in your family that helped you discover your love of it?
I’m from the south so I was raised on sweet tea, but beyond that my relationship with tea is really only a few years old. For the most part, I gave up drinking sodas as a teenager. As a young adult, I pretty much only drank water and coffee (usually MUCH more coffee than water). But a few years ago I started on a weight loss and wellness journey that led me to tea. Water is great, but at some point you just need to spice it up! At that time I started also learning about all of the health benefits and additional nutrients that tea can offer us. Fast forward to now and while I’m still a huge coffee drinker, I am also an avid tea drinker. Even my four year old and two year old love drinking tea, and although my husband isn’t a tea fan, he is still very supportive.Lynn Flake, Owner, Petals Tea Shop
How often do you come out with new tea blends or does the seasonality of certain plants or fruits have any bearing on what you add to your blends?
When it comes to blending tea, I am both an artist and a scientist. Some of my blends come purely out of creative whims, while others are developed due to a need. I’m always coming out with new blends, sometimes several times a week, and others, it’s maybe one a month. Once I settle on ingredients, what I want the tea to taste like, then it might take several weeks of blending different small batches to make sure I have the recipe just right.
The conditions of the garden and the season do play a huge role in the tea shop. When we first opened in March, we had planned to only be open through spring and summer. We are excited that is no longer the case and that we will be staying open year round! This means constant harvesting, processing, and drying herbs and plants from the garden.
I spend the weekends stocking up on and prepping local produce while the fruits we need are in season, and we put a lot of work into sourcing other organic ingredients from around the world to fulfill the rest of our needs.Lynn Flake, Owner, Petals Tea Shop
Now onto the fun part, of course, the tea party! 😁🍵 Y’all I was soo excited unboxing this package from Lynn (made a video about it and everything), that I went into my cabinet and matched my mugs to which tea blends I thought they would look the best with, and you know I made scones to go along with them too. I’m such a huge tea fan, as my British grandma raised me on tea since I was a little girl.
A lot of the teas you’ll find that I’ve reviewed and that are on Petals Tea Shop’s website are themed after books (specifically Harry Potter blends in my case) which I absolutely love. My mom is a really big HP fan, so I made sure to buy a couple that I know she’d love to try too. I asked Lynn, how did you decide to pull your inspiration from certain books or parts of books, or where else do you find your inspiration from?
I am obsessed with books! I’m a reading teacher and I basically have a library inside of my house. There is nothing better than curling up with a book and a good cup of tea and my bookish teas are a nod to those who share in that secret of life. When I started dreaming up and developing recipes for bookish blends I started with some of my favorite books. These blends are inspired by books that are life changing, deeply cherished, or hugely influential.
In my opinion, a bookish tea is the perfect thing to pair with your book hangover. I currently have about 16 different bookish blends that I am still developing recipes for, and I am always jotting down new ideas!Lynn Flake, Owner, Petals Tea Shop
In Lynn’s words, “There’s no doubt that the Weasley’s are the most adored Ginger family of all time (Molly can definitely be spicy)! So a Spiced Ginger tea seemed like the perfect way to celebrate the Weasley family.” This tea definitely packed a huge ginger punch, with both crystallized ginger, dried ginger root, tons of warming spices, and surprisingly, rainbow peppercorns for an extra spicey note that gave it a lot of warmth.
This one went into my golden “S” mug, and I sweetened it with just a touch of honey. Its base was white tea so the caffeine level was a little lower, which was nice, so this was a great after-dinner drink for me.
Lynn said she wanted the Honeydukes Fruit Tea “to taste like candy as much as possible. It is LOADED with fruit”. As soon as I opened the package, it smelled almost exactly like a fruit rollup in the best way possible!
I love how this tea was super visually interesting while it was steeping. A lot of the petals, fruits, and flowers unfurled as the hot water rehydrated them and they came back to life. This was probably one of my favorite tasting teas as well, as it was super light and refreshing, and the fruitiness really worked well together once they had been steeped together.
Lynn had a lot to say about this last Harry Potter tea I reviewed, the Christmas at Hogwarts tea blend, so I’ll let her take it away:
I am a Hufflepuff! So I wanted to create a special blend to make my house proud. I chose a butterscotch blend of black tea because sweets are such a big part of the Harry Potter world. Calendula seemed like the perfect addition to both get that beautiful pop of yellow and a boost of nutrients. Calendula is known for being an anti-inflammatory flower that is also packed with antioxidants. So this tea taste like dessert, represents my house colors, and is good for you!Lynn Flake, Owner, Petals Tea Shop
This one tasted really warm and fruity. I loved the addition of the cherries, and I thought it was cool that both of the holiday blends that we had tasted were so different from one another. I loved that they were both different enough that they could be used or enjoyed by different people as well.
The next one I was probably the most excited about was the By the Sea – Color Changing Mermaid Tea! This tea contains the Butterfly Pea flower, which according to Lynn, “comes from Thailand and Asia and is traditionally used in Thai cuisines. The flower creates a beautiful deep blue color in dishes and beverages. This ingredient is gaining popularity in the tea world because by adding an acidic ingredient, you change the pH of the liquid and trigger a change in color! You can turn your tea from a beautiful blue to a deep purple or pink just by adding a little bit of lemon or hibiscus.”
