Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Deepwood Tea Lovers Tea

Historic Deepwood Museum is located in Salem, Oregon, a short distance from the Oregon State Capital.  They offer teas and tours throughout the year and on September 16th I had the pleasure of attending the Tea Lovers Tea.

Upon arrival, guests were guided to the Solarium to await seating for the tea.  We were then lead to our tables located in the rooms on the first floor.  I had the pleasure of sharing the table with a delightful group of people who added an extra element of fun to the occasion.

The event began with a tasting of three varieties of Rose Black Tea.  Roses are a key design element in the home, so of course they serve rose tea.  Unfortunately, the tea they've been serving is no longer being produced, so this was a great opportunity for everyone to experience a guided tea tasting while our tasting notes and feedback could help to select Deepwood's next signature tea.

Following the tasting, our host provided an in-depth introduction to tea including an explanation on the differences between camellia sinensis sinensis and camellia sinensis assamica, the differences between CTC and orthodox tea production, as well as the varieties of tea from white to pu'erh and how to brew them.

Next was a three course meal with a different tea thoughtfully paired with each course.  White Heirloom Pear was paired with the Scone Course, First Flush Darjeeling was paired with the Savory Course, and Forest Green was paired with the Dessert Course.

Following the tea, guests were invited to take a guided tour through the Queen Anne Victorian home. Deepwood was designed by architect William C. Knighton and built in 1894 for Dr. Luke Port and his wife,  Lizzy.   Following the unexpected death of their son, Dr. Port commissioned the stained glass window above the two-flue fireplace featuring three fully bloomed roses representing the surviving members of the family and an unopened rosebud representing their son.  The Ports left Deepwood after only 16 months.  George and Willie Bingham would live in Deepwood from 1895 to 1924.  Clifford and Alice Brown and their two sons moved into Deepwood in 1925.  The gardens designed by Lord-Schryver Landscape Design in 1929 were commissioned by Alice.  Following Alice's departure in 1968, the community successfully campaigned to save the home from being demolished.  It was purchased by the City of Salem in 1971 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

In addition to special events like the tea I attended, the museum offers family-friendly guided tours Wednesday through Saturday for a small fee.  Deepwood's 5 acres of formal gardens, grounds and nature trails are also open to the public from sunrise to sunset every day except during private events.

Visit the Deepwood Events page for a calendar of upcoming events, including a schedule of their Three Course Teas.

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