I’m sitting in my home office right now sipping a glass of an upcoming new fruit tea that I’m really excited about and thinking about how this may be the position many of you are in. Many of us used to drive to work in a busy sprint to get to the start our workday. Now, we are trying to get into a new routine where our kids are home. We’re struggling to segment our lives between work and home because the line is now blurred. I know there are other circumstances these days too. Many are still heading to their essential jobs and some are furloughed or just out of work completely (if this is you, I’m sorry…better days are coming soon). Regardless of what has changed, I think we all are building some new habits. I want to write this blog to talk about how to integrate tea into these new habits.
Personally, this is kind of the normal for me. I find when I go into the shop, I get caught up in the production of the business and fail to focus on the tasks that I need to get done to keep this business moving forward. When I was talking about leaving my full time IT director job to focus on Sagebrush & Hackberry a small business owner told me, “Congrats on being a business owner, now you can work any 16hrs of the day that you want.” Truer words have never been spoken. My days usually start with a cup of coffee (I know…I also run Sagebrush coffee and I have to be honest) as I head to the home office that I’m sitting in right now. I tend to leave production for Sarah to run, so I’m not looking over her shoulder. If I make my way to the shop, I try to go after lunch. Some days I’ll go in and we’ll do some quality control cuppings. Many days I’ll chat with whoever is in there about upcoming teas, what’s selling, any customer issues or how we can optimize our production. Or sometimes I’ll just go in to talk through how to take better care of our customers in all areas.
OK…so that’s my day, I forgot to talk about tea’s integrated. I’ll get there soon.
Tea for me had always been at restaurants. I love an iced tea with any meal. The problem is most iced tea at restaurants are not very good. Sometime before I started Hackberry, I realized how good tea can really be. I started sampling different loose leaf teas and was amazed. I still drink tea at restaurants, but I don’t always enjoy it and will pick a restaurant based almost exclusively on how good their tea is.
However, I wonder how many people think about tea that way. It is very easy to have ‘utility tea’ and drink that each day. But as we’re starting to look at this change in life, wouldn’t it be great if utility tea didn’t exist? Wouldn’t it be awesome if every drop of tea was a memorable, relaxing, and peaceful experience? I believe it can be. I drink a few cups of tea each day brewed in our cold brew tea pitcher. That’s right, Jenna makes a pot of tea every couple of days and we split it. Nothing special happens in the Kellso house for tea, except I’m almost always sampling new teas. I love to drink teas in the normal flow of life before I launch them. I want to say, “that’s a good cup of tea” several days in a row before I pick it and hope that you do the same. And that’s kind of the point. A generically brewed cup of tea can be amazing with the right tea and the correct perspective. Brew a pot and sit down. Pause the day for a few minutes and say, “that’s a good cup of tea.”
I love fruit teas the most but there are so many tea choices I like to work my way through them (both hot and iced and occasionally as a latte) for the afternoon ‘break’ cup of tea that I need to springboard to the finish line of each day. What are my four favorite tea types not named Fruit? I’ll give a brief overview here:
- Green Tea: Be careful brewing this, because if you brew it with too hot of water or overstep it and it will end up bitter. Brewed perfectly and it makes an amazing tea that goes down easy.
- Rooibos: Rooibos make the best tea lattes! I like to brew one of our flavored Rooibos and pour some steamed almond milk in it.
- Oolong: This is a healthy alternative to Black tea and is a little more bold of a cup than green. I think an Oolong is good hot or cold, but my tea preference is almost always iced.
- Traditional Black Tea: When all else fails, grab an English or Irish breakfast. Nothing says tea like a traditional black tea.
So, as life is changing, I think it’s a good time to pick a Hackberry Tea that fits your palette and build a tea habit that makes tea as enjoyable of an experience as picking it up at a restaurant was before COVID-19 changed things. Take 15 minutes in the afternoon or morning break, pick your favorite type and then brew, sip, and relax. It will be worth every minute.