Quick! Think of your favorite mug.

My favorite mug at work -- steepin' some Tropical Green.

My favorite mug at work — steepin’ some Organic Tropical Green.

My favorite mug, seen blurry at 7 a.m., pre-caffeination.

My favorite mug, seen blurry at 7 a.m., pre-caffeination.

My friend Regna's favorite mug lost its handle long ago.

My friend Regna’s favorite mug lost its handle long ago.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That was easy, wasn’t it? Your favorite mug might be sitting right next to you, or your fingers might be wrapped around it this very moment. It probably sits in a visible spot on a kitchen shelf, and occasionally takes up space in your car’s cup holder. If you’re a true black tea fan, the inside might be stained a faint brown color. There’s probably a good story about why you love this mug.

My husbands favorite mug, bought in Peru

My husband’s favorite mug, bought in Peru

One thing is certainly true: It’s yours and you love it. Tea just might taste better when you’re sipping out of it.

A funny thing happened when I started thinking about favorite mugs, and taking pictures of them: I noticed that everyone around me was clutching a favorite mug. Because that’s what we do with favorite mugs: we clutch them, since they’re near and dear.

I’m including a small smattering of photos I took just this morning of favorite mugs in my life — personally and among coworkers. Why am I doing this, you ask?

Because we’re starting a new craze here at two leaves. Remember Tebowing? C’mon, even if you’re not a sports fan, you remember Tebowing.

We’re introducing: TeaMugging.

My friend Bryant's favorite mug was won in a white elephant gift exchange.

My friend Bryant’s favorite mug was won in a white elephant gift exchange.

It’s basically what it sounds like: Taking a mug shot of your favorite mug. We’d love it if your photo include your hand holding the mug, because we know tea fans are shy and don’t necessarily want their faces in the photos (don’t believe us about this? Read #StuffTeaPeopleLike). And hey, a bonus if there’s some two leaves™ tea brewing in that mug, of course!

To truly kick off the art form of TeaMugging, we’ve got a contest! For the next two weeks or so (until Wednesday, Oct. 23), post your best TeaMugging photos (as many as you want!) on our Facebook page. We’ll pick the one we love the most and award you lucky TeaMugger $25 to spend on our tea, plus a two leaves™ “tea-shirt”!

So to all of you with favorite mugs, take a second, hoist it high, snap a picture, and post it with the hashtag: #TeaMugging.

Really — dazzle us! Grab that favorite mug, and get creative with this photo. And hey, even if you don’t win, you’ll end up with a nice portrait of your favorite tea mug, which you can frame and hang somewhere. That’s not creepy at all …

It has to be said: Chloe's mug collection would make anyone jealous.

It has to be said: Chloe’s mug collection would make anyone jealous.

Chloe gets artistic with her #Teamugging in the office.

Chloe gets artistic with her #TeaMugging in the office.

The first-ever instance of #Teamugging with Paisley Brand Tea!

The first-ever instance of #TeaMugging with Paisley Brand Tea™!

 

Posted in Contest, News from two leaves tea company | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Responses
We're taking iced tea quite literally!

We’re taking iced tea quite literally!

I’m not exaggerating when I say that summer in our neck of the woods is glorious. GLORIOUS.

We live in the mountains of Colorado, and after a long, cold and snowy winter, the summer up here is like the vacation you’ve been planning for the past six months. Don’t get me wrong — people like us live up here because we love all of the seasons, even the muddier ones. But summer is like our big chance to stop layering our clothing quite as severely, saunter about in flip flops for weeks on end and spend as much time outside — morning, noon and night — as possible.

So let’s talk about new ways to drink tea in the summer, shall we? Last summer we had an adventurous romp creating several fruity, tea-inspired drinks, and it was really fun. This summer we found ourselves with a bit less time, but a desire to be creative. Things got busy, we didn’t want to haul out the blender, and we definitely weren’t going to just grab a sugar-laden “sweet tea” or whatever is in the supermarket that is supposed to quench our summer thirst.

