City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More

Featured Article

Tea Time

Anna Marie's Teas in Liberty is everyone's cup of tea

Care for a spot of tea?

Chances are, you read that sentence with a British accent. Many are still inclined to think of “tea” as something that people partake in across the pond, a cup and saucer accompanied by a chocolatey biscuit in the middle of the afternoon with pinkies raised. And, for some, that describes the quintessential tea experience. For others, however, a soothing cup of green tea or white champagne blend takes the place of the cup of coffee that others rely on to get them through the day.

Anna Marie’s Teas in Liberty is a valuable resource to educate yourself about the beverage and pick up fun accessories that heighten the experience. So, drop those pinkies and open your mind to the role that tea can play in your day, your health and special occasions that call for a tiered tray of sweets and brimming cup of comfort.

If you think that black and green tea are your only tea options, you probably fall into the Tea: 101 class for beginners. Walk into Anna Marie’s Teas and a world will open up to you. Almond Lemon Parina Cotta. Formosa Oolong. Mango White Pear. Subtle or strong, floral or spicy, there is a loose leaf just right for you waiting to be discovered.

Owner Brenda Hedrick originally owned an antiques and gift shop in Liberty that featured various teas and accessories, and later opened the charming shop in Liberty’s historic downtown area for tea lovers who are looking for their favorite blends or just in the mood to try something new. Anna Marie is a beloved family name, and the shop and its well-known tea parties are a true family effort, with daughters Sarah and Selena both involved, as well as granddaughter Molly.

The shop’s rooibos tea selection is among the most popular; the South African plant has no caffeine, low tannins and is rich in antioxidants. With various blends like gingerbread chai, coconut almond, chocolate rum and carrot cake, the rooibos tea options are as abundant as the flavor. If you’re really looking for something special, the blueberry lemonade blend is a combination of rooibos, honey bush, black tea with blueberry and lemon bits.

For those looking to embrace the traditional tea experience, the Hedricks host tea parties throughout the year tailored to specific themes. Held at their beautiful 1913 home in Liberty, the entire first floor is transformed into a classic tea room with individual tables that need minimal decoration given the beauty of the house itself.

“The world is progressively getting harder and harder to live in,” Sarah says. “Our tea parties are an oasis for people to connect. That’s why we keep doing it. We feel like we’re giving back to the community.”

With everything from Spring Time Teas to Shabby Chick Porch Parties and Spooky Tea Times to welcome the falling of autumn leaves, guests can attend multiple events and feel like they have a completely different experience. And, as wonderful as they all are, there’s something special about the Christmas time teas that offer a chance to sit and simply enjoy the magic of the season. True to traditional tea parties, the beverage is accompanied by a three-tiered tray consisting of savories (typically tea sandwiches), scones and sweets. 

Everything about the tea experience is sweet (literally and figuratively), including the sweet send off in email exchanges with Anna Marie’s Tea Shop – “until we steep again.”

Fun fact: Afternoon tea was reportedly first introduced in 1840 by the Duchess of Bedford because, well, she was hungry. Dinner wasn’t served until around 8 p.m., so she began to ask for tea and snacks delivered to her room around 4 p.m., a practice that eventually started including her friends as a social get together. By the 1880s, it was a daily custom, women wearing hats and gloves for the late afternoon tradition.

Anna Marie's Teas

9 W Franklin Street, Liberty

(816) 792-8777

“Our tea parties are an oasis for people to connect. That’s why we keep doing it. We feel like we’re giving back to the community.”