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Our mission is to walk with women beyond the boundaries of poverty and neglect and assist them in finding their purpose.


My Cup of Tea is a non-profit, social enterprise located in the heart of Orange Mound, considered the oldest African American community in America. We import the highest quality tea from tea estates and gardens in the Far East to The House at Orange Mound, where it is weighed, re-formatted, and packaged for sale by women who impact the historic neighborhood.

Their lives are stabilized and dignified through training and purposeful work. Resources for personal and professional growth are included daily to enable them to provide for their families and serve their community.

Your purchase online or at one of our local retailers opens a pathway for positive change, upward mobility, and pride for the courageous women who prepare our tea. You can also directly donate to My Cup of Tea. 

What Customers Are Saying:

"So glad I took the time and found the time to drive over there. Lovely, lovely lovely."
Linda G.
"Excellent tea and great location in the orange mound community. The founders Mr. Richard and Mrs. Carey More have created a world class operation benefiting women in the community while proving a high quality tea product."
Dwayne J.
"It's more than a tea shop; it's a teaching facility/family for many women! They sell teas of all kinds and have entrepreneurial classes to empower women to change or enhance their lives. Please visit and patronize."
Dr. R.
"This is a GEM of a place. The staff is nice, friendly and knowledgeable of the product. This need to be you go-to place all things tea."
Keeling A.
"I ordered tea from this shop for the first time. The caramel tea was just what I was looking for. It was just like the tea I bought in Poland."
Susie E.
"Absolutely wonderful organization and outstanding tea. I cannot stop talking about this place to my family and friends. If you are in Memphis this is a must visit. My good friend Cheryl will be there to greet you with a smile."
Valisa G.
"These ladies are passionate about what they do and always eager to please and to share their life journey. And the tea is spectacular! I think I've tried most of them, but I'll return often to be sure I don't miss a single one. Right now I'm obsessed with the camomile, so pure it will help you sleep peacefully all night long!"
Melissa K.
"Always a great experience! Plus a great community program. I went for honey sticks and left with 4 packs of those, an infuser, and a mug."
"Awesome tea, inspirational ministry that empowers women!"
Rebecca E.
Home is Where the Art Is

Home is Where the Art Is

Three years ago, in partnership with the Orange Mound Arts Council, My Cup of Tea launched an effort to support Black artists, raise the profile of the Orange Mound community, and to grow support for our social enterprise that employs women from the neighborhood. We have been blessed with the opportunity to work with some of Memphis’ most talented artists, all of whom have their work displayed in homes and businesses across the nation. Their stunning paintings have helped us sell out of the tea boxes that display their artwork, which, of course, helps us keep local women employed.

This past Friday, just as in previous years, we unveiled the creation of the selected artist and the tea box that displays the new artwork. This year’s artist, Darlene Newman, grew up and lives just outside the borders of Orange Mound and has been a professional artist for over 22 years. Darlene’s work is bright and whimsical, but full of depth and commentary on her faith journey and lived experience.

Drive through the Memphis community, and you will find her murals decorating places like the South Memphis Farmer’s Market. Her creations have been displayed in galleries in New Orleans, Atlanta, and Nashville, and she has traveled across the country to many different states to share her work. Darlene is also the creator of “Orange Mound Bound,” an animated series that will be shown on Amazon and Roku TV.

For My Cup of Tea, Darlene painted an homage to the traditional “shotgun” homes that were once synonymous with living in Orange Mound. Those homes are less common today, but part of the rich history of this proud community. Darlene named the acrylic, “Happiness at Home.” The work is based on an actual house on Hanley Street in the Cherokee community of Memphis.

“My hope is that my artwork not only adds beauty to these tea boxes but also symbolizes the strength and resilience of the women working at My Cup of Tea,” says Darlene Newman. “Their dedication to creating a better future for themselves and their community is truly inspiring.”