Gorgeous summertime refreshment (and the labbits that we love)

Gorgeous summertime refreshment (and the labbits that we love)

But what really caught our attention was a simple project that our CEO and founder’s lovely wife, Pam, whipped up the other day and took inspiring photos of: tea ice cubes! Just look at these photos and nod with us in agreement.

So, which tea will you steep and turn into ice cubes? It depends on what color and flavor you’re looking to impart into whatever drink you’re preparing. For a bit of astringency in a pretty light green, try Organic Tamayokucha. Green with a tropical vibe? Tropical Green. Pam warns us that while she loves ice cubes made out of Alpine Berry, that tea is a deep red and will turn whatever liquid you add to those cubes the same color — but she’s also got a penchant for bourbon poured over Alpine Berry ice cubes.

And — ooh, we just thought of this — what if you serve your guests lemonade, but pour it over Organic Assam ice cubes, so they more the cubes melt, the more they have a little Arnold Palmer flavor?

(You can easily Google and find little round ice cube trays like Pam used, but we found some really awesome shapes, including anchors and tropical fish right here.)

Experiment and have fun! This is summer, after all, and we can all be a bit more casual about tea drinking in the warmer months, can’t we? Tell us how it goes if you try one …

 

Posted in Green Tea, Iced Tea, Recipes with Tea | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment
You did read our first #StuffTeaPeopleLike blog, right?!

You did read our first #StuffTeaPeopleLike blog, right?!

Greetings, Tea People!

We have so enjoyed our time discussing on our blog and other social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter), our initial list of Stuff Tea People Like. It’s not in our interest to pigeon hole all of you, but it is very much in our interest to make you laugh at yourselves, and some perfectly cliched things relating to tea. Don’t forget, of course, that we recognize that any effort to truly generalize you is wasted on your smart, attractive uniqueness. We were most fond of a respondent who said, “I feel like I don’t like about half of these. I’m a special snowflake!” Well put, Lisa. On the other hand, if we’ve truly nailed any of you with every single item on this list, well, we’re impressed with ourselves and (mostly) you for being a tea drinking cliché through and through. (And maybe we owe you free tea for that? If it’s true, let us know! We might need photographic proof, though. Somehow.)

Some of you wrote incredibly detailed responses to our first list, and we’re delighted to have engaged you in such fun conversation. Can we keep it up, we wondered?

And so, we now present a continuation of our list that many of you have helped us with! Reading your comments made us laugh, and so we’re trying to give people credit for what they’ve contributed. Why would we bother to continue the list? Well just look at the first item on this continued list …

(Even more) Stuff Tea People Like

59. Making lists

On a perfect day, our first list goes like this: 1. Get a piece of paper. 2. Start to compose a list. 3. Cross first two items off list. 4. Cross off third item. 5. Feel satisfied and brew a cup, because now that we’ve accomplished something, it’s tea time.

60. The beach in winter

60. So peaceful. So deserted. All that's missing is a mug of tea in your mittened hands. #StuffTeaPeopleLike

60. So peaceful. So deserted. All that’s missing is a mug of tea in your mittened hands. #StuffTeaPeopleLike

Thanks to Melanie for this one. Yeah, yeah, we know the beach has serious allure in the summertime. But in the winter? Well, it’s still beautiful, sometimes tempestuous, and there’s nary a guy in sight who shouldn’t be wearing a Speedo (but for some reason is anyway.) In fact, there are hardly any people around at all, leaving all that beauty just for you, a quiet walk and a thermos of tea. Oh man. We’ll start planning our next winter vacation now.

61. Antiques Roadshow (thanks, Kathleen S.)

62. International markets (good one, Terri Cole.)

63. Serving as a docent at art galleries, heritage gardens and small palaces (Cheers to that, Catherine.)

Who cycles? WE-Cycle! A friend checks out the new bike sharing program in Aspen. #StuffTeaPeopleLike

64. Who cycles? WE-Cycle! A friend checks out the new bike sharing program in Aspen. #StuffTeaPeopleLike

64. Bike sharing programs

Two leaves tea company™ is just down the road from the glamorous mountain town of Aspen, Colo., which just last week became the 27th place in the United States to have its own bike sharing program, called WE-Cycle. In fact, we love biking so much (don’t forget — that’s how our CEO gets to the office every day) that we’re one of many community sponsors for the program. That means now Aspen visitors can rent a bike for a short trip, like heading to a concert at the Aspen Music Festival and School, for a lecture at the Aspen Physics Institute, or just for a short across-town errand. Ditching a short trip in a car for a short, scenic and *fun* trip on a shared bike? #StuffTeaPeopleLike to a T. (Or would that be to a “tea”? See the next item on our list.)

