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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.
Some Doubted

Some Doubted

On Saturday, March 23, MOUND UP, a neighborhood revitalization planning cohort, invigorated many Orange Mound residents and Memphis community leaders to share the vision and responsibility to restore historic Orange Mound to a revitalized “shalom” district in the middle of Memphis. Red Zone hosted the all-day event and faith was renewed as evidenced in the palatable pride felt for the neighborhood. We have long needed an injection of hope. Aggravation over blight and crime has been replaced by an infusion of courage to join in solutions.

Experts dialoged and related local and federal programs which are already in place and available to Orange Mound youth, adults, and seniors. Among the many within reach are free youth camps, rent assistance, small engine repair, mental health advocacy, criminal justice liaisons, and many more. Most were unaware of the resources in place for solving our problems. We needed only to see fresh resurrecting seeds of energy and leadership.


To all who mourn in Zion, (and in Orange Mound), He will give beauty for ashes, joy instead of mourning, praise instead of heaviness… the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified. Isaiah 61:3 

 Enthusiasm saturated the oxygen we breathed. The women in the audience began to sense an empowerment, even though as residents in The Mound, they are single and often without connections. Despair has surrendered to optimism and ownership. Fresh and vigorous seeds have been planted on the Mound. We are mounding up to bring shalom to the present and future generations of our families.

But some departed in doubt.

Sunday, Passover Weekend, two thousand years ago, the eleven male disciples of Jesus headed for the mountain He had reserved for their reunion. For two days prior, their despair and heartbreak had been unbearable. They had succumbed to profound sorrow and futility. Despondency over the crucifixion of their rabbi and friend, Jesus, whom they thought was the Messiah, had convinced them the health of their nation was doomed and life must return to tragedy and failure. For several it would be fishing, and for all it would be subjugation to the Romans and religious leaders who despised them.

However, the women, (Matthew 28:8-10), had reported to them that very morning that Jesus was alive indeed in a resurrected body, and He was calling a meeting with them in Galilee. It made no sense.  Why would women, weak, unvalued, and disrespected be believable? Their credibility was in doubt, their story implausible. Nevertheless, the men went to Galilee, perhaps if only to get away from the calamity in the city.

Then they saw Jesus and in that moment their hope infused the oxygen they breathed. Exhilarated, trusting, and mounding up, they sensed a new day had dawned.  They were captivated by the reality of the best news ever revealed to earth and man.

Jesus declared His plan for revitalization, purpose, and change.  He commissioned them to be galvanized into unity and community. He promised to equip them with the equivalent of one omnipotent program, which remains to this day, in the gift of His Spirit.

                Matthew 28;17b: “but some doubted”

Good news is hard to believe at first for skeptics.  Jesus is patient with them and us.  He supplies proofs as needed to encourage His followers into action. But some will never participate.

The solution for Orange Mound and the solution for what ails all of us caught in the morass of sin and doubt is the same.  Jesus is the Way and the Way Maker. Doubters, don’t miss the unveiling of the vision at hand. He lives to bring our needs before the Throne of God, whether they be personal or corporate, for Orange Mound or your family.  His will is to revive our spirit and our neighborhood. His means are inexhaustible. We need only to agree, confess, and hold on as He makes all things new.

Those who doubted that day in Galilee clearly resolved their vacillation.  Each of them established personal missions and intensified commitment to bring about what Jesus promised. He provided convincing proof for them, and He has for us. We are His and He lives to make all things new. He has quickened us to believe:

 My people will live in a peaceful neighborhood - in safe houses, in quiet gardens. (Isaiah 32:18 MSG)

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The Most Important Meal of the Day

The Most Important Meal of the Day

Breakfast as the most important meal of the day is a quintessentially American idea. In fact, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, a physician and nutritionist, is credited with establishing this principle sometime in the late nineteenth century. Kellogg promoted eating grains, fruits, nuts to his patients and eventually invented Corn Flakes.

Since the explosion of the breakfast foods industry there are proponents and opponents with research to support their positions. Some subscribe to Kellogg’s general view, while others see conspiracy to grow a multi-billion dollar industry.

Setting aside research, opinions, and conspiracies, we know the most important meal of the day at The House is not breakfast but lunch.

