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?