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A touch of tea magic on Ronan’s Main Street

by CAROLYN HIDY
Lake County Leader | October 7, 2021 12:30 AM

RONAN — Having a bit of tea at Mere’s Magic Universe & Tea in Ronan can be an evening out for an enjoyable “brew” after work that involves no alcohol at all. Or one can take a tasseography workshop, with nourishing soup and hors d'oeuvres, and it can be a contemplative time to soothe the soul, full of intention and connection.

Either way, it’s “tea magic.”

Part of the magic is owner Meredith Trosper’s kindness and sincerity as she shares the tea journey she has found so fulfilling in her own life. Another part of it is the color chemistry of teas — greens, reds, browns, yellows and a beautiful cobalt blue that turns purple or green when she adds lemon or maple syrup. And then there’s the personal magic of reading one’s tea leaves at the bottom of the cup, the art of tasseography.

Born in Pablo and raised in Alaska, Trosper recently returned to the area and is diving into her new community. She sings and performs ukulele, teaches ukulele lessons and works as a substitute teacher for the Ronan School District.

Trosper’s adventurous life has taken her through the world of film, stop-motion animation, reality TV, DVD special features, teaching English in Japan and South Korea, and even playing in an indie-pop band in New York.

Traveling through southeast Asia is where Trosper grew to love tea. During the pandemic, she found it emotionally healing and comforting.

“There was just so much information and opinion swirling around, it felt unsettling,” she said. “So I would make these intentional teas and take time out for myself to refocus on what was right in front of me.”

She started the business to help remind others to take time out for themselves and create the habit of listening to their intuition and inner self.

“There’s always time for you.”

During a recent evening gathering at the shop Trosper welcomed a group with warm soup and hot teas and herbal blends from all over the world, sold through Lake Missoula Tea Co. in Missoula. Each tea could be sampled in dual walled glass cups or ceramic tea bowls, handmade by Bob Cass Pottery. She invited each participant to write down symbols that might mean something in their own life, such as transformation, pain, love or joy.

“Because of what you wrote and intended, if it does show up in your tea cup, then you directly know what it means to you,” Trosper said. She shared symbols and interpretations from other sources to help out, in case the bottom looked only like wet leaves to someone.

“Magic is the unknown science; we’re still learning a lot about how our brains interact with reality, and how intention helps create a purpose.”

“I found my purpose in sharing tea experiences,'' Trosper explained. Tea bars are part of a growing trend of “sober bars,” where people enjoy the relaxation and socialization of a pub, but prefer no alcohol. “The normalization of not drinking [alcohol],” she said, “gives us more choices to raise a glass.” Opening Mere’s Magic Universe & Tea was a way for her to create healthy habits and share a space for others to do that for themselves.

Trosper sells handmade tea bowls and carries high-end CBD products in what she calls an “apothecary.” She offers salves, oils, tonics and tinctures, to aid in relaxation and other uses. “I’m a CBD connoisseur. I love to carry CBD products and to educate people more on them.”

The two brands of CBD products she carries are produced locally by Earth Garden Botanicals of Lakeside and Sunshine Medicinals of Moiese with Montana-grown hemp.

Mere’s Magic Universe & Tea is open at 315 Main St. SW in Ronan for walk-in tea sipping and shopping 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Call or text Meredith at 646-508-3770 to reserve a time for a group tasseography event, which includes soup, tea flights and intriguing discussion for $20 per person. Butterfly tea flights start at $10 per person. She welcomes all to her “outer space for inner exploration.”

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Before the water was added, one customer's dry tea sent a loving message. (Carolyn Hidy/Lake County Leader)