Several weeks ago we had a job opening and ads placed in local newspapers. Soon after we received a call from someone who was interested because they thought we were a medical marijuana dispensary. It makes sense — “bud” is one of hundreds of references to pot, and ever since our state of Colorado legalized the sale of medical marijuana, dispensaries have been opening at a steady rate, including three in the town of Aspen, not far from our office. (A friend of mine noted only Aspen would have more medical marijuana dispensaries than pharmacies.)
Whoever answered the phone was good at explaining that we sell tea, not Cannabis. And we all shared a laugh after she hung up. And then we shared another laugh when someone walked in our front door last week and asked the same question.
So maybe now is a good time to address our company’s name. The tea plant, Camellia sinensis, is native to South and Southeast Asia, but is now grown around the world in tropical and subtropical locations. Tea leaves are just that — leaves — but the best tea comes from the very small blossoms of the plant, the top two leaves and a bud of the tea flower.
Richard puts it this way: “It’s what tea is. When you pluck tea by hand, it’s what you’re plucking — the two leaves and a bud.”
And maybe it has escaped your attention that our logo has an illustration of two leaves and bud within it. Just scroll up — it’s at the top of this page.
If you want to see the actual two leaves and a bud for yourself, it’s possible, without traveling to India or China.
When drinking a high-quality Chinese loose tea, you might come across an actual example of two leaves and a bud, right there in your cup. The Chinese are lovers of giant tea leaves, the size you never find in a tea bag because it can’t be kept intact. In China, they put these leaves and buds at the bottom of a cup, just pour hot water over it and enjoy.
To illustrate this, I searched through the leaves of our new loose Organic Dark Oolong, which has a smokey taste I love. But to no avail, because most of the leaves were already broken and separated from buds.
So I went picking through one of the many sample packs of tea we have around here, and found a few examples that make for better photos.
This entire blog post, in fact, came about when Richard’s wife, Pam, was taking photos of our new loose teas and found an enormous bud — the size of a thimble, she estimates — in the Organic Jade Oolong.
But until you’re interested in buying some loose tea and searching through it for an intact example of two leaves and a bud, just glance at your next sachet of our Organic Assam tea. As Richard points out, the little gold flecks are buds, and the rest of the sachet’s dark brown contents are leaves.
And the most that will happen when you steep it and sip is (maybe) a caffeine buzz. Legal in all states. Even Utah. Cheers!