Hobbit Tea gives Tolkien fans a taste of Middle-earth
Ohio farmer’s tea sales soar as movie revives interest in beloved fantasy worldBy Kelli Yoder Mennonite World Review
DALTON, Ohio — Thanks to a Mennonite mint farmer, fans of The Hobbit have their very own Hobbit Tea to drink with second breakfast, elevenses or afternoon tea.
Dan Tropea, 31, owns and operates Mint Brook Meadow Teas Ltd., an organic tea and granola business run mostly from a shop in downtown Dalton.
Hobbit Tea, the company’s most successful endeavor, is bagged, boxed and shipped by a staff of 12 Amish and Mennonites from the area, near Kidron in Wayne County.
Tropea said the staff and their “phenomenal” work ethic is a large part of Mint Brook Meadow’s success.
“I kind of have to push them to take a break,” he said.
The nine who are Amish won’t be seeing the recently released film, however, and most haven’t read The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien’s book that started it all.
“The Amish just think it’s weird,” Tropea said. There was a lot of controversy surrounding the magic in the Harry Potter series in the area, where there is a high concentration of Amish and Mennonites.
“This gets thrown into the same pot,” he said.
But Tropea has always been a Tolkien fan and believes in The Hobbit’s universal messages like the importance of home and family. And he sees the product itself as unifying. People, he’s found, can have an endless variety of dietary restrictions: no gluten, organic-only, no meat, no alcohol, no dairy.
But, Tropea said, “I don’t know anyone who can’t at least drink a cup of herbal tea.”
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