We have named the tea, “Home” to recognize and honor the neighborhood where the My Cup of Tea ladies live and work, but also to communicate that the sisterhood that has evolved has made the House at 3028 Carnes and the experiences we share there feel like home.

For an experience so intense and a work of art so warm and inviting, we needed a complementary tea. Debbie Hert, our tea expert, with the help of some of the ladies and some of our customers, chose Lemon Ginger Oolong to fill the tea box. This tea has a robust and fresh lemon flavor with the warmness and spiciness of freshly peeled ginger. It is a tea that from the first sip connotes the fondness of wherever you call home.

As in past years, we have licensed a limited number of tea boxes with the artist’s work on the front. These are available for $15 until they are all sold. What is different this year is that you also have the opportunity to own a signed, limited edition canvas print of this exquisite artwork. Darlene is allowing our customers to preorder prints.

Finally, we have been blessed by the partnership without friends at the Orange Mound Arts Council, and our winning artists, Andre Miller, Danny Broadway, and Darlene Newman. However, the success of this annual event would not have been possible without our customers and supporters. Thank you for supporting our artists, buying the tea box, and sharing our mission with your family and friends.

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One Neighborhood At A Time

One Neighborhood At A Time

Last Thursday the citizens of Memphis elected a young energetic mayor named Paul Young.  His acceptance to lead in our city’s recovery, redemption, and restoration was motivating and inspiring, and he challenged us constituents without notes. 

“I want to make sure that together we go through a transformation, a transformation that’s going to take us from hopelessness to hopeful; from poverty to prosperity, from hurt to healing, from stalled to thriving, and from good to truly great,” he said.


There is much ahead for the transformation of our city, and many will be enlisted to join the many already engaged. Orange Mound is only one of over 100 neighborhoods in Memphis. My Cup of Tea is among several other organizations here and committed to do our part. We join with our common love for our community and a desire to see it flourish. Mayor Young’s eloquent words, in a rhythmic cadence, are similar to the call we share with the neighbors on our block.  At least weekly as we work, pray, and plan at the House in Orange Mound, we beckon our employees to work for the neighborhood’s healing.

 When we began our mission 10 years ago, the emphasis was therapeutic and self-improvement discipleship.  Extending resources to move single moms to stability above the poverty line was our goal, and we selected Orange Mound because of its proximity to the middle of the city and its reported needs. We discovered the rich history and the neighborhood pride after we bought properties here.

A decade has found us faithful to our initial vision. Now we have contextualized our discipleship beyond personal growth and piety and   have expanded our assignment beyond our fences. There is a refreshed sense of public engagement and interest in the neighborhood. The perceived stability at our address is attributed in part to friendship evangelism, devoted volunteers, and the trust and dependability of our work staff.  The safety we experience and feel here is palpable and gives us oxygen within our walls. 

Psychiatrist, Dr. Curt Thompson, in his latest book, The Deepest Place, informs that mental health is contingent on and supported when a person is seen, soothed, secure, and safe. The 4 “Ss” are foundational before one can seek and participate in the prosperity of his home, neighborhood, or much more, his city. Our ladies are SEEN, SOOTHED, SECURE and SAFE. 

Mayor Paul Young has over 100 neighborhoods to encourage and catalyze. He would do well to meet and showcase three of our ladies who are role models in the effort of improving Orange Mound.

Cool cuts yards and trims hedges for many in our neighborhood, beyond the picture-perfect state she maintains for our property. She selects a yard of the month in our zone and stakes a sign in the front yard of the winner. She also brings discarded furniture left on curbs and repurposes, refinishes, and resells it. Her mother, Ms. Pearl, delivers food from the local food banks to many of the house bound as well as for some of our employees who have no transportation.

Deborah delivers food left over from our lunches to many of the men and women she encounters on the streets on her way home.  She prays for them and checks on them again. She visits our friends in the hospital, gives many employees rides to the doctor, and stays with them.  Daily she intercedes in prayer and often with tears of compassion for our staff and employees.

