Tea For Me Please

Tasting Puerh Storage Methods

Comparing dry, traditional and heavy traditional methods.

5 Awesome Things About Being a Tea Blogger

There are some pretty awesome perks of what I do.

5 Reasons Your Gaiwan Should Be Your Best Friend

The handiest tea tool of all. Are you using one yet?

Tea DIY: Iced Chai Latte

A summery treat that you can brew ahead of time.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Friday Round Up: June 28th - July 4th

The T Project Grand Opening
I received an email about the grand opening for a very interesting new place but was disheartened to see that they were located on the west coast. Why do they get all of the cool places? Thankfully I was able to live vicariously through the adventures of +Geoffrey Norman.

Japanese Oriental Beauty
But Tea is the blog of few words but many beautiful pictures. I was totally drawn into this post about a Japanese take on Oriental Beauty.

Drying in Tea Processing
+Tony Gebely from +World of Tea gave us some great insights into the drying step of tea processing. It can often be hard for tea drinkers to visualize how this works, especially with the conflicting information that can be found out there.

A Green Tea Yogurt Treat
+Darlene Meyers-Perry and I must have been on the same wavelength this week. She added matcha to vanilla yogurt and I added it to vanilla pudding. I'll definitely be giving her method a try very soon.

American Sparkling Soda
I always look forward to reading +Bonnie Eng's innovative recipes. This festive sip is perfect for celebrating the 4th of July. I love that she did not use any food coloring to achieve the cool layering affect.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Golden Tips Tea Thurbo Moonlight 2nd Flush Darjeeling 2014

Country of Origin: India
Leaf Appearance: large, varied greens and browns
Ingredients: black tea
Steep time: 5 minutes
Water Temperature: 212 degrees
Preparation Method: Teavana Perfect Tea Maker
Liquor: amber

The first thing that I noticed when brewing this tea was how pretty the leaves looked as they danced in the water. They were large and mostly whole, especially for a Darjeeling, with lots of visible buds. The amber liquor was equally beautiful. Although it was full bodied this tea was surprisingly smooth. There were sweet fruity and floral notes along with a peachy undertone. My second infusion was just as enjoyable as the first. There was no bitterness to speak of in either cup. I would strongly recommend against using milk or sweetener. This tea is not quite bold enough to take them without loosing its nuances. Darjeeling is often called the Champagne of teas and for some reason I'm tempted to combine the two. A tea cocktail recipe in the making? I'll be sure to post here if anything comes out of it. +Golden Tips Tea Co Pvt Ltd are one of my go tos companies for Darjeeling because of the quality and very reasonable prices. At the time of writing this blog post this is is 25% off, making it an even better deal.

Thurbo Moonlight 2nd Flush Darjeeling 2014 sample provided by Golden Tips Tea.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

8 Things You Should Do Before Starting a Tea Business

Has anyone else noticed an uptick in people looking to get into the tea game? This post was inspired by a few misguided souls. Keep in mind that my intention is not to discourage anyone but to make sure that you are setting off on the right foot.

1. Be passionate.
This should go without saying but tea has been so "trendy" in recent years that everyone is trying to get in on it. Get into tea because you have a passion for it, not because you see potential dollar signs. Your customers will know the difference.

2. Learn as much as you can about tea. Never stop doing that.
Tea is an unfathomably large subject. If you're going to sell it, you had better know your stuff. Read every book and blog that you can find. It's impossible to know everything there is to know. Don't start your business as a way to learn about tea. This backwards approach will only set you up for failure.

3. Do your market research!
I can't tell you how many people I've talked to who dive in, believing wholeheartedly that they have a revolutionary idea, only to discover that the market is flooded with direct competition. I've particularly seen this when it comes to subscription services. You should know exactly who you are up against and what they do before you even get started.

4. Be Social.
The world of tea is large but very connected. Before you even start your business, make sure that you get active on social media and  contribute to message boards like Reddit or Steepster. Not only will this give you insight to what your future customers want but you'll already have friends to help you get off the ground when you are ready.

5. Figure out the basics of running a business.
You don't need to have MBA but do yourself a favor and learn the basics of running a business before jumping into it. I've seen so many people who inevitably closed their business because they had passion in spades but no practical knowledge. Budgeting, accounting and inventory management are all things you should learn before they cost you money.

6. Go to World Tea Expo.
World Tea Expo is the one place where you can do market research, network and attend educational seminars. Even if you don't buy a single thing the resources that you gain there will prove invaluable as your business grows.

7. Know your sources.
It's a common practice to resell tea that is purchased through distributors. While there is nothing inherently wrong with this, you should still be able to tell your customers as much about the tea as possible. If you can't tell them where it came from and when it was harvested you should not be selling it, no matter how good that price margin is.

8. Be realistic.
At last we come to the inevitable reality check. There is a very slim chance that tea will make you millions. In fact, many of my tea vendor friends have day jobs in order to support their tea business. At the same time, running a business requires time and commitment. "I'll devote more time to the business once it is successful" will set you up for failure from the start.

All joking aside, I hope that this post gives a bit of insight into what it might take to run a successful tea business. A great resource to check out is +Tony Gebely's Bootstrapping an Online Tea Business.

Are there any tips that I missed? Let me know in the comments!