A favorite scene in the classic 1964 Walt Disney film "Mary Poppins" has Julie Andrews as everyone's favorite storybook nanny hosting an afternoon tea party in the country cottage of Uncle Albert, played by bespectacled comedian Ed Wyn.
What makes Poppins' tea party so unusual is she, along with all the guests, float in the air, since she holds her party on the ceiling.
Canadian-based tea company Davids Tea, which has come to Chicago, also likes to pride itself on everything usual and unique about tea.
My favorite find is their "toasted marshmallow tea" offering.
They plan to open three locations around Chicago this fall, with the first opening this week, heralded by a VIP tea party tonight to celebrate the grand opening. A guest tea mixologist will be on site mixing up specialty tea-infused cocktails to help toast the occasion.
This first location, at 1645 N. Damen, opened Saturday, with the additional stores to open by the end of the year at 3530 N. Southport in Southport Corridor and at 922 W. Armitage in the Lincoln Park neighborhood.
This urban company, founded in 2008 by David Segal, 31, and his older octogenarian cousin Herschel, focuses on retail loose leaf tea that is "fun, exciting and fresh."
"Since the creation of the company, becoming a part of the fabric of a community is of utmost importance to us," said David, who personally selected the Chicago neighborhoods to base his three new locations.
"We wanted to come to Chicago because of the city's strong support of culture and pride in the neighborhoods."
Seems like a natural business model. Tea has been the drink of both royalty and everyday commoners for nearly 5,000 years. It can be found in almost every country and every culture around the world, with wars having been fought over these select assembled dried leaves for brewing.
I'm told Segal's signature blends are packed with creative ingredients (and names) such as "Read My Lips," a black tea with chocolate, vanilla, mint and red candy lips, and "Goji Pop," a bright red fruit infusion packed with goji berries.
The retail areas of the stores also include a variety of related gift items and necessary tea-appropriate accessories.
"Chicago is one of the nation's best cities for food and drink, so naturally, we are thrilled to introduce our unique approach to tea to the Chicago area," said Davids Tea CEO Jevin Eagle.
FYI: davidstea.com or (773) 697-9737