For years, we have told you about the diligent and loving volunteers who provide lunch every day we are open. We include this information in brochures and grant requests because we want people to understand that beyond providing a job, we care about the physical, mental, and spiritual well-being of the women serve.

But lunch at The House is so much more.

An Oasis in a Food Desert

A report from the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law titled, “The Roots of Food Deserts,” notes that,

In Memphis, one can drive along Poplar Avenue from downtown all the way to Collierville and find full-scale grocery stores within a one-to-two-mile radius of one another along the entire route. But…areas like South Memphis, Orange Mound, Binghampton, North Memphis, Whitehaven or Frayser… face a much more difficult task in finding anything resembling a full-service grocery store.

USDA’s Interactive Atlas shows that almost the entirety of Orange Mound is considered low income and low access to food. The median income in Orange Mound is just over $21,000, but 35% of residents make $15,000 or less according to the Census. Kroger closed its Orange Mound store in 2018 and Aldi soon followed. This left the oldest African American neighborhood in the U.S. without a grocery store.

We have often lamented the transportation woes that plague the women at My Cup of Tea. Couple this with a lack of a full-service grocery within close proximity, and the inability to obtain healthy and hearty meals reaches a near crisis point.

The daily lunches at the House are reliable. The MCOT women know that if all else fails on a given day, there will be a meal at 3028 Carnes. The daily fare may be familiar, or it may be a dish they’ve never experienced, but it will fill their bellies and almost always send them home with leftovers.

The Sisterhood of Daily Lunches

When lunch is served, almost everyone eats together around the heavy hardwood table in the center room of The House. If it’s warm and sunny, they gather on the porch and sit in rocking chairs and on the swing. The important thing is they are together.

This is the time when conversation, laughter, and sometimes tears ensue. There is plenty of camaraderie throughout the workday but depending on the task assigned and the number of customers to serve, the women are working in small groups or alone in different parts of the House. But at lunch, everyone pauses for nourishment – the physical and the kind we crave and receive from authentic human interaction. The conversations range from the mundane to the extraordinary, and within that small window of time, they can learn the latest neighborhood news, comment on the weather, and share deep, personal and spiritual challenges.

On one recent day, a woman nervously shared a secret that she had been keeping from her sisters. It wasn’t the kind of secret that was harmful to others, but it was about a past indiscretion that had reared its head again. Now, there would be some consequences. She wanted them to know because of the respect and love she had for them, and she wanted their prayers. The woman cried, her sisters cried, but no one judged or wagged a finger. Not only did they pray, but some also stepped up in immediate and tangible ways to help. We’ll write more about this in a future post.

Being Fed and Fed by the Spirit

Physical needs are met with the plate of food before each woman. But spiritual needs are met with a time of devotion and prayer. Most days, Debbie, our operations manager, or a volunteer offer a brief word of Scripture, a devotional reading, or a reflection.

The dialogue isn’t just one-way. Instead, a discussion often develops with women sharing how the truths of the lesson being discussed are evident in their lives. They offer words of genuine gratitude and acknowledge their ongoing need and desire for prayer and God’s direction in their lives.

And when the plates are empty and everyone is full, the meal ends the way it started – with prayer. The women clear their plates, move toward their work stations, and wonder about the kinds sustenance tomorrow’s lunch will bring.

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A Woman's Place is in the History Books

A Woman's Place is in the History Books


Editor's Note: March is Women's History Month, and we shared a version of this post a year ago. We have updated the post, but the points are still quite relevant. We hope you will read it again and reflect on the gift of these amazing women who are My Cup of Tea.


The Memphis weather is schizophrenic. A blanket of chartreuse pollen covers the cars left in the elements overnight. The Bradford Pears, Dogwoods, and Daffodils are robustly blooming, while teeny green buds are peeking out from the branches of hardwoods across the city. These are sure signs that spring is near, but something else important is happening too.

March is National Women’s History Month.

In 1987, Congress enacted a perpetual declaration that March would be National Women’s History Month. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter recognized a week in the month as National Women’s History Week. In announcing the designation, Carter said this:

From the first settlers who came to our shores, from the first American Indian families who befriended them, men and women have worked together to build this nation. Too often the women were unsung and sometimes their contributions went unnoticed. But the achievements, leadership, courage, strength and love of the women who built America was as vital as that of the men whose names we know so well.”

