Nine-year-old Felicity is sent to Miss Manderly's house to learn to be a polite gentlewoman. She practices elegant penmanship, fancy stitchery, formal dancing, and the proper way to serve tea. Two sisters from England join the lessons, and one of them, Elizabeth, becomes Felicity's best friend. Learning the tea ceremony is great fun, until Felicity's father decides that the king's tax on tea is unfair, and he refuses to sell tea in his store or to drink it in the Merriman household. How can Felicity continue the tea lessons she loves and still be loyal to her father?