Choosing quality, delicious and beneficial tea and bringing it to tea lovers is a rewarding and enjoyable task. Tasting teas and visiting beautiful tea gardens all over the world, bringing joy to customers, what’s not to love? But there is a serious side to selecting tea and making sure tea sources are reliable, ethical and provide quality product. Tim Smith does just that through his relationships with vendors and continuing education.
Tim has been providing area tea lovers with great ingredients and craftsmanship of a wide and exotic variety of loose-leaf teas from around the world for over ten years. From the beginning, he was set upon working with and sourcing from only the best. “When I first started I called around to other businesses and distributors getting good information on sourcing tea.” Once Tim had enough knowledge he started to source closer from gardens and producers directly and that yielded not only quality tea but special opportunities. “Some vendors that I have a long working relationship with will offer unique teas in small quantities that other buyer may not be able to get as they appreciate our art of blending tea.”
Tim adds that sourcing tea is a continual journey and his work takes him to gardens all over the globe as well as regional and world tea expos. “I have gone to tea gardens in Japan, Taiwan and China, I do not go as often as I would want.” Tim is also is in contact on a regular basis with people who want to build relationships and source tea.
As a Tea Smith (a name that Tim coined that blends that meanings of great ingredients and craftsmanship) his success comes from constant and continuing education. “Tea flavor for me is naturally fascinating. Teas have a vast palate, from white tea to oolongs to black teas; there are thousands of tea varieties and I am always learning, there are so many aspects to tea. There are always new teas to discover as well as blending techniques and preparation.”
The Tea Smith employees are also in on the continuing education process as they are all familiar with the teas and each has a Tasting Book in which they keep notes about each tea they drink so that they can share flavors with customers. Tea lovers too, are able to share in tea knowledge as tea classes are offered throughout the year.
What does all this sourcing and education mean to customers? Well, they are the beneficiaries of The Tea Smith’s continual devotion to providing the utmost in quality tea especially in the upcoming months. “We are introducing new flavored tea for the fall and winter season. Some customer favorites that all seem to love is the almond apple delight, which people start looking for in late summer. Pumpkin spice will be available for a short time and for the adventerous we have developed and blended a South-of-the-border black tea with chocolate and chili peppers.”