Text by Betty Terry • Photography by John O’Hagan
Kentucky, especially the Bluegrass Region in the central part of the state, is known for two things—horseracing and bourbon. But sipping another brew is gaining popularity there. Gay Reading of Lexington’s Greentree Tearoom attributes the rise of tea drinking to Kentuckians’ longtime affinity for the British Isles. “We are the horse capital of the world,” he points out. “When people from this area go to Europe, they typically visit England and Ireland—horse-racing countries but also tea-drinking countries.” And as a recent trip to Kentucky demonstrates, owning a tea business in the Bluegrass State is often a family affair. From tea shops run by husband-and-wife teams to sisters who host afternoon tea, these delightful tea businesses will welcome you like a member of the family.