Nasim Bell, Owner, Hummingbird Tea Room, Woodlands, TX

Nasim Bell’s appreciation for the comforting ritual of afternoon tea was cultivated as a child in England and Zambia, where Sunday afternoons were devoted to the cherished tradition of visiting friends for tea and homemade cakes and biscuits.

So it seems only natural that the inspiration for opening her own tearoom began over tea with family and friends in her sitting room.

Nasim’s Hummingbird Tea Room in Woodlands, Texas, serves a variety of single-origin teas and English-inspired baked goods with high-quality ingredients in an atmosphere that encourages people to pause and relax.

The tradition of afternoon tea dates to the early 19th century when the Duchess of Bedford was credited with inventing it to fill the long gap between luncheon and dinner, according to Nasim’s web site.

Like a true English tea room, Hummingbird serves tea in vintage fine china beside plates of dainty crust-less sandwiches, miniature cakes and warm scones with strawberry jam and house-made clotted cream.

Nasim sources ingredients from small-scale farms and craft producers as much as possible and identifies with The Perfect Purée of Napa Valley for its commitment to sourcing crops from growers who maintain sustainable practices and making products with optimal fruit flavor. She also appreciates it because, like her business, it’s a woman-owned, women-run company.

“I have been using The Perfect Purée for as long as the tearoom has been open (six years). I love that it has simple, quality ingredients and it’s easy to use,” she says.

Nasim relies on The Perfect Purée Ginger Puree for a spicy-sweet complement to fresh nectarines in tarts. The Perfect Purée Mango Puree brings pure flavor and velvety texture to fruit mousse and mango glaze for cakes.

Modern tea takes many forms and Hummingbird’s line of customizable smoothies are refreshing, healthy pick-me-up drinks featuring purées and iced teas of choice blended with ice and low-fat vanilla yogurt. Signature varieties include the Gincado Smoothie with The Perfect Puree Ginger Puree, iced tea, avocado and vanilla yogurt.