My purpose for writing this is not to denigrate anyone’s knowledge of and skill with tea, nor to suggest that anyone should not parlay the love and knowledge of tea into a profitable business. It’s just that “Tea Master” seems a rather grandiose and presumptuous title to adopt, or confer, as a result of taking courses, passing tests, and perhaps visiting some tea-growing, tea-processing, and tea-service facilities on a more or less tourist basis. There are people who have worked on tea plantations all their lives, and who have mastered many aspects of tea production and usage, who do not identify as Tea Masters. It is not a title to be bandied about lightly, nor conferred on anyone who has not spent a long lifetime involved with tea.
Back when I was studying psychology in college, one of our profs explained to us the requirements for being an expert witness in a court of law. To be accepted as an expert witness, a person must convince a judge and opposing counsel that s/he has more knowledge of a topic than the average person; this is done by demonstrating that they teach, consult, write about, or otherwise make their living or are recognized in the community as having this kind of experience and expertise. According to that definition, I am quite willing — as I suspect most of us are — to grant that anyone who has spent a significant portion of their time learning, teaching, consulting, writing about, or otherwise making their living in any area related to tea is indeed a tea expert. But “Tea Master?” No indeed. I admit that I subscribe to the “posthumous” designation for this title, and am unable to respect anyone who identifies themself with the title.
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Some of you may know that before starting this blog I was the editor and publisher of TeaGuide Worldwide Tea Directory. What began as a few pages on my Cat-Tea Corner website (“Our cats, some tea, and recipes … and a photo-tour of Romania!”) for listing tea rooms and tea shops that I myself had visited evolved into the most comprehensive directory of venues around the world that served or sold (or both) good quality teas. TeaGuide went live online in June, 1997 and it served tea lovers around the world for fifteen years, until it was retired in July 2012. (Read the how and why here.)
Readers of TeaGuide were encouraged to review the tea rooms and shops they had visited. A small number of the businesses received repeated and consistent recommendations as being the best of the best. One of those tea rooms was Clipper Merchant Tea House in Limerick, Maine. Reviewers raved about the location, decor, and service, and of course the food and the tea. Most of this was due to the care with which the owner, Heather, took with every aspect of the business. (She is also a very nice lady who operates a dog rescue group.)
Heather is now selling the Clipper Merchant as she moves on to the next stage of her life. If you’ve ever considered owning a tea room, or if you’d like to relocate to beautiful Maine and are looking for a thriving, well-known business with room for growth, this may be your golden opportunity.
FOR SALE BY OWNER
Award-winning, nationally acclaimed Clipper Merchant Tea House
58 Main Street, Limerick, Maine (click link for map)
Two-story restored historic 1800s home in southern Maine lakes area, with beautiful lawns and attached two-story barn. Tea room seats 45. Sale includes inventory, restaurant furnishings, china, reliable staff available, and everything you need to continue this successful tea house business. Sale also includes name, business, real estate, and goodwill. Huge potential for increasing operational hours including dinner seatings and year ’round service.
Second floor of home has three large bedrooms with mountain views and full bath.
Priced at $425,000.00
As Heather says: “We’d like to see The Clipper Merchant Tea House continue on with all the love and attention to detail that we have invested in it.”
Heather is available to train new owner/s. Please contact her direct via telephone or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
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