65. Being punny, but not to an annoying extent

66. Naps (That one’s for you, Darrah.)

67. Trying new types of tea that you haven’t had before (Nancy Janda is so right about this.)

A book, some tea, and happiness implied. Obviously. #StuffTeaPeopleLike

68. A book, some tea, and happiness implied. Obviously. #StuffTeaPeopleLike

68. Reading

We think this one is important enough that as much as our last list referred to books and reading culture, we weren’t clear enough, as Katelynn Robinson pointed out. So let’s be emphatic about this: Tea People love love LOVE to read. All the plush chairs (No. 39), avant garde light fixtures (No. 28), and rainy, miserable afternoons (No. 2) in the world wouldn’t be quite as nice if they didn’t pair as nicely with our love of reading.

69. Tea from non-mainstream brands (you’re after our very hearts and souls, Diane.)

70. Lemon curd (Erin Tuzuner knows what’s up with this.)

71. Aprons (Made us laugh because it’s so true, Sarah K.)

TV show host most likely to be spotted sipping tea. Right? #StuffTeaPeopleLike

72. TV show host most likely to be spotted sipping tea. Right? #StuffTeaPeopleLike

72. Christopher Kimball on America’s Test Kitchen

As Laurie B. noted, he wears a bow tie. And we all know how Tea People feel about bow ties, don’t we? (See #StuffTeaPeopleLike No. 14) But fashion choices aside we of course wondered if Christopher Kimball could be our bow-tie wearing, wizard-in-the-kitchen tea-drinking superhero. And then a little research (ahem, Googling), revealed that his wife drinks tea every day. We knew there was something we liked about him.

73. Tea-flavored ice cream

Ah yes, this addition to the list by Langiean reminds us of our own adventures in creating tea-flavored ice cream , which you can check out here and here. Now that was a good time, because when you’re truly experimenting with tea and ice cream, you get to have a lot of both cream, sugar and tea around your house, and that makes your house kind of like heaven. (ps: If you’re going to try this at your house, don’t miss out on Mountain High Chai or Alpine Berry ice cream. Ohhhhh yeah.)

We've hit the Union Jackpot, if you will. #StuffTeaPeopleLike

74. We’ve hit the Union Jackpot, if you will. #StuffTeaPeopleLike

74. Anything decorated with the British flag

75. Dining at a Chinese restaurant, where tea will be served

(An excellent point, Corinne T. That’s how many casual tea drinkers first discovered the wonders of Jasmine tea.)

76. Shortbread

This is where we’re going to do some shameless self-promotion; but for a good reason. We can’t stop eating this stuff, and we want you to discover it too. Afternoon tea time will never be the same until you’re dipping a piece of Biscottea into our tea.

Posted in English style tea, Green Tea, News from two leaves tea company, Products from two leaves and a bud, Recipes with Tea | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
Self-explanatory. #StuffTeaPeopleLike

Self-explanatory.
#StuffTeaPeopleLike

Does anyone remember that blog “Stuff White People Like”? It always made us laugh, self-stereotyping through gentle jabs. During a recent meeting, Marketing Coordinator Christy Garfield and I were brainstorming so hard that our ears were emitting smoke and we decided we needed a blog post that was our own variety of stereotyping our beloved tea lovers.

In fact, “tea” was No. 13 on that list of Stuff White People Like, which was discontinued in 2010. The description included this gem, “If you find yourself in a situation with a white person, acceptable things to say include, ‘I’m really into tea right now,’ or ‘my favorite thing is to get a nice cup of tea and curl up in a chair with a good book.’ But do not remind them about the role of colonialism in tea, it will make them sad.”

