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    Discovering her past: Element uncovers her roots through African Ancestry DNA testing Tarik Moody

Gift Guide

Sip the Culture: A Journey into the World of Black-Owned Tea Companies

todayDecember 12, 2023 5

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Welcome to a journey through the rich and diverse world of Black-owned tea companies. These businesses offer unique and flavorful teas and embody a profound cultural significance. Each company has its own story, steeped in heritage and tradition, making their teas and gifts perfect for the holiday season and beyond.

Tea has been an integral part of Black culture, tracing back to African and American roots. From the Gullah Geechee people to the Harlem Renaissance, tea has played a vital role in social gatherings and spiritual practices. Black tea houses have a deep-rooted history in the black community, originating from the 18th century. These tea ceremonies, a tradition among slaves on their day of rest in New Orleans, evolved into a symbol of community and giving.

During the 1930s and 40s, affluent Black Americans established tea houses as entrepreneurial ventures, serving as hubs for significant community gatherings, including meetings of groups like the NAACP and the Negro Business League. These establishments were not just about serving tea but were pivotal in shaping community bonds and cultural identity.

Jamila Wright and her husband, Ali Wright of Brooklyn Tea
Jamila Wright and her husband, Ali Wright of Brooklyn Tea

Contemporary entrepreneurs like Jamila Wright and her husband, Ali Wright, a tea sommelier, have continued this legacy by opening shops like Brooklyn Tea. They emphasize the importance of quality, health, and community in their business, offering diverse tea selections and creating spaces for conversation and connection.

Resilience in a Teacup

Tea house owners have shown resilience and adaptability, especially during challenging times like the 2008 recession and the COVID-19 pandemic. They’ve diversified their services, hosting virtual events and offering specialized products like immunity tea boxes, thus continuing the legacy of tea houses as centers of information, culture, and community bonding.

A Taste of Diversity: Black-Owned Tea Companies

Embark on a flavorful journey as we introduce you to a remarkable array of Black-owned tea companies, each steeped in unique heritage and rich stories. From the bustling streets of Atlanta to the vibrant neighborhoods of Brooklyn, these businesses are not just about brewing tea; they’re about cultivating communities, celebrating culture, and reviving age-old traditions with a modern twist. As we delve into the profiles of these trailblazing entrepreneurs, you’ll discover the passion and dedication behind their craft. Their diverse offerings range from hip-hop-inspired blends to teas infused with the healing wisdom of herbalism, reflecting not only their expertise in tea-making but also their commitment to cultural expression and social impact.

Just Add Honey Tea Company

Just Add Honey Tea Company,” based in Atlanta, Georgia, exemplifies a delightful fusion of flavors and high-quality ingredients in the tea industry. Founded on the idea of enhancing the tea-drinking experience with a touch of sweetness, akin to adding honey, the company has carved a niche for itself with its commitment to quality, sourcing ethically and sustainably produced teas and herbs. Their range of unique blends, including honey-infused options, caters to a diverse palate, making them a favorite among tea enthusiasts. Beyond just selling tea, “Just Add Honey” actively engages with the Atlanta community, participating in local events and educating customers about the nuances of tea through tastings and workshops. Their tea rooms and cafes offer a cozy and inviting atmosphere, encouraging customers to relax and enjoy their tea experience.

Flyest Tea Co. fka Ivy’s Tea Co.

Flyest’s C.R.E.A.M. tea

Flyest Tea Co., a distinctive and culturally rich tea company, has carved a unique niche in the tea industry with its innovative approach that blends the essence of hip-hop culture with the ancient practice of herbalism. Emphasizing organic, locally sourced ingredients, this brand has captivated a diverse audience with its creative tea blends, each bearing witty, hip-hop-inspired names that resonate deeply with younger generations. Beyond just offering a flavorful cup of tea, Flyest Tea Co. is committed to educating its customers about the benefits of herbal remedies, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation for natural wellness. Their strong online presence and convenient subscription services enhance accessibility, allowing tea enthusiasts from all walks of life to explore their offerings easily. This commitment to community engagement, sustainability, and education positions Flyest Tea Co. as a leader in promoting holistic health and cultural inclusivity in tea, appealing to a new generation of health-conscious and culturally aware consumers.

