LancasterThrivingSummerFall2017 - 23

A Taste of Lancaster County

One Sip at a Time

H

ow many acres does it take to make a farm? 100?
50? How about one? Even though you could easily
walk the length of this particular Bird-in-Hand farm
in under a minute, the feeling you get when standing
amongst many varieties of mint listening to the busy sounds
of pollinators, against the backdrop of cornfields in the
epicenter of Lancaster tourism, is without question the
quintessential "farm" feeling that many visitors to our area
seek to experience.

At the Menno Tea Cafe and Mint Farm, cultures blend
and coexist: the secular, the Old Order, and something
in-between. "Menno" Tea gets its name directly from
Mennonism, a practice of Christianity whose members strive
to maintain a simple or "plain" lifestyle. Here at the cafe, it is
impossible not to witness the near cousin of the Mennonites
- The Amish - passing through our secular world via buggies
and scooters. What differentiates the two is that while the
Amish choose to insulate themselves from the outside,
Mennonites choose to exist and mingle among the
secular world.
Inside this modern-yet-quaint cafe, globalism is at work as
the Italian espresso machine pumps out two shots made
from beans fairly-traded (sourced by certified B-Corp One

Village Coffee) from Africa and South America. The shots
are blended with milk and a fresh shot of mint concentrate
made by boiling fresh mint that was harvested just a few
steps away. The mint elevates the Americano into a drink
called the European Mint Espresso. Clearly tea is not the
only product that Menno Tea.has perfected.
"Menno" rhymes with "Meadow" as in Meadow Tea, a
popular homemade drink created by boiling mint and
adding sugar to taste. Like all homemade recipes, every
family has their variation. Hans Weaver bases his recipe on
his mother's that adds black tea. Using that recipe, Weaver
and his business partner Niles Garber Miller started Menno
Tea as business students at Goshen College, a Mennonite
liberal arts college in Indiana. There, they encountered
some resistance from roughly half of their professors
who did not share their vision for branding the business
on a relatively small Christian group. Weaver recalls, "Our
argument to our professors was, 'Have you ever heard of
a company called Quaker Oats?'" referring to the global
food conglomerate that features a 17th-century "Quaker"
on their logo. The similarities between the two companies
lie in the goodwill generated by the associated values:
honesty, simplicity, purity, fairness. The similarities end

LancasterChamber.com

23


http://www.mennotea.com/ http://www.LancasterChamber.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of LancasterThrivingSummerFall2017

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