Brand Spotlight: Chai Diaries

It's already July and we have a great box coming up this month! July's featured tea is from Chai Diaries. The company's founder, Ami (<--she grew up on a tea plantation in India!!!) was kind enough to share a little more with us about Chai Diaries.

Source: mychaidiaries.com

How did Chai Diaries get started and how long has it been around?

I started Chai Diaries in 2013 when I moved to America from India.  My family has harvested tea in India for over 100 years, which motivated by passion from a very young age. I’m inspired by the serene joy that comes from the tea drinking experience and I wanted to share the culture and ritual of tea drinking with others.

Have you always been a tea enthusiast?

You could say I was born a tea enthusiast.  Growing up on my family’s beautiful tea plantation was enough to get me hooked.  Each flavor recipe is an exciting tasting adventure as you perfect the blend. I have a love for developing refined blends and beautiful aromas because it captures my memories from childhood and allows me to share this experience with others.   

How did you come up with the name and where does the “diaries” part come in?

Chai Diaries is built on the principle of honesty and the importance of self-reflection.  The ritual of enjoying tea is sacred to each individual. You pick a tea based on the mood of the present moment and I encourage its enjoyment as a reprieve in what may otherwise be an overwhelming day. Tea drinking can be both a personal and introspective experience or shared with a friend, but I believe it should always provide pleasure.

From where do you source your teas?

Our teas are sourced directly from tea growing estates around the world. We have years of relationships established with the estate owners across countries like India, China, Japan, Taiwan, allowing us to ensure that we are procuring what’s best for our customers. Our specialty teas are then hand blended in-house in California with natural whole fruits and botanicals. Each tin is hand packed fresh when we receive orders from customers, ensuring their Chai Diaries experience is one filled with freshness and love!

Which Chai Diaries tea is your favorite?

Oh well that would definitely depend on my mood.  What I love so much about Chai Diaries is that we offer an array of premium teas to suit each and every mood and function.  In the morning, I love having our Chinese Organic Dragonwell, a beautiful pan-fired green tea exclusive to that area in China. But in the evenings I’ll enjoy something a little more fruity and iced, like our Blood Orange blend or our summer favorite – Passion Fruit Oolong!

Thanks Ami! To learn more and see their tea selection, visit mychaidiaries.com.

To sign up for a July box that contains Chai Diaries tea, purchase a subscription or a gift by July 5th.

Brand Spotlight: The Tea Spot

We've got something pretty exciting and unique in store for the upcoming June box. The Tea Spot will be featured for both their tea and a pretty neat accessory created by the company itself. Which tea and which cool accessory? Well...that part is a secret!

Mary from The Tea Spot shares more about this Colorado-based company, their awesome teas and innovative products.

 

Source: theteaspot.com

How long has the Tea Spot been around and how did it get started? 

The Tea Spot has been around for nearly 11 years now! Maria, the CEO and Founder, started the business in July of 2004 with a passion for full leaf tea and its innate health benefits. She wanted to get premium, full leaf tea in the hands of more people, and make it undeniably fresh and flavorful so that it would become a lifestyle choice, and in turn, you would reap all of the benefits that full leaf tea offers. In fact, Maria, an Ovarian Cancer survivor, found that tea was so instrumental in her recovery, that upon starting her business she also dedicates the company to philanthropic efforts. At The Tea Spot, we have a 10% pledge, ensuring that 10% of all SALES would be donated in-kind to cancer and community wellness programs. 

The Tea Spot has so many different tea options! You offer many different teas and interesting blends as well as herbal and floral varieties. Has your selection evolved over time and how do you come up with the blends you offer? 

Our selection has undoubtedly evolved and expanded over time. Over the years, our customers have told us their preferences, and we take listening to customer feedback very seriously. As a result, we have landed on a variety of teas that we are not only proud of, but confident that our customers will love just as much as us! Here at The Tea Spot, handcrafting unique and innovative blends is one of our favorite things to do, because we want to help to continue to keep tea modern, interesting, and of course, crave-worthy. 

From where do you source your teas? 

We source our teas throughout the traditional tea producing regions of the world: China, Japan, India, and Sri Lanka. Our herbals come from another suite of regions throughout the world, even the US! Most recently we've sourced Golden Pu'erh and Black Pearls from China's Yunnan Province, as well as an Organic Matcha from Miyazaki prefecture located on the southern island of Kyushu, Japan. - Jessica Kochik, The Tea Spot CMO

The Tea Spot also has its own line of teaware called Steepware. Can you tell us about a few of your Steepware products? 

