It's October! This month, we have a delicious tea from a unique company. Marcus Stout, President of Golden Moon Tea Company, has a lot to say about his company, their teas, and his quest for pure toxic-free ingredients.
How did Golden Moon Tea get started?
Golden Moon Tea was founded based off a transcendent experience in France in 1994. It was while sitting at an outdoor café on the Boulevard St-Michel that we were first shown the elegant and delicious experience of loose tea. Between the selection of the large tea leaves, the pouring of the water, the wonderful aroma and the rich flavor we were hooked. It was at this moment that we knew we needed to bring real tea like this back to the US. Since then Golden Moon Tea has only sold whole leaf tea and strives to create the same experience that we had that sunny day in Paris.
From where do you source your teas?
Our teas are sourced from farmers who are committed to growing teas the right way. This means that there are no pesticides or chemicals used to “enhance” the tea leaves. The main countries where we get our teas are from the traditional tea growing nations: China, India, Taiwan, Japan and Sri Lanka.
For botanicals, we heavily research where they are from and try our best to source from the origin country. For example, the best Bourbon Vanilla comes from Madagascar. Because of this we source our vanilla beans directly from the best vanilla farms in the country.
Can you tell us more about the ingredients you use and your commitment to avoiding artificial flavors?
In the beginning of 2013 I was at one of those points in my life. I was in a rut where I just felt off. I had little energy, was grumpy and felt like I was starting to burn out. I needed to make a change so I made a drastic change in my diet. I decided to remove all harmful chemicals from everything I eat and drink. This means I do not eat any GMO’s, pesticides or any other manipulation that was created by the food industry. The change in my life was astounding. After a few weeks my mind was crystal clear whereas it felt like it was foggy before. I had energy. I lost a ton of weight. The interesting part of this is all of this was due to avoiding hidden chemicals in processed foods.
When I decided to apply these same changes to my teas I was shocked. I was shocked that I was lied to by omission by our flavor companies. I was shocked to find out how many chemicals are found in teas that were promised to be pure. The biggest surprise came when I found out how GMO’s and plastics are used in the making of teabags and other teaware. I needed to review each and every one of my teas and find pure alternatives.
My quest for pure teas hit a dead end right away. I was told over and over again that I cannot make blends without the use of any chemicals or “natural” flavors from almost every vendor I know, even well respected tea blenders that sell to the largest tea companies. It seems that the food and flavor industry is so intertwined with tea it is almost impossible to avoid them. I could see right way that I was on my own. I needed to source each and every ingredient myself to ensure its purity. This was the only way I could ensure that everything I used was actually grown and not made with hidden chemicals.
After 8 months of searching, sourcing and testing every tea leaf, vanilla bean, mint leaf and other crops used for our blends, I am proud to say that our teas are now 100% pure. The food industry does not manipulate us like they do every other tea company. This means no pesticides, GMO’s, plastics or “natural” flavors that are created in a lab. Just pure and toxic free tea.
Which Golden Moon tea is your favorite?
Interesting question. I really don’t believe in favorites (not for tea, food or anything really). What I like to do is think of the best tea for the situation I am in. On a cold snowy day after being outside nothing beats a authentic Chai that is brewed directly in milk. In the early spring I love a cup of vibrant Sencha first thing in the morning when the scents of Spring are at their strongest. And if I am having a full blown breakfast with pancakes or waffles I love Sinharaja with milk - It just brings me back to my childhood.
Thanks Marcus! To learn more about Golden Moon Tea and view their tea selection, visit goldenmoontea.com.