Spice and Tea Exchange of Knoxville, 522 South Gay Street, Knoxville, November 2022
Today, Annette Morejon, who I introduced to you a couple of months back, opens The Spice and Tea Exchange of Knoxville at 522 South Gay Street. She’s opening the store almost precisely a year after she made Knoxville her new hometown. I stopped in for a look around and Annette showed me around and explained what we might expect from the shop.
The first thing you encounter when you walk into the beautiful space is a wall of custom blend spices and herbs, all of which are blended in-house at the “blending counter” in the back of the store where you can watch the process as it is done. They offer different sizes and have open containers for smelling the spices (which are purchased in packages).
They also offer groupings of packages at a lower price per package. She pointed out that some are connected by location, such as one grouping called “Destination Greece.” It’s great for putting on vegetables and meats, and we have lots of international spices. The store also offers flavored sugars, including “everything from a wild blueberry to a caramel.”
A large wall is occupied, as one might imagine by teas, “starting with our black teas, through white teas, and green teas to herbal teas.” Some she said are plain teas, while others might have a chocolate or orange infusion. She showed me several, including the Mango Tango, which have pieces of the dried fruits intermingled with the loose tea.
A large section in the center is devoted to finishing salts in a wide range of flavors. On the reverse side of the section is what you might expect: peppers. They have ground peppers and peppercorns and more. If you like the canisters (which are attractive), they’ll sell you that, as well.
A wide range of accessories are also available, including infusers, tea kettles, infusers fitted to mugs, and several handmade items. If you’d like to do your own grinding or blending, they offer pestles in a range of sizes and made from a variety of materials. They also offer candles, which are soy-based and infused with their teas.
If you’re more of a purist with your spices, they have straight, traditional spices. Some they term “steepables” because you can steep them to make a tea. Additionally, you’ll find a selection of olive oils, balsamic vinegar.
To the rear of the store, they also have a small tea bar, for to-go hot or cold tea. Plans include placing exterior seating in their small patio area, but they are awaiting approval from the city. They also have a small amount of seating to the rear of the building that faces out onto the mural in the alley.
Starting today they will be operating regular hours, and Annette says to watch for special events, such as cooking demonstrations, pairings, and tastings. The store is open from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm, Monday through Thursday, 10:00 am to 8:00 pm Friday and Saturday, and from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm on Sundays. Follow them on Facebook and come check them out.