As Tea Sip turns 2 years old, I find myself reflecting on our journey – all the inspiration and excitement, the good times and the struggles, the lol moments and the tears. I’m sure most entrepreneurs would agree with me that you birth this thing into the world, and you try to shape it, teach it, and help it grow, try to will it into what you want it to be, but it really has a life of its own. And our story is just beginning as Tea Sip enters it’s, hopefully tea-rrific, twos.
It really all began as a love for all food and beverages. Any of my family or friends can tell you, I love to eat. I definitely have a taste for shmancy foods, but as my husband will be quick to tell you, I also have a love for Taco Bell (which apparently was my mother’s crave food when she was pregnant with me – coincidence, I think not). I’m an avid lover of all cheese. I’m down for a wine and cheese night any night, I probably could eat tacos every day for the rest of my life, and just because I’m a tea-prenuer doesn’t mean I don’t love a great cup of coffee, which typically takes place first thing in the morning in my shower. And don’t forget the weird stuff: cuy in Peru, kangaroo in Australia, escargot in France, I’m definitely here to explore the world with my mouth.
So it really is no surprise that I love tea so much. All the different tea types - white, green, oolong, black, dark - and all the variations within those categories, come from the same plant, Camellia sinensis. If that doesn’t just blow your mind, I don’t know what will. The varieties of flavors then created through terroir and the way the leaf is processed - it’s astounding. Then to be able to take those leaves and blend it with other plants – herbs, spices, fruits, nuts, to be able to create almost any flavor you desire. So awesome, right? It’s an adventure in a cup.
And so down the path of discovering the world of tea I went. Along with falling in love with the leaf, I observed many odd things. Shops that were heavily British or Asian influenced, sometimes not welcoming to those not already steeped deep in tea traditions. Leaves, of unknown origin and potentially grown or processed in ways that didn’t end in a clean cuppa. Complicated brewing methods and teawares unequal to the task. The industry was eager but scattered with so many varying opinions that seemed to confuse new tea drinkers.
These observations from my college years inspired my company, Tea Sip. I constantly asked myself, how could we build a tea company that would uncomplicate and modernize the tea experience? Could we use only natural, wild harvested, or organic ingredients? How could we make tea fun and approachable? Could we find better teawares? Could we buck the system and do something different?