Shelley Richardson’s influence on the American tea scene began in 1994 with the publication of her first book, A Year of Teas at the Elmwood Inn. Her creative culinary and tea stylings were soon noted by the UK Guild of Tea Shops in 2002 when they named Kentucky’s Elmwood Inn as the first American addition to their prestigious Best Tea Rooms list. Two more books, A Tea for All Seasons and The Tea Table, soon followed as a growing tea culture looked to Shelley for inspiring recipes and teatime inspiration.
A Shelley put aside her 14-year-old tearoom in 2004 to help develop the Richardson’s wholesale tea business, Elmwood Inn Fine Teas and their publishing division, Benjamin Press. Shelley and Bruce Richardson produced three tea travel guides to New York, London and Paris with fellow authors Jane Pettigrew and Elizabeth Knight. The couple has hosted annual tea seminars for aspiring tea entrepreneurs for sixteen years.
A former clarinetist and music educator, Shelley continues to nurture her artist’s spirit as a Reiki practitioner and a devoted student of the way of tea.