We like to say that Steepware is a fusion of tea tradition with modern technology, aimed to make loose tea steeping easy, simple, and stylish. Our modern twist on teaware is designed by our CEO Maria, who is not just a tea enthusiast, but a mechanical engineer, who never stops thinking of the next item to make enjoying full leaf tea seamless. We have a wide array of Steepware products, including tea infusers, mugs, pots, and other items that allow you to brew up tea hot OR cold. We are chomping at the bits over our newest item, the Urban Tea Tumbler. It is a borosilicate glass bottle with a cork sleeve, that allows you to infuse your tea, either hot or cold brewed. It is sturdy, sleek, unique, and a must have item! 

 

Which Tea Spot tea is your favorite? 

You’ll find that it's almost impossible to get a straight answer from a tea lover on which tea is their favorite, I tell ya, because it is always changing, and depends on so many things! So... I will tell you my personal favorite right now, which is our Coconut Cabana Oolong tea! It is a full sensory experience, from the divine coconut smell, to the heavenly taste, and one teaspoon lasts me an entire day!

Thanks Mary! To learn more about The Tea Spot and what they offer visit www.theteaspot.com.

To sign up for the June box purchase a subscription or a gift by June 5th.

Brand Spotlight: Plum Deluxe

Our May box will feature two different selections from Plum Deluxe, a Portland-based company with a website that is totally worth checking out and their own line of tea blends.  Andy, the founder, shares more about Plum Deluxe and what they're all about.

Source: plumdeluxe.com

What is Plum Deluxe and how did it get started?

Plum Deluxe is the website that helps you create moments that matter.  From our daily inspirational articles, to our signature organic teas, we give you the tools to slow down and enjoy the good life.  After leaving a toxic corporate work environment and building a better life for myself, I started Plum Deluxe to help others do the same.  We are based in Portland, Oregon with subscribers in all 50 states.

What made you decide to start your own line of tea blends?

Over the 8 years we’ve tried a little bit of everything.  From the beginning, I’ve always focused on offerings and partnerships that fit our brand ethos – but as you can imagine, this is easier said than done, as many of the big companies with big dollars aren’t things we want to feature on our site.  Thus, we took our future into our own hands, and tea was the obvious choice – it allows us to stamp our own brand of creativity onto the market, and tea is a beverage that has a slow, mindful ethereal quality to it.  It’s been one of the best decisions we’ve made, and now tea plays a major role in everything from our online editorial to our community events.  I’m excited to see that tea is also making a resurgence in American culture as people are more mindful about the food and beverage products they consume.

How do you choose the ingredients for your blends?

We are based in Oregon, which means we can get a wide variety of the products we use locally, whether that’s rose petals or lavender.  But as for choosing what to use, we start with organic, fair trade products of course.  Then I consider 3 factors when blending: visual appearance (everyone loves a pretty tea), scent (scent plays a major factor in taste), and of course, taste.  We have a scratch pad where I work out rough concepts and ideas – many of them from our current customers who give us input on future blends – and from there I do several rounds of taste tests (with friends, family, and lucky Plum Deluxe community members as taste testers). 

Which Plum Deluxe blend is your favorite?

It depends on the season. On a day to day basis, I generally am an herbal tea drinker, so I usually end my day with a cup of Cuddletime Tea – it’s a chamomile tea but also has a bit of peppermint & vanilla that hits that sweet tooth.  I am also obsessed right now with our Portland Chai, which is a spicy blackberry rose tea – very quirky, very Portland, very yummy!

Thanks Andy!

To experience two exciting Plum Deluxe tea blends in the upcoming May box, sign up for a subscription or a gift by May 5th.

A Valentine's Tea Box Coming Right Up!

Valentine's Day is just around the corner.  If you're looking for a unique gift for a tea lover in your life (or a little treat for yourself) then look no further!

We have 3 good reasons why you'll love the February box.

1.  It includes TWO (!!) unique blended teas.  Here's a sneak peak at one of them:

Yes, those are real rose petals in the mix!

2.  It wouldn't be Valentine's Day without chocolate, right?  Consider that covered.

3.  The box will include two handmade all-natural tea-inspired bath & body products.

February's box is full of unique products from neat brands.  You won't want to miss it!  

To receive or give a February box sign up for a subscription or a gift by February 5th.

 

November Sneak Peak

Ahhh, the beauty and feel of autumn:  cooler weather, shades of orange, and pumpkins!  The November box was created with the best parts of fall in mind.

The upcoming box features a tin of spicy masala chai from one of our favorite tea companies, Art of Tea.  It also includes a measuring device, a strainer, and an autumn-inspired treat to enjoy with your tea.

You'll have everything you need for your own fall tea party!

art of tea talis masala chai 20140820-DSC_4955-Edit e.jpg

We love Art of Tea's quality teas and beautiful packaging.  This fragrant and flavorful tea does not disappoint and the unique tin has ample opportunity for creative re-use.

Have you signed up for the November box?  The deadline is November 1st!

Subscribe here or buy a gift here.

Use the coupon code TRYTEABOX20 to receive 20% off your first month when you purchase a monthly subscription.