I recently read the auto-biography of Starbucks’ CEO, Howard Schultz. While the flavors and nuances of the tea leaf are closer to the culture of wine than coffee, I continue to mull over one theme of the book.
Starbucks began in Seattle by the same current owners, I believe (something may have changed since the book’s publication), as Peet’s, which means something to those of us on the West Coast. Howard Schultz is the one who pushed these coffee purists to branch out and offer frappuccino’s, lattes with non-fat milk, etc. The original owners resisted until they sold Starbucks to Schultz for a ridiculously low price and Schultz took it from there. Those of us on the West Coast know that a Peet’s is not as easy to come by as a Starbucks and as most of us know, Starbucks is everywhere.
Peet’s owners are purists, Schultz is a capitalist. Who did the right thing?
Americans are not tea purists. Bottled iced tea in all its forms is the highest grossing item in tea-related sales. We take our green tea supplements but often don’t know how to brew it. We own coffee grinders and cappuccino makers, but store our tea bags next to the garlic salt and boil water in an old tea kettle with peeling metal inside.
I recently visited a tea bar for the college crowd that is sprouting up in our neck of the woods, Teaz Me. Tea and tea drinks were found in fun flavors like green apple, made in frappuccino style. Among Asian-Americans, I’m told, bubble tea is the favorite and Lollicup provides. Tea is expected to become a ten billion dollar industry within the next five years. The tea pie is growing and many are scrambling to get a piece.
Wellspring Tea, however, is made up of committed purists. We want to promote simple beauty to everyday routine. We believe in fair trade and that less is more. We care where our tea comes from and who works and profits from bringing it to you. We want to provide only what you need to bring a simple but satisfying pot of tea to your daily life. Our goal is for you to learn the health benefits of the most basic drink, besides water, from all cultures and ages, and experience a completely guilt-free comfort.
Yes, we need to make money. But our first priority will always be you and the values listed above. Would you like to join us as a tea purist? We will show you how.