Carter was and is correct that women have made some of the most significant contributions to our nation with either delayed recognition or in some cases no recognition at all. But without minimizing the contributions of prominent women in our nation’s history, we should also remember that their achievements were built on a foundation laid by other women whose names, hard work, and dedication will never be known to the masses. These are “ordinary” women – mothers, grandmothers, sisters, aunts, teachers, church leaders, nurses, and caretakers – who invested in girls, other women, and communities.

Orange Mound Women

We’ve often told you how extraordinary the My Cup of Tea women are. Each overcome enormous personal tragedy and struggle to fight for a better future for themselves, their children, grandchildren, and neighborhood. A new addition to our family earned her real estate license and has sold four properties. Another woman walked across a stage to receive a diploma for her recently murdered daughter. Another is the primary caretaker for a special needs brother who is also diabetic. And one of our grandmothers stepped-up to gain custody of her special needs granddaughter. Still others have overcome addiction and the streets believing there is a better way. Yet, despite the challenges, they are quick to reach into shallow pockets where they always find something to give a sister in need. They’re choosing to grow roots deeper in Orange Mound, rather than relocating to other parts of the city. They are invested in the success of My Cup of Tea, not only for what it can do for them, but for how it can help stabilize their beloved Orange Mound.

East Memphis Sisters

Serving beside the Orange Mound women are their East Memphis sisters. Most of these sisters have likely had an easier existence than their My Cup of Tea counterparts. They are better resourced and financially secure. They have a network of friends, acquaintances, and experiences that make navigating life simpler. Most have skills and education that have led them to succeed in homemaking, business, or community engagement. They could have remained in the relative safety and comfort of their East Memphis enclave, but instead they answered a call to serve people whose culture and experiences are vastly different than their own in a neighborhood they have most certainly been told is unsafe. Yet, they came anyway, and are still coming. They bring lunches, plant gardens, package tea, sew aprons, refinish furniture, and donate time and money. The most important things they do are listen, learn, and befriend their Orange Mound sisters without judgment.

The Backbone

If the Orange Mound women and their East Memphis sisters are the “hands and feet” of My Cup of Tea, then Debbie is the backbone. Debbie is the operations manager and resident tea expert. It is her knowledge, work ethic, and genuine love of the My Cup of Tea women that coalesce to make the operation successful. Debbie is accounting, human resources, supply chain and logistics, and sales and marketing combined in a single human. She is fiercely organized and committed to stellar customer service. However, Debbie’s most important roles are counselor, teacher, and friend. The My Cup of Tea women know that they can bring any problem or struggle to Debbie. She listens, guides, advises, and prays for and with them. Some even call her Momma D.

The Visionary

Many of the notable women in American History were visionaries. At My Cup of Tea, our visionary is our founder Carey Moore, though she never claims the vision as her own. Carey is quick to say that the idea for this social enterprise in Orange Mound came from the Lord. Through fervent prayer, biblical wisdom, and an indefatigable spirit, Carey leads and inspires all associated with My Cup of Tea. Carey is always reading, learning, and applying new information to the mission of the organization. When a problem presents itself, Carey in undeterred by its complexity or unsavoriness. Her goal is always to resolve it with the best interests of others in mind.

Women Making History

For all the sweat, toil, and prayer of the last eight years, it is all but certain that no woman in any role with My Cup of Tea will be lauded in the annals of American, Tennessee, or Memphis history. But it is almost equally certain that there will be women in the future who will rise to the level of historical figure because of the impact of My Cup of Tea and its women. Perhaps a granddaughter or great granddaughter will achieve scientific, business, or political success because their grandmother or great grandmother broke the cycle of generational poverty through her employment at My Cup of Tea. Or maybe a young woman, because her family moved into one of the new, affordable homes to be built on Semmes Street, will have her own room where she studies, excels in school, and becomes a great American author.  Whoever she is, whatever the accomplishment, or whenever it occurs, the My Cup of Tea women are helping to make history everyday and for that we are grateful.

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