Brooklyn Tea

Brooklyn Tea

Brooklyn Tea, a Black-owned business in the vibrant heart of Brooklyn, New York, with a location in Atlanta, has emerged as a standout in the tea industry, revered for its dedication to quality and community engagement. Established by passionate tea aficionados, the company is distinguished by its commitment to offering an extensive selection of high-quality, loose-leaf teas, sourced sustainably and ethically from around the globe. Catering to a wide array of tastes, Brooklyn Tea also emphasizes the health benefits of its products, aligning with contemporary wellness trends. Beyond just selling tea, they are deeply invested in educating their customers, offering classes and workshops that transform their tea shop into a dynamic learning space. This educational mission extends to their robust online presence, where they connect with a broader audience, sharing insights and promoting a lifestyle centered around wellness. As a cultural hub in Brooklyn, their shop attracts a diverse community, making it more than just a tea store but a place of gathering and cultural exchange.

Outwoken Tea

Milwaukee-based Outwoken Tea specializes in selling fine loose-leaf teas from family farms worldwide. They are committed to environmental sustainability, using the most eco-friendly packaging in the industry. Their mission emphasizes the positive environmental impact of using compostable materials. The brand collaborates with One Tree Planted for reforestation and the South Pole to offset its carbon footprint on shipping. Their product range includes diverse flavor profiles with teas of African, Asian, and Colombian origins.

Good Thoughts Tea Company

Good Thoughts Tea Company distinguishes itself in the tea industry as a Black-owned business with an innovative approach, artfully blending the rejuvenating qualities of tea with positive affirmations and mental wellness. At its heart, the company believes in a holistic approach to well-being, offering a range of thoughtfully crafted teas that are as beneficial to the spirit as they are to the body. Each blend is accompanied by positive affirmations, creating a mindful tea-drinking experience that nurtures both mind and body. Their diverse product line, featuring natural and often organic ingredients, caters to various health benefits, emphasizing purity and wellness. Beyond their unique tea offerings, Good Thoughts Tea Company advocates for a lifestyle of mindfulness, resonating with those interested in holistic health practices.

Honeybee Sage & Wellness

Located in the heart of Milwaukee’s Historic Bronzeville neighborhood, Honeybee Sage & Wellness is a unique establishment that marries the world of tea with holistic wellness. This community-focused space offers an extensive range of medicinal herbal teas, each chosen for its health-promoting properties, alongside a variety of clean body products and metaphysical healing tools. At Honeybee Sage & Wellness, education is key; the establishment is dedicated to enlightening its customers about natural remedies and holistic health practices. Regular workshops, classes, and events on wellness, meditation, and herbal medicine are held, fostering a strong sense of community and shared learning. Beyond being just a wellness store, it’s a hub for various community events, including restorative yoga and tea sessions, poetry readings, and trivia nights, enhancing its role as a vital part of the local community.

ZABICOLife Founder and CEO, Gladstone St. Auburn Etienne
ZABICOLife Founder and CEO, Gladstone St. Auburn Etienne

ZABICOLife

ZABICOLife, a luxury herbal tea company, distinguishes itself in the wellness and tea industry, focusing on high-quality, organic, and handcrafted teas. Embracing a philosophy that intertwines the luxury of fine teas with the benefits of natural wellness, ZABICOLife is dedicated to harnessing the healing power of nature. Their product line, featuring a variety of organic herbal teas, is crafted with meticulous attention to both flavor and health benefits, ranging from detoxification to energy boosting. Committed to sustainability and ethical sourcing, ZABICOLife ensures that all ingredients are obtained responsibly, benefiting both the environment and the sourcing communities. This commitment extends to their eco-friendly packaging, aligning with their environmental consciousness. In addition to offering premium teas, ZABICOLife advocates for health and wellness, educating customers about the benefits of herbal teas and promoting a healthier lifestyle.

