Sunday, May 26, 2013

Tea in Bisbee

We found tea in Bisbee!
The thought of tea rooms might seem foreign in a place like the desert southwest, but tea is a beverage that can be consumed and enjoyed wherever you go. But, sometimes it takes a bit of work to find places that distribute or serve quality teas. That makes the search all the more interesting.

Houses built on Bisbee hillsides.
Bisbee, Arizona is a small town of a few more than 6,000 people and it's located in southeast Arizona, not far from the Mexican border. It was founded in 1880 as a mining town. Copper, gold, and silver were largely mined there, with by-products like turquoise, cuprite, aragonite, wulfenite, malachite, azurite, and galena being found as well. The town was named after Judge DeWitt Bisbee who was one of the financial backers of the famous Copper Queen Mine. The town is built on hills, with layer upon layer of houses and buildings gracing all levels of the community. Long sets of stairs are used in many places to reach houses on the higher levels. It seems like Main Street is the only level place in town.

Grandpa walking on Main Street
Main Street winds one-way through town, with Clawson Avenue running back the other way. It's a fun loop to walk, as the buildings are old and quaint. The mines are now closed, although tourists are now taken deep into a mountain that contains the Copper Queen Mine. Each guest is given a hard hat, a miner's headlamp and a yellow slicker before they are set aside small rail carts that go 1,500 feet into the mine. Tour guides are former employees of the now-closed Phelps Dodge Company who owned the mine. It's all very authentic and exciting, especially when the tour guide has everyone turn off their headlamps and you see how dark it really is underground!

Narrow streets and many tourists make walking single-file necessary.
Now days, Bisbee is a haven for artisans and retired folk. It was once named quirkiest city in American, a title that I believe is well deserved. Quaint shops with interesting things to see line the streets. Antique stores, art galleries, small cafes, used bookstores, museums, and quirky clothing stores can be found. Beads, gauze and tie-dye, and flashy cowboy boots all meld together into a fashion-sense that seems completely normal there. Away from the shops of town, beautiful old hotels and homes can be seen and appreciated.

Quaint and pretty southwestern tea shop.
It was along Main Street that Divine Teas & Novelties was found. Proprietor Lilith claims to have the only blending tea store in the state. She creates blends with organic teas and medicinal ingredients. Lined behind the counter are gallon jars filled with these delightful blends of black, green, white, herbal, chai, rooibos, and medicinal teas and tisanes. A spicy fragrance fills the air and customers are allowed to breath deeply of the ingredients in the jars of tea they are most interested in. 

The door is open and invites everyone inside.
Unfortunately, a cup of tea could not be purchased in the shop, as the only teas and tisanes sold were by the scoop, then bagged to be brewed at home.

Tea ware, both old and new.
The novelties were mostly tea related accoutrements, teacups, and teapots. Some were antique and others were new.

The Copper Queen Hotel
A cup of hot water and a tea bag could be found in the restaurant at the famed Copper Queen Hotel. 

Main Street winds through Bisbee.
Our tea picnic.
Or, in enjoyed in the back of our pick-up where thermos' of hot, brewed and decanted tea were enjoyed with our picnic lunch. If you ever have a chance to visit Bisbee, be sure to allow enough time to explore this wonderful little gem!

It was a pleasant day in a pretty town.


  1. Gosh, I really missed out! Only drove through a few times when we lived in AZ years and years ago. It did seem quaint and charming and I'm sure that I mentioned that I'd like to take a closer look and I'm equally sure that it fell on deaf ears. I'm curious to know what exotic tea concoction you may have purchased.

  2. It does look like a gem to stroll through...

  3. Oh man oh man, La Tea Dah. Your posts are bringing up a lot of memories for me. I used to LOVE to visit Bisbee.

    It's such a charming little place, isn't it?

    The one regret I have is that we were all ready to go into the copper mine on a tour and I chickened out. I just felt like we were driving into a tomb.

    Our kids were little them but REAL disappointed since none of us went on the tour after my piteous hissy fit.

    I'm sorry I couldn't have mustered up enough courage to go on that tour. Did you go?

    Glad you found a tea shop. They should sell cups of it inside the shop. The Copper Queen I remember, too. I don't think I wanted to stay there though. Seemed a little haunted. ha ha ha ha Susan

  4. Now this looks like quite a unique place to visit! Love how the houses were built all hodge-podge on the hills. The tea shop sounds like a fun place to visit as well.

  5. What a pretty little town and so fun to find a tea shop there. Thanks! Love the tour.


Thank you for commenting on my blog post. I am always happy to hear from blog readers. Your words encourage and inspire me. I am glad you stopped by to share conversation, recipes, ideas, and thoughts on creating a welcoming home.