Museum to introduce special tea blend


Eustis, FL –


Kathy Niles, who owns Tantalizing Tea in Eustis, used her unique knowledge of loose teas to craft a unique blend of Chinese oolong tea, orange peel and citrus fragrance for the Eustis Historical Museum that evokes the early years of Eustis and the historic Clifford House.


“The museum asked me to blend fragrances and tastes that would speak to the area’s long history with citrus,” says Niles, whose company sells specialized tea blends to stores and individuals around the world. “Knowing that Eustis was once the ‘Citrus Capital of the World’ helped me find the right ingredients to tell the story of the house.”


For Eustis Historical Museum President Timothy Totten, the special tea blend is a unique opportunity to share the history of early Eustis with the community.


“Mr. Clifford tried to begin construction the house in the 1890’s,”

says Totten. “But the Great Freeze of 1894-95 destroyed the citrus crop and the local economy for many years.”


G. D. Clifford, who kept his dry goods store open by extending credit to the beleaguered grove owners in the area, had to postpone the construction of the family’s dream home until the citrus industry recovered. The Clifford family was finally able to move into the home on Thanksgiving Day 1911, sixteen years after the freeze.


For Niles, whose teas have been featured in venues as far flung as the Sundance Film Festival and as prestigious as the annual congressional luncheon presented by Senator Mel Martinez, the opportunity to create a tea for the museum was a new and satisfying challenge.


“I’ve lived in Eustis since 1973,” says Niles. “Being able to give back to this community by honoring it’s history is a privilege.”


The Clifford House Blend will be introduced on Saturday, March 17th during the Second Annual Clifford House Artisan Market on the grounds of the museum. Niles will be on hand to offer samples of the tea and to teach more about proper preparation of loose teas. The market, which features more than forty artisans displaying and selling their local art, takes place from 10am - 4pm and is free to the public.