HJ/EDEnterprise Dispatch, Nov. 14, 2005

Taking time for tea at Dassel tea shop

By Kristen Miller
Staff Writer

The tables are set with delicate china while owner, Heather Goodrich, pours a cup of tea for her guests at the Thistlerose Tea Shoppe in Dassel.

Goodrich has been selling English tea for almost 10 years now. Just recently Sarah Goodrich Designs was renamed Thistlerose Tea Shoppe.

The Thistlerose Tea Shoppe is located on Highway 12 in Dassel.

Just recently, the shop had an open house for guests to come and sample the different foods and teas. On Saturday, Nov. 19, the store will be having the Twin Cities Scottish Club for lunch and there will be a bag piper to greet them.

Soon there will be “all the flags flying” outside the Thistlerose Tea Shoppe. Goodrich ordered English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh flags along with the American flag to fly outside the store.

Heather Goodrich is originally from Rochdale, Lancashire in Northern England, the family settled near Hutchinson, and after marrying, moved to the Dassel area.

She has been in business and just recently expanded the menu which includes an assortment of English sandwiches and pastries made fresh daily.

Heather Goodrich makes an assortment of English foods and serves all English teas. Its friendly atmosphere and dainty decor attracts many from miles around.

Good English tea is hard to find in Minnesota apparently. Cameron, Goodrich’s son and part owner told of an expatriate from Britain who lived in San Francisco but was visiting the Twin Cities. This man drove out to Dassel just for a good cup of English tea.

Heather and Cameron’s favorite and most popular tea is PG Tips, an original English black tea. All their teas come directly from the United Kingdom. They also serve and sell British cheese.

Goodrich visits the Dassel-Cokato High School’s English literature class three times a year and brings scones and tea for the kids.

She gets many invitations from area churches and community education to present her fine English foods and teas to the public.

During the Christmas season the Thistlerose Tea Shoppe offers what is called a Christmas High Tea that comes with all sorts of goodies.

The High Tea is $15 and comes with “a lot of food” including sausage rolls, pickled onions, plum cake and also a Christmas cracker.

The Christmas cracker or what the Goodrich’s call “the bang bang cracker,” resembles a large firecracker. When it is pulled apart, it makes a loud noise and inside there is a trinket, a crown and a joke.

The Thistlerose Tea Shoppe offers several goodies and gift ideas. There are English candies, cookies, Scottish jewelry, Scottish tartans and scarves.

There was an “excellent turnout” at their recent open house, Goodrich said. “There were people waiting at the door.” They had a raffle and gave away two tickets to the Mannaheim Steamrollers, two gift certificates to the Clay Coyote, and two passes to the Historic State Theatre in Hutchinson. They also gave a $70- basket of “English goodies.”

The place was packed with people and there were free samples of the different meals, pastries and teas served.

Once a month she goes to Clay Coyote just south of Dassel where she is considered “the tea lady” and brings the store tea to give the guests.

Tea has become quite popular in the past years. Tea was enjoyed by the wealthy in England. There would be a “tea box” to store the tea and keep it safe. It became more prevalent when India and other tea producing countries became colonized by England and tea was then imported to the UK.

The health benefits of tea has also increased the popularity. Some people don’t like or can’t drink coffee and tea is a great alternative.

Some people don’t like tea, but Cameron believes that’s only because they don’t know how to make it properly.

Tea should be made with cold water and brought to a boil in a tea kettle. The tea should be added and brewed for three to five minutes depending on strength preference. “Tea always tastes better in a china cup,” Heather added.

She explained the tale of how tea began. It’s been known that a Buddhist monk sat down to relax a bit under a tree with a cup of hot water. Then a leaf fell into his cup and he decided to taste it and it was good.

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