THE BEE AND THE HIVE
Tupelo Honey Teas is the dream child of Danielle Spinola. Danielle’s nickname since the time she was born is “Bee”. Given her nickname, the fact that bees are very vital to plants and honey and tea are a perfect combination, Danielle found it fitting to choose a honey name for her business venture. Tupelo Honey had the perfect ring to it. Contrary to most people’s initial thought, there is no honey in the tea itself, but adding it is highly encouraged.
Always a tea drinker, never a coffee drinker, Danielle was ecstatic to visit Shanghai China in early 2002. Since that trip to the Far East, she dreamed of starting up an Asian inspired tea business. It wasn’t until after the birth of her second child in 2007 that she was able to officially start the business.
From a very young age, Danielle remembers being fascinated with the healing properties of herbs. Danielle’s mom, aunt, and grandmother serve as big inspirations to her. They all practice holistic healing when possible. Danielle’s love of herbs and her new-found passion of bringing delicious, organic and fairly traded teas to Pittsburgh were the perfect marriage. Born from that marriage was the concept of Tupelo Honey Teas.
After years of running the bizzzzzzness by herself, Danielle needed to bring on someone to help. Rocky had come to a tasting and was interested in working at Tupelo Honey Teas. It turned out he was the perfect fit into the business. His passion for tea, knowledge about the product and his inventive nature have breathed new life into Tupelo Honey Teas.
In the fall of 2013, Tupelo Honey Teas expanded into a full studio space we lovingly call The Tea Loft. This space serves as not only a funky, artisian shop where you can grab a cup of tea and visit with a friend, but also a space where you can find the most unique gifts for the tea drinker in your life. We do all of our blending out of The Tea Loft, so if you are lucky, you will get to see tea blending in action!
We also host a variety of events, parties, nights out, etc at the The Tea Loft, including but not limited to Knitting and Crochet nights, Book Club, Tastings, Food and Tea pairings, Tea Leaf Readings, etc. Check out The Tea Loft’s site for more information!
Tupelo Honey Teas is a mostly organic, fairly traded tea company located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Our goal is to obtain the best teas from organic sources. When organic is not available, we try to make sure the tea we are purchasing is at least fairly traded. We strive to bring the best-tasting teas to our customers by purchasing from multiple companies. This means our cost to operate is greater than most tea shops, but we feel providing a quality product is more important than a “bottom line.”
In forming the identity of Tupelo Honey Teas, our original intention was to be different by focusing on Asian teas. Most tea houses are Victorian in nature offering ettiquite, white gloves, dainty cups and saucers, tiny sandwiches and so forth. We aren’t fussy people and so this type of tea house did not fit our personality. We think tea should be something one enjoys however they feel most comfortable. We want to focus more on learning about the teas and how they go from grower to cup than a single style of tea service. We realize all forms of tea should be appreciated and with that in mind, we celebrate all forms of tea.
After much soul searching, we decided Tupelo Honey Teas is more of a global company encompassing all forms of tea. As such, you will see that our company has teas from all over the world. We never stop searching for rare and unknown teas that people in obscure places in the world use for health benefits. After all, herbs are the original medicine.
RAISON D’ BEE
In almost every culture around the world, tea is an important part of society. It is used for medicine. It is the center of rituals. It is a sign of hospitality. It is used as a way to connect individuals. It is an extension of food, health, love and friendship. The United States is quite different. Most people in this country only drink tea when they are sick. Why? Because that is what their mom or grandmother did.
Tupelo Honey Teas is attempting to change this perception because tea should be a part of everyone’s day. We really want people to experience tea in all of it’s glory. From the initial smell of the leaves to the meditative process of bringing the water to temperature to the point where you inhale the steam as you take your first sip. Tea is not only good for your body but also your soul.
People always say, “I don’t like tea”. But the truth is tea is unlike any other drink. Tea is different because almost any leaf, root, or fruit can make a tea. What people discover when working with Tupelo Honey Teas is that it isn’t that they do not like tea, they just haven’t had the right tea for their taste buds. Finding the right tea for your personality is so important in the quest for good tea. We believe everyone is a tea drinker even if they do not know it yet.
We accidentally started blending teas when a local coffee shop wanted tea from us. Danielle stayed up all evening before her big meeting with the owner trying to figure out how she could be unique. Offering custom blended teas was one way she could keep Tupelo Honey Teas competitive with big companies. Born from that one meeting was the custom blending side of the business, which is the most fun and exciting part of Tupelo Honey Teas. Since that first client, we have been blending for coffee shops, brides, baby showers, and more.
If you are interested in having a custom blend done for you, your event or your business, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.