Monday, March 31, 2008

On Shelves Now!

Just did a dropoff of some fresh and delicious coffee at Lena's Cafe and Confections in New Haven. They have us on their shelves right by the door where you can't help but smell the beans as soon as you walk in, and now they are also brewing our coffee to-go, or with a meal. They have an amazing brunch menu and I'm really psyched this store is selling our coffee by the cup.

At Fuel last week I did a tea sampling / demonstration. Tea is a big part of what we do at Bean & Leaf. I mean, it's right there in the name, exactly half of it! In fact, we have far more teas in the shop than we do types of coffee. Although in truth some are tisanes, botanicals, pooers, rooibuses (rooibi?) or yerba mate, all which are most definitely not actually teas. To be a tea, you must be Camellia Sinensis. The rest are herbal teas.

So last week, I pranced into Fuel with my delightful tea basket, laid out some table cloths and then started unloading the implements-of-tea. The owner and I were sitting at a table towards the back, but as I took out the various cups and packets, the rest of the staff gathered around. We tasted 1 tea, 3 botanicals, some macha tea and a yerba mate. It was really tons of fun. I knew Fuel was a good place to do this for the first time because the staff there is awesome and it's just a cool local place. They were way into it and one of the guys that works there knew quite a bit about teas and herbal teas, so it was a great conversation all around.

One thing I mentioned during the presentation is how interesting it is to see people drink their tea at Bean & Leaf. People pop in for a coffee to go or get some lattes to sit with their friends and chat, but the tea people are cut from a slightly different cloth. There is a process and a ritual to their beverage. They have a timer. They add and adjust water, then fine tune with honey. It is clear they are enjoying their tea in a different way than you would a cup of coffee, and it's amazing to see. Obviously this isn't everyone, but because of the elegant way we give people this beverage, they do seem to respond in kind.

There is no tea equivalent to the espresso. It's just not the way things are done!

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