My Cup of Tea:
A Sip of Hope & Love
By Sandi Butler Hughes
Photos courtesy of My Cup of Tea
A warm cup of tea is pleasant and inviting, and it is a perfect analogy for the work of local nonprofit, My Cup of Tea. The organization offers love and support, employment and training, and stability and security to women in Orange Mound.
My Cup of Tea is located at the corner of Carnes and Semmes in the heart of the Orange Mound neighborhood. The house is beautifully renovated and serves as headquarters, shipping site, and refuge. My daughter Lucy and I googled “tea shops” on a chilly, fall afternoon. We were simply hoping for a warm jolt of caffeine, and we came away with so much more.
When we walked into the front door of My Cup of Tea we were greeted by a vivacious woman who welcomed us inside. We learned they don’t serve tea, but we were shown into a sunny retail area where we could buy boxes of tea and tea-related accessories. She told us a bit about the variety of teas available and pointed out a couple of her favorites. We asked about the chandeliers hanging overhead, and we knew this was a place offering much more than good tea. The chandeliers are made of dangling tea cups, hanging by their handles. She explained that each of the cups is damaged or chipped, and the cups represent the women at My Cup of Tea because even though imperfect, they are beautiful, loved, and full of purpose.
The mission of My Cup of Tea is “to walk with women beyond the boundaries of poverty and neglect and assist them in finding their purpose.” Many of the women have experienced trauma in their lives, and with companionship they are creating a better life with love and kindness, through the conduit of tea. Carey and Rick Moore founded My Cup of Tea in 2015. They had been working in the Orange Mound community with other organizations, and they realized a critical need for jobs for women, who make up approximately 55% of the population in Orange Mound. At least 65 women have been employed since the beginning eight years ago, but hundreds in the Orange Mound community have been affected because most of these women care for children, grandchildren, and/or extended family. My Cup of Tea strives to provide the women with the tools they need to thrive financially, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually by providing financial workshops, adult education assistance, Bible studies, and other programs.
My Cup of Tea imports the highest quality teas that are weighed, re-formatted, and packaged for sale. Some of the teas have clever Memphis-themed names such as Bluff City Chai, Blue Suede Shoes Organic Wild Blueberry, and Orange Mound Porch Peach. A limited edition tea, Seeking The Dream, is reminiscent of an orange dreamsicle, and the box features the work of local artist Danny Broadway. The 70+ teas are available at the retail shop, online, and numerous locations including Palladio, Novel in Laurelwood, and many more.
Stability, friendships, dignity, and hope can all be found in the tea from My Cup of Tea. Maybe that is why it tastes so good.
Visit shopmycupoftea.com for more recipes, shop teas, or to make a donation.
Winter Wonder Latte
2 tea bags of My Cup of Tea Winter Wonder Orange Spice Tea
12 ounces boiling water
2 cups whole milk
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
Cinnamon sticks and star anise for garnishing
Heat water to boiling. Steep tea bags in a teapot with 12 ounces of water or individually in mugs with 6 ounces of water in each. Steep 8-10 minutes.
While the tea is steeping, steam milk on the stovetop. When the milk is steamed, pour into a large bowl and froth the milk with a whisk.
Remove the tea bags from the cup or pour the tea from the pot into the cups about half to two-thirds full. Add 1 teaspoon sugar to each cup and stir; top with frothed milk and garnish with a cinnamon stick and/or star anise.
My Cup of Tea: A Sip of Hope & Love