Tea and the great outdoors have a long history together. Heinrich Harrer, world renowned mountaineer, nailed it when he said, “Tea is surely the king of all drinks. It helps against the cold, it helps against the heat, against discomfort and sickness, against weariness and weakness.” As Harrer and his colleagues made the very first ascent of the North Face of the Eiger in Switzerland, tea warmed their bellies and their souls along their journey.
A true passion for all things wild and natural is what leads two leaves and a bud tea company to donate 1% of annual sales from Alpine Berry tea sachets to the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) – the premier teacher of outdoor skills and leadership. With stimulating aroma and the distinct fruity flavors of hibiscus, blackberry, and citrus, Alpine Berry Tea is a perfect complement to a day in the wilderness!
Founded in 1965 by legendary mountaineer Paul Petzoldt, NOLS provides awe-inspiring, transformative experiences to more than 15,000 students each year. These students, ages 14 to 70, learn in the wildest and most remote classrooms worldwide – from the Amazon rain forest, to rugged peaks in the Himalayas, to Alaskan glaciers and Arctic tundra. Graduates are active leaders with lifelong environmental ethics and outdoor skills.
As an active NOLS instructor from 1998 to 2003, two leaves and a bud founder and CEO, Richard Rosenfeld feels that his time spent with the organization is the most rewarding time in his life. From teaching field courses in Wyoming to Sea Kayaking in Baja, Rosenfeld feels that helping people learn skills that will change their lives forever is a hard act to follow, including running a successful tea business.
“As a NOLS instructor, you’re somewhat spoiled,” said Rosenfeld. “You have an advantage that traditional educators don’t have, in that you see an immediate change in your students. There is nothing more rewarding or gratifying then watching people evolve over the course of a few weeks, then sending them out into the wild to use their newly learned leadership skills during their expedition at the end of the course. Watching them come back from that four or five day excursion is a moment that just can’t be matched.”
As Two Leaves and a Bud has achieved greater success in the past few years, Rosenfeld felt the timing was appropriate to give back to an organization that has given him so much. Having worked with scholarship recipients during his time with NOLS, he wanted to continue that fulfilling sense of contribution. Since his time is so limited with overseeing Two Leaves and a Bud, making a financial gift seemed the best solution.
“One of the most impactful experiences I’ve had as an instructor at NOLS was working with a scholarship student who was from the inner city of Chicago. This woman was so out of her comfort zone, as she was afraid of heights, the outdoors, and being a leader. The mountains were intimidating and early in her course, she just wanted to go home. As the weeks went by, she started to change in such a remarkable way. At the end of 30 days, she was confident, no longer afraid of heights or leading a group. She experienced success in a way none of us imagined. If our donation helps NOLS change the lives of more students like this, then it’s the best expense our company can make.”
Rosenfeld hasn’t ruled out returning to the NOLS family as an instructor. When he speaks of NOLS, you see the passion in his voice and in his eyes, and we know he’ll be back one day. Gee, we thought he only felt that strongly about tea! Who knew?
So, tea lovers ... we have to ask. What kind of outdoor experiences have you had that evoke the same kind of passion our Richard has for his time with NOLS?