I’ve been waiting oolong to have a great tea. Here’s an interview with some of the best tea merchants this side of the Orient.
How did you start working with tea?
We did a lot of reading books and online material to get a feel for what it would take.
What made you want to work with tea?
It was out of frustration. We could not find a good supply of loose leaf tea in our area and a minimal supply of decaffeinated teas. There was no quality, no variety. We had to travel to Portland and Boston.
How did you get to where you are today?
We don’t feel we’re very far yet. We still have some planning to do. Still, it took constant effort to not give up. There were road blocks at every corner but we didn’t give up.
Is there anywhere else you’d like to go with your business?
We have a vision of opening a retail store where we not only offer quality loose leaf teas but all the accessories that go with it. And eventually to have a tea cafe where we offer tea brewed by the cup or pot and yummy pastries.
Have you worked with or learned from anyone significant?
We are very much self-taught. Both of us have sales experience but there’s more to tea than just liking to drink it so we had a lot to learn.
Could you list some of the teas you offer?
We offer the basics like, ceylon, darjeeling,oolong, rooibos, gunpowder, dragon’s well and herbals. Then we have fun flavors like peach apricot, blueberry, sweet pumpkin spice, chocolate mint.
From your teas, what sells best or is most liked?
During the Summer, it’s peach apricot hands down. Since Fall started, it’s been, chocolate mint, sweet pumpkin spice and apple fig.
Are there any teas you sell that are significantly healthy or have remedial powers?
Tea in general has lots of health benefits. All loaded with antioxidants, minerals and vitamins. Different types of teas offer different benefits. Dan decided that he wanted the benefits of all the different types of teas in one cup. He blended a tea that has oolong, black, green and herbal teas. He called it vitalitea. It tastes good and has sold really well.
What are your favorite teas?
Dan’s is iced peach apricot. I have such a hard time with a favorite. My biggest decision in the morning used to be what to wear and now it’s which tea to drink. In the summer, I go for iced fruit teas, when not feeling well, green tea with ginger added, in the mornings, orange potpourri or yerba mate with mint, afternnoon is for darjeeling or cream earl grey.
How can people best reach you?
People can reach us many ways, whatever is their favorite way to communicate.
Where other than the European Market are your teas sold?
We have a selection at the Winterport Winery and we participate in events like the Maine Harvest Festival when possible.
Is there anything else you’d like to say?
We are blessed that so many people are rooting for us to succeed. At first, we were unsure if anyone but us would be interested in having better tea options available in our area. The response was fabulous and cemented our commitment to continue to work towards making high quality loose leaf teas more accessible in our area.
I like the idea of tea by the pot – good luck guys see you at your cafe soon!