Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Meeting a new tea expert

Last week, my dear friend (and fellow tea enthusiast) Ruth called to let me know of an event going on at her church that she thought I'd be interested in. It seems one Martin Kushner, who has 55 years of experience in the tea business and is a past president of the Tea Association of the USA, would be speaking to some seniors at Newnan Presbyterian Church. Would I like to attend their tea party and hear him speak? You betcha! (That's my friend Ruth, above left, with luncheon organizer Ann, at right. Aren't they just having too much fun!)

Because we are "between" issues of the magazine and I'm not under deadline at the moment, this was perfect timing. I caught up with a few old friends I hadn't seen in a while, enjoyed a lunch of tea sandwiches, scones and sweets, and sampled several new teas. But I especially enjoyed talking with Marty. He obviously knows a great deal about tea, and he now travels around speaking about Tea and Health courtesy of Bigelow Tea. One of the funnier things he said was that, in his opinion, the Boston Tea Party's dumping of all those chests of tea into Boston Harbor was actually the invention of iced tea! I'd never thought of it that way. Marty had prepared several types of hot tea for us to try (I particularly enjoyed the Dragonwell) and sent us home with Bigelow samples and coupons.

Here are some of the loose teas he had on display. I always like it when I see people picking up loose tea and smelling it, because I think that's a surefire way to learn more -- and get hooked. And as a bonus, Jimmie, below, had brought some of her teapots to share with the group and very kindly allowed me to handle some of them, including the vintage Hall teapot she's showing here. This group of savvy seniors asked lots of questions, and I spent a very entertaining two hours with them. A fun way to kick off the work week, eh?


  1. I would love to hear him speak! How far does he travel? How about PA?

  2. Sounds like that was a really fun tea event. Isn't it great when the "expert" speaker also has a nice sense of humor. Also having the opportunity to see some lovely teapots is always enjoyable for those of us who collect them. Although, sometimes I wish that my collections consisted of much smaller items like thimbles or coins.

    Too bad there aren't more tea events in the Atlanta area. Tea and Traditions in Marietta does offer tea classes, as does Emory. Aunt Laura's Sweet Shoppe and Tea Room in Fayetteville is having an "etiquette tea" on March 15. Do you know of any others?

  3. You get to do the most FUN things! I have the same question as Gerri. The state is even the same: PA.

  4. I just heard back from Marty, and he said he speaks on tea only in the Atlanta area. If anyone would like to contact him, he's at soutea@aol.com.

  5. Oh, fabulous, fabulous! How furtunate for you!

  6. What a great tea opportunity!


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