Dante Tropea, proprietor of Hobbit TeaMint Brook Meadow Teas has obtained a license from Tolkien Enterprises to use the Hobbit brand and characters from that book in order to market their tea. Hobbit Tea is made in their facility (it is impossible to call it a factory) in Dalton - a small village near Wooster, Ohio. Dante and Twila Tropea are very focused on having a natural and wholesome product and work environment. The mint leaves are air dried out of the sun, with the help of a corn burning furnace - the corn ashes are then used as fertilizer in the fields. When I asked them about the ingredients they use for the teas, they told me that "we grow the peppermint and spearmint used in the Hobbiton Meadow Mint here on the farm as well as the clover used in the Bilbo Baggins Breakfast blend. The ingredients in the teas are not organic at this time, however we use only all natural ingredients with no chemical processing and no artificial colors or flavors." Harvesting MintTolkien Enterprises was reportedly very impressed with the tea itself (Dante sent samples to them when trying to get permission), as well as the business model and environment that Mint Brook Meadows works under. The farming is obviously done with respect for the product and the environment, the process of growing, havesting, curing and packaging is very down-to-earth, and the staff are very Hobbit-like in their demeanor. The artwork and packaging (seen below) were made by student artists from the Cleveland Institute of Art, including Yusef Abonamah, Albert McClelland and Daniel Farruggia. They are currently shipping three different teas under the "Hobbit Tea" brand. You can order the teas directly online using their Paypal shopping cart, to be found at the Hobbit Tea website. Each box of tea has 20 bags, and currently costs $4.49 per box. Shipping for a single box (inside the USA) was recently dropped to $2.10, while my order for three boxes ran $5.10 - very reasonable! The Paypal shopping cart will also calculate your shipping if you are outside the USA, which is very nice. The teas are:
Bilbo Baggins Breakfast Blend - Black tea, orange peel, red clover blossoms, cinnamon, natural orange extract
Bilbo Baggins Breakfast Blend TeaBilbo Baggins Breakfast Blend Tea Back
Gandalf the Gray Tea - Chamomile, Flowers, red bush tea (Rooibis)
Gandalf the Gray TeaGandalf the Gray Tea Back
Hobbiton Meadow Mint - Air dried peppermint leaves, air dried spearmint leaves
Hobbiton Meadow Mint TeaHobbiton Meadow Mint Tea Back
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