It really all began as a love for all food and beverages. As any of my family or friends will tell you, I love to eat. With ties to Louisiana and Texas, I was raised on sweet tea, crawfish and BBQ, and could probably eat tacos every day for the rest of my life. I'm an avid lover of all cheese, plus any food that incorporates it, and down for a glass of wine almost any night. And yes, I do start my day with a shot of espresso - ok sometimes two if it's going to be a tough day. Just because I’m a tea-prenuer doesn’t mean I don’t love a great cup of coffee. Oh and I'll try any food or drink at least once...cuy in Peru, kangaroo in Australia, escargot in France, I’m definitely here to explore the world through taste.
So it really should come as no surprise that I LOVE tea. 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 I love a good adventure.
And so down the path of discovering the world of tea I went. Along with falling in love with the leaf, I observed some odd things. Shops that were heavily British or Asian influenced and 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 so many teawares unequal to the task. The industry was eager but scattered with so many varying opinions that seemed to confuse and put-off new tea drinkers.
These observations from my college and early working years inspired my company, Tea Sip. I constantly asked myself, how could we build a tea company that would uncomplicated 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 - think outside the teabag - as I like to say?
So I got to work, learning as much as I could from the industry, inside and out, also looking for inspiration from neighboring beverages. I put my already sensitive food and beverage loving palette to work, tasting all the different ingredients and teas from around the world that I could. I found a teacher, to help me master the art of blending up an exquisite cuppa. And we were off to the races.
In 2015, I quit my full-time job to spend my days crafting new creations and building Tea Sip from the ground up, with the unending support of my boyfriend, now husband, and dedicated family and friends. After much blood, sweat, and tea, I opened the doors of the Tea Sip Shop, Brew Bar, and Blend Lab in 2017 to serve up a new tea experience. By the end of the first month, I was already hiring my first rockstar employees to help meet the tea needs of our growing Houston Heights tea family. Since then, we have continued to grow, both locally and nationally, still loyal to our founding purpose but evolving in new and exciting ways.
If you're new here, thanks so much for stopping by our little slice of tea heaven and I hope to see you here again soon! If you're one of our devoted sipsters, thanks so much for your sippin' support and tea love over the years!
Jessica Boyd - Founder & CEO