You can check out the video I created with my tea, where mine turned from a deep purple to a fuchsia color when I added lemon juice on my Instagram here. I also made cranberry scones to go along with the tea that I topped with my favorite plant-based butter and strawberry jam. The tea was super light, fruity, and floral, and while I don’t recommend putting as much lemon juice as I did in there (unless you plan on making a mermaid tea lemonade with it, which Lynn tells me is delish), I’d stick to maybe adding some honey or just drinking it plain, as it was great on its own.
Last but most certainly not least, Can you say fall?? It is finally September and I’d say it’s high time to break out the Autumn themed everything!
Lynn has a friend that makes mulled wine all the time, and she mentioned that she wanted to create something similar. She blended together this tea recipe called “Mull It Over” based on the same ingredients she uses for her mulled wine — orange peel, cinnamon, allspice, star anise, and clove. Lynn says she cannot wait to take this one camping or to offer it as an alcoholic alternative.
This to me, absolutely tasted like Christmas in a cup. I had Jamie try to guess at which Christmas-y spices he could pick out of this blend, and he got almost every one! The star anise came through a little strong I think but it mellowed out the longer it sat and hung out with the rest of the other spices and additions in the tea.
I think in order of my favorites, I’d have to say the Honeydukes was probably my number one, with Christmas at Hogwarts in a close second, followed by the Spiced Ginger, then the Mermaid Tea, and the Mull it Over in 5th place. I loved all of her teas though and had such a hard time picking these five at all out of the tons she had on her site, and I can’t wait to try more (once I drink these first)! Definitely check her out and keep her in mind for gift-giving ideas for later this season!! 🎁
Is there anything new the Foodie Friends should know about before we go? New tea blends? Promotions? 🍵🙌
In September, we will be starting a monthly subscription box! Subscribers will be able to get Three 1oz teas automatically sent to them each month for $20. At least one of the teas will be a preview of a brand new blend before it is released!
I’m also currently a partner with an organization called Trees for the Future. They work in developing regions to teach sustainable agriculture in an effort to end poverty and hunger and help restore the environment. The organization teaches farmers in developing regions sustainable farming practices that work to regenerate and reforest the land. Our goal is to use our tea shop to support wellness, kindness, and the earth – for every purchase you make with us, 1% of our profits go to Trees for the Future (trees.org).Lynn Flake, Owner, Petals Tea Shop
Traveler’s Rest Farmer’s Market
Traveler’s Rest, SC
I know I know, we’re a little tardy to the party on this one. The Travelers Rest Farmers Market has actually been going on since 2009, with a handful of local farmers, vendors, and was originally held in the parking lot of Sunrift Adventures, according to the farmers market website. The TR Farmers Market then officially became designated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 2014. However, this was actually the first weekend that we had been able to go!
We had spoken with Rise Bakery on social media after hearing about their new opening in the village of West Greenville. We wanted to try out their goodies for ourselves, their owner Julian invited us out to meet him and spend a few minutes talking if we came out to the market that weekend.
We ended up choosing the AM bun, on Julian’s recommendation, and the ham and cheese croissant (which Jamie ate while standing in line getting us coffee from one of our other local faves, Bridge City Coffee). The bun was fantastic, super fluffy, and almost reminded me of the consistency of a really light and airy apple cider donut with the cinnamon and sugar dusted on top. Super excited to check out their new location at 1264 Pendleton St. Greenville, SC 29611 when they open in January next year, mark your calendars!! Until then, you can catch them at the Traveler’s Rest Farmer’s Market or watch their social media for more updates. 🍞💜
So after Rise Bakery, off we went to check out what else the farmers market had to offer. There were quite a few awesome food vendors that you can see in the slideshow below. Some of the favorites that we’ve bought from in the past before include: Diosas Vegan Cheese (do you know she runs the Toasty Farmer Farmer’s Market in the offseason too?), Basta Bakery (shout out to our friend Alexis), Cucina del Borgo, Lumineux Chocolate, and Oak Hill Cafe, who also had a booth.
We saw our friends from Halo Dips next to Rise Bakery as well, who we reviewed on the blog a while ago. They make fantastic homemade dip mixes! Definitely check out TJ’s products if you haven’t already. 😋
I also found a stand called Salome’s Cuisine that was offering lumpia, which are like the Filipino version of egg rolls. While we didn’t try those, I did get to try Filipino food for the first time this week, which I was very excited about! More on that review next week for Throwback Tuesday.
We also got to meet a local farmer from Horseshoe Farm who grew many varieties of peppers for hot sauces and other uses. He gave us two peppers that he had cultivated himself called Crimson Lees. They had the spice level of a jalapeno, but the sweetness and fruitiness of an Italian pepper. We are definitely looking forward to trying out those in one of our next hot sauces we make this weekend!
We were able to buy an absolutely gorgeous cutting board from a local artisan named Appalachian Revelators. We had been looking for a large (and I mean large) cutting board for a while now, as most of ours just really weren’t big enough to handle the amount of cooking we do in our kitchen. This solid maple one with the track around the edge really caught our eye.
He also made some beautiful resin pieces, which we loved, that would make gorgeous charcuterie or cheese boards. Wish we could have snagged one of those too but we only had enough for one this time. It was a blast at this farmers market though and loved the big variety of vendors they had here, would definitely come back again! 😁🙌
So how was your weekend, Foodie Friends? What’s your favorite type of tea or farmer’s market vendor you can’t miss on during the weekend run? Sound out in the comments below to let us know your suggestions of what dishes to make or places we should visit next. As always, feel free to like, comment, & share 🤗