My husband and I are frequently asked, “What made you decide to start a tea company?” We are in the second year of operating The Queens’ Tea in Salt Lake City (#thequeenstea), and are loving the opportunity to share our passion for this exquisite drink with the local community and beyond.
Seth and I aren’t perfect about it, but we generally try to live healthy, centered lives. When we first started dating, we sought hobbies that were healthy and fun, and tea blending became one of them. It involved a lot of trial and error (and lots of severely over-baked herbs and fruit). But as we got a knack for it, we began sharing original blends with neighbors and friends. A trip to China sealed the deal for us. I was going to Beijing for a neuroscience conference, so Seth and I used it as an excuse for an Asian excursion. In China, we took tea classes from a studied tea master, and spent delighted afternoons among barrel after barrel of exotic tea selections together. (Chinese milk oolong tea will forever bring back special memories for us.)
Incidentally, Seth’s sister lived in Tokyo at the time. We decided to extend our Asia trek to visit another international great: Japan. While in Japan, we had the opportunity to experience the delicate purity of Japanese green tea, the way it is meant to be experienced. Amongst ancient Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, Seth and I fell enraptured by the effortless connection between tea, cultures, nature, and history. It is then that we solidified a plan to begin building a tea company as a vessel for sharing–not just the best tea in the world–but the essence and cultural value carried in this beverage.
We have received tremendous support from the local food community in Salt Lake City, and from Salt Lake’s vibrant LGBTQ community. We’re thankful for the Q-Salt Lake for recognizing The Queens’ Tea with a FABBY Award this year! We look forward to doing our part to continue bringing quality tea, cultural inclusion, and public awareness of human rights-related issues to our growing base of fellow tea fans (#teasquirrels).
The best way to keep up with the latest and greatest from the Queens is to follow The Queens’ Tea Facebook page. You can also follow Seth (@jsethanderson) or me (@madamfergie) on Twitter, or visit Boy Meets Blog.