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Tea for You at Christine’s Secret Garden

It’s the kind of secret I think you should know about–especially if you like tea time, and not the kind on the golf course!

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By Jana K. Hoffman

This past Saturday morning I made the short journey from South Side Bethlehem to
Centre Square in Easton to attend the Easton Farmers’ Market for the very first time.
Shocking, I know! As I browsed and bought a bag full of goodies including a beautifully
vibrant bouquet of summery flowers (now sitting on my kitchen window sill), a delicious
bunch of strawberries and a container overflowing with cherries, I decided to make a
pit-stop at Christine’s Secret Garden on Northampton Street before returning home.

An inviting sign stood on the sidewalk just outside the entryway of the well-lit shop.
Owner Christine S. Stazo greeted with me a smile and graciously offered to answer
any questions as I poked around — and that was before I introduced myself as a writer
for the Pocket Guide. Needless to say, she greets every customer just the same.
Now in its fourth year, Christine’s Secret Garden has relocated several times from the
Allentown Farmers’ Market and even to Pen Argyl, PA, before settling in to her new
spot just off the Circle. Don’t let the name fool you, though. Christine’s Secret Garden
isn’t actually a floral shop. In fact, she really doesn’t sell plants, flowers or any sort of
gardening items at all.

Instead you’ll find an assortment of more than 150 fine teas with flavors ranging from a
Hibiscus Green Tea to English teas, generously filled gift baskets, tasty treats for those
with a sweet tooth and even gourmet bites for your pooch.

As Christine and I chatted, I was immediately drawn to a wooden box with Hibiscus
flowers printed on it — they’re my favorite flower. She explained that this type is a black
tea with Hibiscus flavoring giving it a bit of a bite. It can even be consumed to help
lower blood pressure, however, Christine highly recommends contacting your physician
before sipping on a tea for medicinal purposes. I was in awe over the different blends
and bags. Of course, Christine sells accessories to help you brew your loose leaf teas,
too. Just ask!

Now, on to the fine chocolates and gift ideas. I loved the mason jars filled with all of the
necessary ingredients for preparing the perfect soup especially since I’m not that savvy
in the kitchen yet. What a fool-proof idea! Christine carries higher-end chocolates in
cute little tins and pretty wrappers, and even stocks brands per her customers’ requests.
Most of her items are locally made, which makes this local business just that much
more appealing.

Before leaving, Christine mentioned something that struck me as quite a bit odd. She
said many of her customers are men and shop specifically for her teas. I definitely
perceived Christine’s Secret Garden as a very feminine spot. To the contrary, guys stop
in to get their tea fix, too, and Christine has no problem offering blend suggestions to
them or any of her customers, really. I stand corrected!

Next time you’re in the mood to try a new tea flavor or if even if you’re trying to break
the coffee habit, shop local and check out Christine’s Secret Garden for a seriously
satisfying selection.

Christine’s Secret Garden, 249 Northampton St., Easton, 610.250.7085

Jana K. Hoffman is the editorial assistant and resident fashion and beauty expert for Lehigh Valley Style. An experienced and thrifty shopper, she will take you on her retail journeys and report back every other Friday.

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