SIS GOT TEA

Sis Got Tea in Louisville is a distinctive tea company that proudly stands as a Black, queer, and woman-owned business, embodying the values of inclusivity, diversity, and empowerment. Founded with the intent to uplift and represent marginalized communities, particularly the Black and LGBTQ+ communities, Sis Got Tea offers a wide variety of tea blends that cater to a range of tastes, from traditional favorites to innovative creations. More than just a tea shop, it serves as a vibrant community hub where individuals from all backgrounds are welcomed and celebrated. The company is deeply involved in social advocacy, focusing on issues like social justice, LGBTQ+ rights, and racial equality, while also educating its community about tea and broader social concerns. The welcoming and inclusive atmosphere of Sis Got Tea, coupled with its regular hosting of diverse events and gatherings, underscores its commitment to community engagement and creating a safe space for all. With a strong online presence, Sis Got Tea extends its reach beyond Louisville, allowing a wider audience to access their teas and engage with their empowering mission, making it a remarkable example of how a business can reflect and positively influence its community.

Jayida Ché

Jayida Ché, a Black woman-owned teahouse, has established itself as a significant and welcoming space in the tea industry centered around community, wellness, and cultural connection. This teahouse transcends the conventional tea-buying experience, aiming to foster community ties and offer a venue for people to engage and form relationships. The teahouse’s diverse and high-quality tea selection caters to various tastes, emphasizing both traditional and unique blends, with a particular focus on the health and wellness benefits of tea. The warm and inviting atmosphere of Jayida Ché encourages customers to pause and savor their tea, making it more than just a place to buy tea but a space for reflection and relaxation. Regularly hosting cultural events and activities, it has become a hub for community gathering and cultural exchange. Jayida Ché’s strong online presence and commitment to digital accessibility allow customers from far away to explore and purchase their teas. At the same time, their active engagement on social media platforms keeps the audience connected to their ethos of wellness and community.

Adjourn Tea House

Adjourn Teahouse is a creative wellness company specializing in artisanal, organic, handcrafted, full-leaf tea blends. It’s a Black woman-owned small business focusing on eco-friendly practices with recyclable packaging. Their teas are micro-batched and hand-blended with love. They emphasize the art of pause and rest practices using tea, promoting a lifestyle of intentional relaxation and enjoyment. Their product range includes various teas like black, green, herbal tisanes, oolong, and white teas, catering to different tastes and preferences. They also offer guidance on tea preparation and embracing an adjourning practice.​

Cup’ital Tea

Cup’ital Tea, a Black woman-owned tea brand, has distinguished itself in the tea industry with its commitment to producing high-quality, handcrafted loose-leaf tea and herbal blends. Founded on a passion for exceptional teas, Cup’ital Tea blends the art and tradition of tea-making with a strong focus on health and wellness, ensuring each blend offers a unique flavor and health benefits. The brand’s dedication to educating customers about the benefits of tea and herbal infusions is evident in its efforts to raise awareness about the health-promoting properties of its ingredients. Emphasizing community engagement, Cup’ital Tea actively supports local events and fosters a sense of community among tea enthusiasts. Their robust online presence, complemented by an e-commerce platform, makes their diverse range of teas accessible to a broader audience. At the same time, their active social media engagement keeps customers connected and informed.

The future looks bright for black-owned tea companies. As they continue to grow and adapt, they present an opportunity for all of us to support these businesses and explore the diverse world of tea.

So, this holiday season and beyond, let’s sip the culture and support the rich tapestry of black-owned tea companies!

Written with assistance from ChatGPT

Written by: Tarik Moody

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