Let’s take it a bit further, shall we? We’re not here to generalize but … well, actually we are here to generalize, because that’s what a stereotype is all about. We are well aware that tea fans come in all colors, shapes and sizes — just check out our own fans (that’s you). You might be 70 percent women, we estimate, but you’re also men who are relatively rabid about ordering our tea in 100-sachet packs and spreading the word about two leaves™ tea on Twitter. And we love you all.

So here goes; and while we fully expect you to laugh with us and disagree with us, we also hope you’ll share your own items that Tea People Like in the comments, or on social media. Use #StuffTeaPeopleLike on Twitter, and maybe we’ll start a revolution. (A very quiet revolution. We don’t think tea people like noise.)

Stuff Tea People Like

Tea? Suddenly cool? Yes indeed. Thanks, Downton Abbey. #Stuffteapeoplelike

1. Tea? Suddenly cool? Yes indeed. Thanks, Downton Abbey. #StuffTeaPeopleLike

1. Downton Abbey

Seems like every time we post something regarding drinking tea and watching Downton Abbey, our Facebook Insights (the little graph that shows us how many people “liked” and commented on something we posted) goes through the roof. But quite frankly, we can’t blame you — the show, while definitely a high-class soap opera, has made drinking tea cool again. And for that, we owe show creator Julian Fellowes a solid.

2. Rainy, miserable afternoons

4. You know you love this. #StuffTeaPeopleLike

4. You know you love this.
#StuffTeaPeopleLike

3. Birds (mostly as a design motif)

4. Tea cozies, especially stylishly handmade cozies for tea cups

5. Photos of other people drinking tea, but not themselves

We can’t tell you how much free tea we’ve tried to give away to our fans by asking them to take a picture of themselves drinking tea for our Facebook page, and yet almost no one enters contests like those. They’d much rather hit the “thumbs up” button on a photo of someone else drinking a cup of tea, or post a photo of one of our sachets in their favorite mugs. It’s okay that you’re shy. We think that’s cute.

6. Free tea

On the other hand, anytime we hold a simple trivia question contest online, you all come out of the woodwork. Again, no one’s blaming you. Free tea is fabulous, no?

7. Stationery and fountain pens

8. Electric tea kettles

Multitasking at its best. #StuffTeaPeopleLike

9. Multitasking at its best.
#StuffTeaPeopleLike

9. Finding other uses for tea bags

De-puffing eyes, cleaning windows, composting, whatever.

10. Organic honey

11. Not being tan

Tannin, not tanning.

12. Used book stores

13. Sweaters

Bonus points for cardigans.

Tall, dark and dorky. #StuffTeaPeopleLike

14. Tall, dark and dorky.
#StuffTeaPeopleLike

14. Bow ties

15. Indie films

16. Pinterest

Not long ago, we welcomed a new staff member, Chloé Burton, who is now our marketing associate. Chloé is the exact member of the Millennial Generation that we needed doing things like creating and managing our Pinterest page, and as soon as we connected Chloé’s creative energy for Pinterest with Facebook, all bets were off. This girl posts one cute image of a beautifully drawn teapot she’s found online with clever wording like, “Blood, sweat and tea”, and 73 people hit the “like” button on Facebook, while 26 people share the image with their friends.

17. Anything infused with green tea.

Chocolate, vodka, jasmine rice, you name it.

16. Exactly. #stuffteapeoplelike

18. Exactly.
#stuffteapeoplelike

18. Yoga

19. Farmers Markets

20. Ballet flats

21. National Public Radio

22. Book clubs

23. Expressing interest in knitting but not necessarily doing so

24. Tea houses and tea rooms of any sort

25. Poetry contests

26. Sarcasm

Remind us to combine a poetry contest with some sarcasm sometime, would you?

27. Handmade mugs

28. Avant garde light fixtures

23. We promise this is not a staff photo. #stuffteapeoplelike

28. We promise this is not a staff photo.
#stuffteapeoplelike

29. Chacos

 They’re damn comfortable. And forget saving them just for river trips, tea people love them in chilly weather with … socks. Tea People sometimes eschew fashion.

