Friday, November 12, 2021
Tea by Two, Bel Air, MD
After a long year plus of Zoom sessions, members of the Mid-Atlantic Tea Business Association (MATBA) gathered together in person at fellow tea business Tea by Two in Bel Air, MD for their quarterly meeting in October. The day begins with a morning welcoming session as members traveled from NJ, PA, and MD to attend this special gathering. Assorted flavors of tea seated upon warming pots greeted the members. There was also a mini breakfast buffet with an egg casserole, fresh fruit, and jumbo sweet muffins.
Since this took place in October, the tea room décor was set for the fall season. Owners Janet and Erin have been active members of the tea association since it was first created in 2005. Their welcoming hospitality was a good place to enjoy our first official in-person gathering. After an informative program, we gathered in the gift shop as the tables were being set for tea.
Individual teapots offered members a chance to select their personal favorite tea among a wide selection of choices. Once the tables were set, members seated, and the first cup of tea was poured, the tea service began. There is a Pai Mu Tan white tea in the coordinated white tea pot.
Thick and warm Butternut Squash soup was the first course. A perfect selection for this fall afternoon. After the soup, the three tiered tray laden with a wide variety of seasonal tea time treats was presented to each table.
Scones, Sandwiches, and Desserts rounded out the tier.
The Tea Sandwiches, served on the middle tier, included a Cucumber Sandwich, Roast Beef, Carrot & Cheddar on pumpernickel rye bread, and Pumpkin & Apple Sandwich. All very fresh and tasty.
The top tier held a delectable array of desserts, their 'happy ending' that included Pumpkin Spice Muffin, an Autumn Sugar Cookie, and an Almond Toffee Bar. All delicious.
MATBA President, Debbie Raab of Tea-For-All in Trenton, NJ, presided over the business portion of the gathering. Tea-for-All will be the destination for our next in-person meeting in April 2022. Our membership consists of tea business entrepreneurs, tea room owner, tea bloggers, and tea educators, within a 7 state region, including NY, NJ, MD, PA, DE, WV, VA and DC. We also have out-of-region membership opportunities, and we offer Zoom meetings for those unable to attend. Fellow member and tea mentor Jennifer Petersen of Tea Trade Mart joined the meeting via Zoom from Vancouver, WA.
Shopping and socializing in the gift shop before and again after the meeting. It was a good opportunity to be gathered with fellow tea business enthusiasts for the afternoon. Special thanks to Erin and Janet for hosting our first in-person gathering.
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