Cheryl is “all in” and a model Orange Mound citizen.  She beautifies her space, walks the neighborhood as she prays for it, drives neighborhood children to school when the weather is unpleasant, and she writes letters to pastors advocating for our unchurched neighbors.  She attends all community meetings and is always informed on positive movements.  She is the first to offer hope and compassion to all who enter our front door.

Our enthusiastic Mayor needs city-wide public engagement for the more than 100 neighborhoods to realize his vision of a Memphis renaissance. In the meantime, Orange Mound’s civic-minded women and men are already active in that endeavor and doing our part in Orange Mound.

Change begins in the hearts of those who love this city. Here is a list of most, if not all, of the City’s neighborhoods.  The task is daunting for a city of roughly 620,000 but quite possible one neighborhood at a time, just like changing lives one teacup at a time.

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Maple leaves on asphalt changing from green to red

A Change is Gonna Come

Benjamin Franklin was wrong.

Commenting on his hopes for the durability of the newly drafted U.S. Constitution, Franklin famously said,

…in this world, nothing is certain, but death and taxes.

But Franklin, an undisputed genius, left at least one thing out – change.

Change is inevitable. From the cosmetic to the life-altering, micro to macro, we experience change daily. And if we’re honest, most of us don’t like it very much. Entrepreneur and popular podcaster, Tim Ferriss has been quoted as saying,

People would rather be unhappy than uncertain.

Underscoring this notion is a study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. Researchers used five different tests for five different, diverse groups of students. In the first test, students were asked to evaluate requirements for graduation along with a possible change to those requirements.

In the second test, students considered the practice of acupuncture. Researchers used 4 different descriptions of acupuncture with the primary difference being the length of time the procedure had been in use. Some students received the descriptions with more recent origin stories and others received the descriptions with earlier origin dates.

The third test involved a painting for which students were asked to rate its aesthetic qualities. Some students were told the artwork was created in 1905, while others were advised the artist painted it in 2005.

In study 4, students were given a photograph and description of a tree and asked to rate its aesthetic qualities. Some descriptions were manipulated to say the tree was older than the same tree in other students’ descriptions.

Finally, students were approached on campus and asked to participate in a product expansion taste test for a chocolate producer. Students were told one chocolate was first produced and sold first in 1937, while the other chocolate was first produced and sold in 2003.

By now you may have guessed the “punchline.” In every test, the older, more established item was rated significantly better than the more recent item. We are conditioned to place a higher value on those things in life that seem more certain and to fear those which are less tested despite their other merits. Sometimes, we would rather stay in our uncomfortable and difficult situations because it is what we know and change is scary.

At My Cup of Tea, the core of our mission is to help change lives for the better. There are some ways in which we can affect change. We can provide a job with fair wages, so women in Orange Mound can pay their bills. We can offer a good meal daily and provide emergency funds for a sister with an unexpected expense. We can plant and cultivate gardens, so the ladies have fresh produce and stave off food insecurity. We can educate about finances, tea, and, of course, Scripture. These are the changes in their lives where we can exercise at least some control. But even these “good” changes can be unnerving when they are new, different from what you know, and don’t guarantee success.

Then there are the changes weighing us down lately - the ones we cannot control. Within the last month, three of the ladies have lost loved ones. One lost a father on the heels of losing her mother to COVID two years ago. Another said goodbye to her sister suffering from multiple illnesses, and she had to make the gut-wrenching decision to remove her from life support. The third lost her daughter, a wife and mother of three, in what most of us would consider an unimaginable way. She was murdered by a stray bullet.

Of course, there is nothing we can do to change these outcomes. All we can do is what we have so many times in the past. We can pray with and for them. We can exercise patience and understanding. We can assist with funeral expenses, which can break the back of one already struggling to make the ends meet.

Most importantly, we can remind each other that amid the tumult that is change, we don’t have to be afraid because of the one thing that will never change – God.

“Jesus is the same, yesterday and today and forever.” – Hebrews 13:8

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