30. Any and all facts about how good tea is for you

31. Cocktails made with tea

31. Cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off, and scones

32. Vintage clothing, but not “Thrift Shopping” à la Macklemore

(We know some Tea People aren’t going to get that, so we provide you with this link.)

 

The MAN. His tea. #stuffteapeoplelike

33. The man. His tea.
#StuffTeaPeopleLike

33. Ordering Earl Grey like Captain Jean-Luc Picard did on Star Trek: Enterprise

“Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.”  (Click on that to watch greatness in action.)

34. Loose tea and all its accoutrement — scales, filter baskets, small puddles of tea on your desk.

35. Instagram

36. Fancy socks

37. Hostess gifts

38. Blogging

39. Plush chairs

40. Umbrellas

41. Tom’s of Maine toothpaste

You're welcome. #StuffTeaPeopleLike

42. You’re welcome.
#StuffTeaPeopleLike

42. Pictures of cute pets and teacups

(Preferably cute pets sitting in teacups)

43. Portland but not Seattle

44. Baking bread

45. Becoming a self-designated member of the grammar police

46. Real Simple magazine

47. Being asked, “How do you take your tea?”

As opposed to, “Whatdaya want in it?”

48. Etsy

Especially that mug with a drawing of Lionel Richie that says, “Hello … is it tea you’re looking for?”

 

This blogger's cabinet. I see I'm out of Assam. #StuffTeaPeopleLike

49. This blogger’s cabinet.
#StuffTeaPeopleLike

49. Having a designated tea cabinet/drawer that preferably overflowing — bonus points if it’s primarily two leaves tea™

50. Audio books

51. Gardening

Especially while in floppy hats and if vintage teacups are used as planters.

52. The Breville One-Touch Tea Maker

Oh man, you’ve gotta watch the video here. (Don’t watch it if you don’t have $250 to spend on a high-tech tea maker. Do watch if you want to hear someone pronounce “aroma” like “aromer”.)

This one's a bit of a mystery. #StuffTeaPeopleLike

53. This one’s a bit of a mystery.
#StuffTeaPeopleLike

53. James Franco

This one is hard to pin down. Is it because James Franco appears in so many weird, indie movies? Is it that he’s a hard worker who appears in movies while teaching at NYU and scheduling a regular gig on a soap opera? We think he’s just your type. Sometimes.

54. Drinking tea with weird names like Pu-ehr or Oolong.

You know you sound cool ordering up a Lapsang Souchong.

55. Gourmet chocolate

So wrong, but so right. #StuffTeaPeopleLike

56. So wrong, but so right.
#StuffTeaPeopleLike

56. Ironic fancy teacups

57. Cupcakes

58. Gently pointing out their own opinions

Tea People don’t yell, do you?

 

Come on, commenters — what else ya got?

 

 

 

Posted in English style tea, Green Tea, Herbal Tea, Iced Tea, News from two leaves tea company, Organic Black Tea, Tea Education | 28 Responses

This month we were chosen to receive an award from a locally based magazine, Edible Aspen! We’re being called out as “Local Heros” in the Beverage Artisan category. These awards are given out based on votes online, which means that people who live around here and read Edible Aspen really did go online and vote for us. Here’s a link to the piece that spells out the award and what it means.

Edible Aspen Spring Issue - honoring local heros

Edible Aspen Spring Issue – honoring local heros

Maybe you’ve heard of the Edible Communities publications — they’re lovely magazines published all over the United States to promote the locavore movement. What’s the locavore movement, you ask? It’s all about eating food grown, raised, and prepared as close to your home as possible. In fact, here’s a little blurb about Edible Aspen magazine that spells out their belief system a bit more: “Edible Aspen is a quarterly magazine that celebrates the abundance of local food in the Roaring Fork Valley and neighboring communities. Started by Lisa Houston in 2007 the magazine helps connect consumers to local food and beverage producers, and to the chefs, restaurants and markets all dedicated to sourcing local food.”

It’s something we can get behind, and it’s great having Edible Aspen around to introduce us to all sorts of local products we didn’t know about before. Just last month I went to Whole Foods and spent a surprising amount on a bottle of salad dressing that’s made in our state. Now I can’t stop talking about because it’s so wonderful, and worth the money. (And here it is: the Purple Carrot dressing from Dressed Up Salad Dressing and ohmygosh you must check it out, it’s so good.)

I like to think that being crowned a “local hero” in the beverage community will make someone read about our little tea company, spring for a box and become just as addicted to our tea as I am to that salad dressing. But the truth is, being a claimed a “hero” of any kind … well, that’s a lofty word, you know? Marketing coordinator Christy Garfield and I had a chuckle about the fact that we’d be delighted with a “Pretty Darn Good Tea” award, because any sort of declaration that you’re a hero pales in the face of people we surround ourselves with who we truly consider Heroes, with a capital H.

Chris Klug

The Chris Klug Foundation and Donor Dudes promotes organ and tissue donation through action sports.

There’s Chris Klug, an Aspen local and professional alpine snowboarder who is the only person to ever win an Olympic medal after receiving a liver transplant. Our community celebrated with Chris when he won the bronze in the  2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, and we see him and his family around town frequently. Not only is he a great guy, but he’s dedicated to the fact that he lives his life courtesy of a family in Denver who lost their young son in a tragic accident, but chose to donate their son’s organs to people who needed them. His Chris Klug Foundation and Donor Dudes spreads the word about organ donation, and saves lives regularly because of that awareness. At its heart, it’s about the impact one life can have on so many others.

Amanda Boxtel

The incomparable Amanda Boxtel and her pal Tucker.

Amanda Boxtel is a wonderful woman who lives not far from the two leaves tea company™ office; she was paralyzed from the waist down in a freak skiing accident 21 years ago. Amanda hasn’t let that slow her down — she helped found Challenge Aspen, a nonprofit that brings mentally and physically challenged people to the mountains for adventurous activities. You should see Amanda fly down the mountains while sitting in her mono-ski, although these days she inspires a word of paraplegic people through her work with Ekso Bionics. We’ve got a heart-swelling three-minute video of Amanda demonstrating how Ekso has gotten her back on two feet, and you can watch it here. (Seriously, watch it — you’ll be glad you did.)

Auden Schendler

Change-maker Auden Schendler is the author of “Getting Green Done.”

Auden Schendler is another guy we admire and consider a local hero — he first caught attention locally, and then nationally as the Vice President of Sustainability for the Aspen Skiing Company. Auden knew that global warming was going to change the face of the skiing industry, but let’s face it — the ski industry is a huge drain on natural resources, between keeping ski lodges warm and draining creeks for snow-making. So if you want to change the world, you start with yourself, right? With his help, the Aspen Skiing Co. became the first ski company with a climate change policy, found efficient snowmaking equipment to save 6 million gallons of water per year and now uses biodiesel fuel in snowcats. Auden, who was named one of Time Magazine’s Environmental Innovators in 2006, lives with his family in our neighborhood here in Basalt, Colo.

10th Mountain

Tenth Mountain Division veterans marching in Aspen’s Winterskol parade carry their Army-issue skis.

If we’re going to get historic about local heroes, did you know that Aspen as a ski resort was built by some very visionary WWII vets? The 10th Mountain Division training camp at Camp Hale brought adventurous men to the mountains who learned how the could help win the war in the snowy terrain overseas, particularly in some regions in Italy. When the war was over, some of those men came back to Colorado and rediscovered Aspen — an old silver mining town that had boomed in the late 1800s and then busted. These young men brought their families to this dilapidated town and created community, not to mention ski runs we’re still shushing down. We feel grateful they looked around our valley and saw such potential, and we’re reaping the rewards of their vision.

We’re surrounded by heroes, and you probably are too. List some of your local heroes in the comments — we’d love to read about them! (And if you find our tea heroic, well, we’re just happy to be giving you pleasant tea times every day. Cheers to that.)

Posted in News from two leaves tea company | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment