Thursday, April 16, 2020 - Tea Community Around the World

Video Subtitles

then unmute you guys and then let
everybody out let the rest of the
waiting room sound good sorry I just had
to do my little Jay Davis dance I saw he
came in he's he's here I'm Meghan
hello and welcome everybody to tea talks
for 16 April 16 2020
I just celebrated my one month in
quarantine I think probably a lot of
other people are approaching that same
quarantine earthers we've got a panel
here to discuss conscious we've got
Elise Peterson please what are you doing
in today I'm going to be drinking some
white tea from the ball just a little
sample here looking forward to something
fresh and Andrian light today our next
guest is from Austin Texas he's got a
fare and a china tea company so hon what
are you drinking it I begin this little
mini being Chung toir this is goose Utah
and it's this yellow and rabbit for you
it comes as this little coin which
meat is just like one little dose of tea
and it's really nice it's good shy you
can see it's got nice big leaves so I'm
going to talk about this first who are
not all day so thanks Eric for that idea
yes Ashish sure Nelson he's got an on
line going food what are you drinking
today I am drinking things Jeremy well
Jeremy well sir what do you think they
do that I playing it safe and going with
18 Ruby which never fails awesome so the
prompt that kind of brought us to this
panel today came from an email
conversation about how we could monetize
our projects and that led me to ask the
question how do we develop a
monetization structure for our tea
project your intro cause somebody's
background there's like a garbage truck
driving by I'm sorry
that's a it's my fault background noise
no problem
so Jeremy I was just reflecting on the
conversation you and I were have an
email about monetization structures and
having something that's sustainable yeah
the way that I look at sustainability
it's all about making sure that both
sides of any one Apollo transaction both
sides are getting everything they need
so that
the whole is greater than the sum of its
parts yeah yep but I think I mentioned
that eventually they're nice of value
needs to be placed on these kind of
virtual services which means at some
point we'd probably have to expect
participants to pay a fee or a
membership but I think that wouldn't be
an issue getting people involved that
way we incentivize them it's basically
any participant in these forums that
like sell things online like me
whoever sort of a paid member into the
service I could just offer something
like 5% off 10% off a single purchase so
on your end you have the membership fees
to pay it for cost and then on our end
it drives business our way but at least
the customer has value in the product as
well as they get to kind of further
participate in it since they'll be
buying products from all the
participants okay anybody else have
ideas for how we incentivize
participation well I think just making
it as interactive as possible in my
experience so far with hosting these
virtual team events the most engagement
comes when you know things are happening
live of course like happening right now
people watching I'm sure are going to be
interested in asking some questions and
commenting on what we're talking about
but you know what I think T is such a
great tool maybe compared to other
things that people are trying to play
with in the virtual world t is a it
already is so connecting and so you know
in the moment that people are going to
be more receptive to that interactivity
but you know just having our T in front
of us like making sure that your
your tea vessels and your your
activities are visual and kind of in the
forefront of what you're doing I think
is a part of that as well you know so I
think there is a much different
experience for the attendee of these
events when you have the camera like
pandan right at your face versus you
know having your your your teeth in
front of you which kind of encourages
people to feel like because this has
happened for me a lot people like
randomly come upon like one of my live
events not expecting that they wanted to
have tea not expecting that they're
gonna be a part of it but then just by
seeing this and and hearing me even if
I'm talking by myself they'll tune in
and they'll say hey yeah I put the
kettle on because I wasn't expecting to
do it but this just looked like too much
fun I had to jump in on it so yeah I
think it's important to make it as
interactive as possible
yeah if T is happening then people are
gonna want to get a tepee board
especially they're gonna want to get
involved have t be a big part of this is
having people here in the zoom room I
think makes a lot of our guests right
now are on you I think the fact that
they are in this space with us is
probably also a big step towards keeping
them involved because it's different
from consuming content on the live
stream here they're actually in a
separate window without Facebook and I
think in my experience attending events
like this it's definitely helped with
making me feel more engaged in the
attack exactly I mean I love that
Priscilla as part of it and she she's
she's laying a bit so Jeremy is
suggesting a monetization method around
subscription air
that's similar to you do with Lin Gong
flutie right well yes however I kind of
I we haven't mentioned I also run a
software company that sells subscription
software and I've been doing this for 10
years so I think that that's kind of
more relevant than my my newly launched
gun booty business to the conversation
and to me I think we jumped very quick
from the concept of sustainability to
monetization I don't necessarily think
that they're immediately related to each
other in fact in a lot of cases I think
that jumping to monetization too quickly
is a sign of not paying attention this
sustainability monetization I think
should be a natural happening and your
audience should essentially tell you
when you should monetize something from
a sustainability perspective especially
with new businesses the first thing to
ensure is that you are sustainable and
that you are committed to building
something because if you are not you
don't have the energy and the enthusiasm
it doesn't matter what you chart you
know because a lot of people will want
to use monetization as a way to make
them enthusiastic that's never gonna
stick so it's essential i thing for
people wanting to start a new business
that they actually go all-in
you know they give of themselves and
they have a passion for it because
ultimately passion is is what's going to
attract people whether it's related to
tea or any type of business and there
are some skills to learn you know you
need to maybe learn how to organize and
run an event like this it depends on who
your audience is there are some
fundamental things that I think come way
before thinking about
monetization I 100% agree with you
my so my intention for tea talks which
they think is kind of where our original
conversation started is really around
bringing the global tea community
together so we're in week five right now
and back when we first started I reached
out to Soho and was like hey let's do it
online tea party where we can get people
together then we got next week we got at
least involved and we were in three
different countries and to me the idea
that all of our all of our individual
communities are not necessarily
connected when we're all out in physical
world but here in the multiverse we no
barrier to connecting so that's what I'm
looking to explore so if the more
momentum and more energy that we can can
build around this connection
monetization will will come I feel like
I feel just having you guys here holding
this space with you I'm getting
everything that I had come for how this
peacock and to me that's the key of
sustainability we all need to be getting
out of this experience what we are
looking to yeah I think that it's really
important for us to not immediately jump
like as you said to immediately jump to
monetization on this actual activity
that we're doing but it's also
sustainable and smart in the long term
and the long term vision of what you're
doing and why you're doing these things
of figuring out how you're gonna
monetize it eventually so that's that's
that's important you know and in this
time virtual events and live like people
are like absorbing it like crazy right
now so
like now is the time to be honing in
your skills and practicing these things
but you know I think expecting to charge
for it or monetize directly on the
content directly from the consumer of
the content is is gonna lead you into a
lot of disappointment you know so you
kind of gotta get creative
either through finding sponsors for the
content which is like kind of the
traditional kind of like radio show
model right where you know you you
regularly broadcast some some content
and have some commercial sponsor you
know supporting you in doing that in
exchange for exposure of their brand now
if that is that in alignment with our
you know kind of the the mutually
understood definition of tea and the tea
lifestyle that we've talked about in the
past I don't think so you know so that's
where the conflict for us comes in is
that we kind of have to pave new paths
and I've seen some retailers doing quite
a good job at it where they're creating
that content and the content itself is
free and accessible to everybody and
that's good marketing right everybody is
kind of learning that you're an expert
in that you're knowledgeable on this
certain area but the monetization comes
in providing tea samples that'll be you
know tasted during these sessions and to
experience that exclusivity of drinking
the same tea while the content is being
delivered is like the premium that
people pay for yeah I agree a lot with
actually what everyone's been saying
just to go back to what Jeremy was
saying that uh and what at least just
said is that for me what makes sense is
you don't want to alienate people by
saying oh you have to be a subscriber to
join this we do this you know we've been
doing tea talks it's been great I love
coming to do these and I have such a
time with them and growing the community
is about making that accessible to
people and you know you could have two
tracks of participation one is just the
entry level free participation you can
go you register for free and event right
and then you're you're just
participating you get the enjoyment of
being in this conversation in this room
and then you've got another tier of
membership where it's monetized and that
gives you access to these discounts you
know we've got we got you know Eric and
Elise and Jeremy and and everyone else
in this room who's in the tea industry
and has products that can be purchased
being able to offer people a discount on
that I just very casually dropped a
discount code two days ago in a
livestream that I was doing and we got a
ton of revenue we got a ton of sales
from that so that was definitely worth
it to me as a tea merchant and then to
speak to what Eric was saying I think
that there's the it's this concept of
value first you know give something
first give something free of charge and
be consistent you know Sam you've been
doing a great job of hosting this every
week showing up I know that on Thursday
whether I'm there or not
detox is gonna be happening and I've
managed to be there every week but we've
watched it grow and through that process
I think you know I did it going through
chalk class last week and I'm doing
another one tomorrow and we had 16
people in the going for chalk class and
a lot of that comes from I've been
teaching this class for 12 years I've
been studying bunk with job for 17 years
and and Eric we've been putting out free
content through tea house ghosts for
four years we've been putting out free
content full production value that we
pay a production crew to come and make
this content and we have you know
20-something episodes on tea house
ghosts and I've had dozens of people
come to me and say I learned how to pour
tea by watching your videos I live
somewhere where there is no tea house I
learned how to pour tea by watching you
on YouTube and I think that what we're
seeing right now is you know I'm holding
another one tomorrow I've got a bunch of
people signed up for that already and a
lot of that comes from having put in the
time having put in the work to study to
study in China to study with people to
whom the culture belongs to and to put
out free content that authentic
that that legitimized that it's it's you
know and so 4:13 talks for example
they've got their value first which is
you can come and do this for free you
can come and be in this room and be with
all these tea people and have tea with
all of us and be part of the community
for free and if you want to heighten
your engagement then you can have a
subscription which team talks get paid
on subscription and then the
participants like you know those of us
who are in the tea industry who are in
this room I have no doubt that if we
were to have a list of coupon codes for
all of this for all of our different
companies that we would be getting a lot
of returns on that investment and from
the consumer perspective from their
perspective of a participant they get to
you know have and there's other perks
you can add you know community perks
that they get to they get to have access
to all of these different discounts from
all of these different tea companies and
they can really expand the tea knowledge
and from one place and from people that
they know they've talked to this people
bring a question up and relate it in
relation to that what is the revenue
needed to support our efforts you know
if we were to get a discount code and
and I was to receive you know $300 in
orders I'd be fabulous you know it'd
feel great but is that enough to support
what we're doing you know what I mean so
like when it comes to you know rent and
overhead and then paying our own payroll
and whatever employees payroll that we
have you know we're talking about bigger
numbers here that you know like a few
orders from a handful of people it's
probably not going to be enough to
support you know and I hate to to be
negative here but I think it's an
important question that I think was kind
of the purpose of this conversation is
how do we really monetize well I think
you're absolutely right the challenge is
if your business is solely based on a
good that your
you're only dealing with margins in
terms of how you make money so really
all of us should be in content
businesses right because if your only
option is making money buy goods that
you're selling you know like you said
it's not gonna cover your overhead and
offering a discount while it may bring
you more business ultimately won't
necessarily help you financially at
least at least over time you know in the
beginning it might be useful to do that
to attract new business and get certain
customers but there does need to be a
plan over time of what what's it called
in the subscription world increasing
your customer lifetime value customer
lifetime value is how much money a
customer spends with you over the
lifetime of being with you and this T is
a perfect arena to be able to have
content businesses because there's so
much nuance to how you actually prepare
this beverage people can buy tea from
you but how do they brew it there's
endless we could endlessly each one of
us could endlessly do something and you
know Soham was talking like i i've been
doing teaching for 12 years and that's
amazing and at the same time one of the
beauties of tea is that it does not mean
that if you've just started last year
like I think even on your virtual tea
pus there was that guy Mike from San
Francisco I mean he only started doing
tea a year ago but because of his
personality and because of how he's
willing to put himself out there he's
already transforming his knowledge into
sharing and teaching and there's nothing
in the tea world that says you can't do
that or you have to have a certain
amount of experience or that it's not
that people with less experience is less
valid it's just different different
perspectives so everybody has the
opportunity to have to bring content and
mana to content monetization into their
business and I think it's essential
I think so I've been talking with a lot
of my co-workers about this and we are
working on this idea of where Charles
Eisenstein calls a potlatch society
where your status within a society
community is based on your contribution
not based on any sort of like social
standing so the people that give the
most that show up the most are naturally
going to rise to the top and I think
especially with our current economic
situation and everything that's
happening with COBIT I think we're gonna
see the people the companies that are
out there that are really doing what
they can to support people are giving
people the warm fuzzy feelings and the
email that I got from AT&T about how
they're supporting Tobit really just
like didn't seem to do it for them
because it really just felt like they
were trying to upsell me on new service
because I'm gonna be home all that break
I think it's like I think it's important
that at some point we need to place a
value on this content or on this service
but we're still kind of far away from
that as soon as we can get it in food we
can get how many people here involved
how regularly and how predictable all
these talks and contributions can be and
we actually a set some value to it so I
think you know is true my musician or an
always be in our mind but those are now
anyway because I think that we all have
something different to contribute so
once we get that core community in place
so that the people who are you know the
potential members or whoever
participants at least have that
reliability that comfort on their side
that he's going to be here then he's
going to be here then she'll be talking
without tomorrow so I think it's just
all about trying to gather that
community in the most organized and
predictable fashion for these people I
so when I started doing this in Austin
in like 2012 there was no tea community
in Austin to speak up there was a few
scattered people who were aware of
Chinese tea and funky cha as a concept
and so there who there was there was no
even for the tea service itself even
taking tea weeds that I bought and
serving its people with my time and that
did not necessarily present as having
value at that time because people didn't
know what it was and they didn't think
of it as something they should hate and
so what our community for free every
Tuesday and Friday I called it office
hours and I would just serve tea for
free during those times and and there
was no pressure on anyone to buy
anything but people did buy stuff people
bought tea where people bought tea
eventually I started teaching my class
here in Austin as well and and started
charging people to take the class and
that's really where the initial money
from the you know that started this
company came from is just doing
something for free and something that
actually does have a you know beyond
just my time and monetary value I was i
was using tea that I had bought to do
this but I was I was taking that loss
and not in Essex Peck ting there were
plenty of times that I'd have office
hours and five or seven people would
show up and no one got any tea or gave
me any money and that's fine because we
were growing the tea culture since then
every tea house I've had on Sunday we
have an event hug community which is
streamed salvation based essentially
free I've had I've had people who would
come to every community every week and
never spend any money never make a
donation never buy anything for two or
three years but then after two or three
years all of a sudden they've got a new
job and they come in and they buy a tea
set and they buy tea and then they're
buying tea every week and they're also
bringing their friends this whole time
they're bringing
their friends and their friends are
getting introduced to tea and their
friends are learning how to pour tea and
serving other people and so it's very
difficult to estimate the the lifetime
value of a guest a member of the
community because there are indirect
value that they bring because they're
sharing like like Eric was saying you
don't have to have been studying for any
amount of time to be able to share tea
culture with people everyone has their
own unique perspective and their own
unique way of doing things and even that
distinctiveness itself has value and
what I found here in Austin is that the
more that that potlatch attitude the
more that we show up the more that we're
putting into the community the more that
we get back and it's not this
transactional scenario where it's like
ok you came to this thing so now you pay
me money for it it's that you've been
we've come and you've made yourself part
of the community and it hasn't cost you
anything at this point but you have
loyalty and affection for the company
because of that as you were talking
about Sam seeing what people do put into
the community and the effort that they
put in it means something to a consumer
like we've spent a lot of time
discussing the revenue and monetization
side of sustainability I would like to
flip to the other side of the equation
and look at our business practices in
our expense side of running a business
that helps make things sustainable I I
have something that I think so huh man
in his description of how he started his
business is very common and it should be
understood that if you're going to start
something it may be years before you see
anything back and that's why like when I
started my software business I didn't
make a diamond for five years and so you
that's why it's such an essential
ingredient your passion because that's
the thing that sustains you over the
periods of time where you're not going
to be making anything you invest your
in in salons case early days he had to
create the market essentially luckily
now as tea people we don't have to
create the market in fact tea the tea
market is growing as far as I can see
and there's more demand for it so at
least we don't have to create the market
now but we still need to invest our
cells and and consistently consistency
is the biggest currency that we have
when we're starting a new business and
overthinking things in terms of planning
is the enemy things things are not far
away you know we shouldn't be telling
ourselves that certain things are a
certain distance away from us because
there first of all we don't know and
automatically if we're thinking about
how far away something is it immediately
shifts our focus from what we can do now
to where something we're waiting for and
energetically that has an impact on how
people will feel when they're when
they're working with you in terms of
what you're trying to grow so all this
obviously bit of no I would think too
that for sure yeah at the beginning
businesses are not sustainable we have
to we have to put more into them than we
can pull out of them that that's just
the nature of building of kind of action
like tea so looking on the other side of
the equation that's where I know at
least you're doing a lot of work in the
around mess around financial
sustainability and more around making
sure that our supply chains are
sustainable and that we're treating our
we're treating their horses properly
yeah yeah yeah so that's that's another
angle of sustainability that oftentimes
gets overlooked in business because in
business we're so pressured to make
money and and support the the financial
end of it which is important and that's
why I always bring it up and I always
challenge people to think more about
that's like been the biggest
breakthrough that I've made personally
in this business as I've been going on
this journey over the past eight years
is is learning to be comfortable with
saying that I'm motivated by money and
it's not necessarily an evil thing
because when you have strong financial
systems that you're building upon then
your other value systems will be even
stronger as well so you know when I
started this company I was not a tea
connoisseur I was in no place to be
teaching people about how to board poor
tea or how to serve tea and I think
that's actually an advantage because I
still hold on to that kind of lack of
attachment to knowledge maybe I have
some knowledge by default just from all
the exposure I've had but more
importantly my work of promoting
sustainability like environmental and
economic sustainability in these
marginalized communities where people
ecomes from has given me access to a
network of people that have that
knowledge and so that's why I like my
whole marketing mind is not about my
specific knowledge but about everybody
else's and so I appreciate that you guys
allow me to to share your knowledge and
I hope you guys get benefit from it you
know it's a symbiotic mutually
beneficial type of thing I'm hoping to
build but you know not what we're
looking money is important but also not
overlooking like the sustainability of
the systems upon our businesses are made
of in the social entrepreneurship world
there is a term called externalized
costs and these externalized costs are
often the numbers that are left off of
the spreadsheets and left off of the the
balance sheets of how a business runs
and that could be treatment of the the
people that you know work to produce
your product treatment of the
environment treatment and sustainability
of the resources such as water and soil
and an energy and an air and all of
these things the business just plugs
along making money and not taking those
costs into consideration in their bottom
line it is actually going to be very
detrimental to the sustainability of
their business
and the sustainability of the legacy of
their business if you're trying to build
a legacy type business which I think all
entrepreneurs like very successful ones
should be focused on we shouldn't be
focused on building like a flash in the
pan type business that will dis X it on
and make our money and go on with our
lives like what satisfaction and
happiness is in that I have no idea but
there is satisfaction and building a
business like General Electric or or
AT&T as you said you know businesses
that are going to continue to evolve and
remain strong businesses in the
community that we're constantly
providing value to the community so I
think with the information that is
easily shareable now in the access to
connections and and also to like the
stakeholders themselves that possess the
the inputs of information about these
externalized costs which oftentimes a
lot of times business like it wasn't
their fault
like they just didn't know those things
but now it's like we you got to be
having your eyes closed and not giving a
shit about people if you don't address
those things and so yeah that's been the
core my work has been trying to bring
those things to everybody's attention
that you know monoculture een has this
effect on the soil and the productivity
of the soil which yeah and you may not
care about the subsistence crops and the
people that live there that's fine you
don't have to care about them that's ok
like they're not your family they're not
your community I understand that you
don't care they're not in front of your
face but you're gonna care about the
supply of your product 15 20 years from
now because that's your business that's
directly connected to you and so that's
always been a big part in my
conversation about sustainability is is
reminding businesses that caring about
these things is not just the hippie
thing to do that it's it's smart
business all right hundred percent agree
I mean I think where we're seeing even
even here in the u.s. in across the
board and other
shuri's just looking at the wake
companies treat their employees that
companies are often consuming their
employees I mean I I definitely in my in
my background of accounting there's kind
of this ethos you're gonna go to one of
the big four accounting firms and either
they're going to eat you up and spit you
out but you're gonna have something
great on your resume for it or they're
gonna indoctrinate you into a partner
track that'll have you set for life it
but it's really only one of those two
it's not something that I felt like
really would have helped me develop
professional yeah for sure
I think sustainability the challenge
with talking about sustainability is the
sustainability and what it means is it
moving target depending on where you are
in your business and what it what it's
going to take for you to get to the next
level so like you are saying police
certainly we cannot we have to pay
attention in financial aspects otherwise
that's not sustainable because if we
can't sustain ourselves then we can't
help anybody so it is essential to pay
attention to the finances but this is
this is part of the challenge I think in
growing businesses you have to have a
mind towards the future and you also
can't get too far ahead of yourself
otherwise you'll freak yourself out
especially depending on your personality
type there's so many details to focus on
in business and it asks so much of you
and it could it's easy to get
overwhelmed and so sustainability also
has in my opinion has has a big thing to
to do with recognizing where your
weaknesses are and finding people who
you who you can work with
we're gonna also offset those weaknesses
so if you're not a money person you'll
need to find somebody who's going to
help you handle those things those we
build teams that also increases the
complexity of the needs that need to be
bound because now it's not just my needs
that need to be met it's also my
partner's needs - of course but but that
this is the whole thing everybody wants
to start a business because they think
that the end goal is them making money
but people don't actually realize fully
that when starting a business you are
you are basically founding a community
you are you're committing to building
something and supporting everybody who's
involved up a community including your
team including your customers so you are
becoming the founding member of a town
and you're committing yourself to take
care of those people you may not realize
this in the beginning but if your
business is successful that's where
you're gonna end up and at any point in
time as you're going to that point that
this is where people exit like I didn't
sign up for this I didn't sign up for
that the thing is if you start a
business and it is successful your role
will change and you will have to adapt
otherwise it's not gonna work yeah
starting the business is to keep the
business going as long as you can it's a
very you approach it with a very
different a very different mindset - I'm
gonna start a business and try and sell
it for a 10x multiply yeah that's fine
it all depends on the personality you
know that doesn't necessarily mean you
know just because somebody wants to have
an exit strategy it's not a
straightforward saying it doesn't mean
that they're a bad person you know it's
a it's it's just so complex and nuanced
but I really like what you're saying
just all the stuff you're saying and you
being motivated solely by profit money
selling out is not necessarily bad
morally bad but what it doesn't provide
is the fortitude and the the grit
necessary to soldier through those lean
times because if what you're there for
is just for the payoff and you're having
to sacrifice and sacrifice and sacrifice
with with no visible payoff in the you
know and down the road that can be one
of these things that leads people to
like you said check out at that point
bit you know what I didn't sign up for
this I'm here this is my job I'm here to
make money and and you know I wouldn't
when I started West China team I wasn't
actually starting it to make money I was
starting it because I had this tea that
I really like it was better than any C
that I could get I drank it all and I
wanted to get some work and the only way
I could ship it over it was to start a
company I said Ohio DBA to get an FDA
registered food handling facility and an
individual can't do that and but I
wasn't trying to do it as my job I had
another job at that point and I was
doing medical research and and so I it
was totally it wasn't until that other
job fell through and my medical research
company that worked for Holden and I
found myself unemployed but I was like
well I've got this tea company and I've
got all this tea that I got maybe I
could sell it and and and that was kind
of my my initial motivation and then for
me the the money part has been how do i
fund this community how do I keep
reading over T because T is the blood of
this community no tea no tea community
and how do i how do i how do i sustain
this this organism and keep it alive
well with more tea and how do I get more
tea well with money I'm going to ask you
a question about that sure the answer to
that question where did it come from
could you come up with the answer to
that question or did it come from
somewhere else which question the
question of how am I going to sustain
this business I mean it kind of it kind
of just did itself to be honest because
I was like well I brought over this tea
and then I just drank it with me and my
mighty friends who lived in Austin
who are already the team from from from
back in the day and from the you know
people that I I got into it when I was
here we just drank I didn't have that
much but I was it was better than what I
could get you know online or at a tea
store in America and I was like well I'm
not I'm out of tea I need to get more
tea where am I going to go I'm not gonna
go buy it and pay the the import fees to
an import company I'm just gonna buy it
to these farmers that I know and I can
get a better price for it and I I like
it better so I'm just gonna go get it
and then I went and got it and kind of
people were just throwing in on the
order and I wasn't that first order I
wasn't making a profit
my friends were just like hey like my
friend Eric who I knew from JD needs
teahouse back in the day he was like oh
I got tea that you've been getting
you're getting more of it I want some
let me give you some money and and and
and I was okay cool the shipping will be
cheaper if more people are getting in
together to get a bigger shipment and
then that when that shipment got sent
back to China because I didn't have the
FDA clearance to to it then I was like
oh shit I need to start a business and I
need to do this thing and then and then
after the doctor mine then a year later
when my medical research company folded
I was sitting on this shipment of tea
and the the question was like okay well
we're it would rain but we've got rain
butter which is a shoe poor and then I
was like well we're getting down to the
bottom of this butter
I've sold enough to get some more and so
I can get some orange but honestly it
was very unconscious automatic process
to permanent process whereby people
wanted the tea that I had I was selling
it to them as Christ that I could get
more and it was almost like yeah I was
very money yeah yeah so where's the echo
oh I had a similar experience so hon so
that's why I ask cuz I spent the early
part of my company time like asking so
many questions how can I do this how can
I do that and then you know fast forward
five years I look back and I realize me
trying to make things happen I actually
made things go s'more slowly all of the
critical things that help my business to
go forward were things you could call
circumstance or luck or opportunity
whatever things that I didn't have any
control over but I was prepared for and
that's why at this point in time I think
I constantly say the most important
ingredients are your passion and
alignment because if you're aligned then
that to me alignment is the thing is the
energetic sensation you're doing what
you're supposed to be doing and if
you're doing what you're supposed to be
doing then you will be supported but if
you go into something because you want a
particular outcome and I get I get it it
can be very seductive to say I need
money like and and try to just go for it
you know or I need I need something
whatever money is just an easy currency
to look at because it's so tangible but
there are many types of currency like
for example you say when you first
started the business your business in
the beginning you weren't getting any
return but the fact that matters you
were getting a return it wasn't monetary
monetary but there was a synergy there
there was a feedback loop you were
getting a lot out of that so and and
that's alignment to me absolutely I was
I was getting a lot I was getting
community which is one of the most
fundamental human needs I think that
this whole situation and the degree of
community and cohesion where
in the tea family is is evidence of that
and and you know I just to speak to what
you're saying about this concept of
serendipity opportunity luck in Chinese
that word is un-fun and un-fun we in
here in the West we think of serendipity
is random coincidences that are just
completely you know they align because
of just the luck of the draw probability
and it's that exception to the rule you
know normally things follow this this
orderly logical physical pattern and
then sometimes something will happen
just at the right place at the right
time and that's just it's it's it's Fae
its chance but in China the concept of
un-fun is that it's a physical course
just like gravity the the physical force
of gravity draws objects with mass
together the course of un-fun draws
things that are in alignment with each
other together and to the Chinese it's
just as much a fact of life as the
weather and actually there's a special
species of un-fun called choy n meaning
tea destiny and that comes from this
widespread recognition in Chinese
culture and Chinese society that strange
coincidences strange alignments happen
because of tea and around tea and it's
such a well-established phenomenon that
you can go to a tea shop in China and
buy a tea cloth with doing these words
chai un embossed in them because it's
it's it's people know this word and III
agree everything that's happened I mean
we closed wanyan tea house at the
beginning of March because the lease
ended the lease was ending at the end of
March and so we posed one in and I was
preparing to renovate and redecorate and
restructure and open West China tea as
in the new TS in the same location and
then cope at 19 happen and so I had I
had a month of rent set aside
anticipating making no revenue from the
tea house I had to budget it for that
and then koban 19 happened and and I I
waited and to Sri signed the lease until
after mercury was out of retrograde and
people were pushing me really hard
because when you gonna sign when you can
decide what start worked on the place
what are you gonna sign and I was like I
don't know you guys Mercury's
oh great it doesn't seem like a good
idea and lo and behold mercury exited
retrograde on the tenth and was out of
the shadow of retrograde on the 12th and
on the 12th is when we got the
announcement that shelter-in-place was
gonna happen here in austin and i was
able to negotiate with my landlord to
pay a quarter of rent for the entire
time that the quarantine is in effect
and so that was huge Chow and for me
because now I have am able to pay for
four months of rent with what I budgeted
for one and I have more time to renovate
the TS and I don't have to worry about
losing momentum on the TS because
nothing's going on the world is no
longer happening without the T Oz and
the tea house is being left behind when
we're ready to start back up people are
gonna be so starved for human
interaction and so all of those things
align for us you know here in Austin to
make to have the best possible situation
for the tea house and I don't think of
it as just random chance I'd believe
that was that was by design not my
design but it was by design
I agree all right how do you feel about
this journey or Annelise well I was ugly
and jumped in when we were talking a
little bit about mindset and this is
from my experience selling teas that
when I started a few years ago it was
just my whole mentality was gaining
customers it was his right from the
start I needed to be a sustainable
business and I thought let me just gain
customers and it was only recently where
someone was kind of walking me through
its of your mindset or off you don't
gain customers you build a community and
once that community is in place then
you're gonna have as very engaged very
active people and they said you had to
make that decision are you gonna go
after everybody but it's usually gonna
result in people who are very casual and
you'll see every once in a while or do
you want to build like a more
concentrated smaller community and
they're gonna be very engaged and active
all the time
so we said it was just two completely
different mentalities but it gets you to
the same spot it gets you to a
sustainable business so that's you know
so when
and to it but it was a big the
priorities but I cared about muted yeah
sorry I muted myself okay there we go
that's much better
yeah Sam it's your neck oh um un-fun
Priscilla un-fun means serendipity in
general and then Choi un means T destiny
T serendipity and also I've got I've got
to stop at five but I if anyone has any
questions specifically for me I'd be
totally happy to field that before I go
or five by the hour I'm going to stop at
the hour
if there's no other questions we can
before break out I'm just gonna jump in
and say thank you I enjoyed the space
those listening the whole time and Eric
your your your cogent summaries and
poignant prompts were quite wonderful so
I don't presently have more words than
that but I appreciated money and no
doubt thanks friend
bye and I will mention I actually do an
entrepreneur podcast if you are
interested in a lot more depth in terms
of one of them to talk about
it's called subscription entrepreneur
calm and there's tons of stuff on there
if you if you do are interested in more
of that kind of thing yeah I just wanted
to add in you know that we've been
talking a lot about everybody's personal
experiences with taking our time and
building community and it's totally
necessary it's you know everybody's
story and and will continue to be
everybody's story and getting into the
business of tea but I just what a hold
space and like let people know that like
right now is a very interesting time and
a lot more pressures on us than than
usual to to try to figure out this this
puzzle of financially supporting
ourselves and building our communities
so I don't think it's uh it's too out of
the question to to think in that way you
know taking your time to build that
community and and and putting that
consistency in but at the same time yeah
you just got to get really clever with
with how to make money and I think that
we've given a couple of suggestions and
anecdotes about what's work
now but I think times like these is like
for every sector bringing innovation so
I really look forward to seeing all the
innovation that comes out from for
everybody here and everybody within our
community about you know how to support
ourselves and finding our passion you
know because maybe we don't have another
job to fall back on right now so like a
hundred percent of our time is in tea
and you know a hundred percent of our
future financial future is in our RT
communities so yeah I just want to
encourage everybody to to get innovative
be vulnerable be bold and and and like
she just keeps reiterating be consistent
yeah and start don't think about it
Dani has a question I think hi everyone
it's not
excellent question Hyades I Sam hi Eric
hi everybody
so actually in Brazil so I've told you
the last time I was here with you the
movement like an association it's called
the slow tea and right yeah they're like
all the brand's together actually you
have like some social work some like
we're studying indigenous plants and
supporting small growers like far not
necessarily Camila finance but other her
parties and one of the things were doing
Africa b19 is that we've launched a
marketplace for all of the tea brands in
Brazil so we are not like a 50 different
brands like boom tea blend in companies
like sloppy planning companies but we're
all together and we've done like how do
you say that like a distribution center
in my hometown which is in Curitiba so
everybody is sending dirty and hundred
launching a marketplace so everybody can
work together and like
to be in the marketplace people should
write they should say that they should
produce content so so it's like it
attracts people you know it attracts tea
lovers to buy tea and tea lovers can
come into the market
hey I tea from all of those different
brands so we think that's a good
solution I don't know if that's the
result right because we're gonna launch
it within my ten days and then I'll let
you know well I think it's gonna work
hopefully there was a question that came
through Facebook I'll go ahead and share
it and you know maybe some folks hear
that and this is from an aspiring tea
entrepreneurs so you know kind of nice
kind of somebody that's hasn't started
yet but this is a Michael Mastin says
he's interested in learning if it's
better to order wholesale from other
companies and resell those our rebrand
them under his brand or to try to import
directly and jump through those hoops
anybody want to answer that
am i muted am i arable right now okay
okay cool I'll turn the camera in second
um this would be probably my last will
respond to bed um I will say I'll say
this I mean I I it's it's it's a lot of
work and they're like you know at least
can speak to this at least as an
importer I'm an importer and anyone else
who is you know an actual importer it's
a lot of work and so for example if you
want to import Chinese tea you have to
speak Chinese that's just not an option
you do have to know Chinese whether
language may be for other types of tea
like Indian tea you could get by with
with English but I think that it's
there's there's definitely a lot of
value to importing your own tea because
then you have a distinctive and unique
product that other people don't have but
it's it is a huge amount of work and
also I don't think there's anything
wrong with with
repackaging other people's imported tea
and selling it as long as the tea itself
is of quality and your curating
essentially at that point you're
curating a collection for people and
there's different ways of combining
different teas from different sources
into you know flags and stuff like that
so I'd say that if you do want to get
into the tea importing business you're
gonna have to start as a she she's been
saying you're gonna they're gonna be
putting on a huge amount of upfront
overhead work into developing those
relationships because the you know like
the relationships I have with my farmers
most of them have been developed over
over the better part of a decade and
that's just that's just time it's a lot
of time and there's a lot of energy and
the payoff is way way way down the road
and there's it's important also to work
with people you trust and also to make
sure that that relationship is
sustainable at least with something
that's great about tea wit and what at
least does that her whole focus is on
you know direct importing from the
producers in a way that's sustainable
and you know in China there's a lot of
small tea farmers but in places like
India and Nepal and other places that
she she sorts his tea from you have to
really look and in China to also because
the big factories are can be very
exploitative and you have to be be very
careful about the quality of what you're
sourcing and the ethics of what you're
sourcing and then being able to develop
at least for Chinese tea it's very
important to develop personal
relationships with people and that's
called guanxi and that's how business is
done in China so to answer your question
if you have if you're not if you're not
expecting to see returns right away and
be able to have you know an MVP a
Minimum Viable Product that you know you
know and a catalog that you can actually
sell anytime soon then I think that
direct importing is much more there's
much more agency to that and I find it
to be very satisfying to have my own
line of teas that are uniquely what I've
sourced and I know the people I know the
stories have seen the plants there's a
lot of value in that
but I think that there's a huge amount
of space that from a
this perspective it's going to be much
easier to get started selling other
people's tees and repackaging it yeah
that's my two cents on that one yeah
very true facts and one other thing I
want to I want to add in is when you're
direct importing logistics costs you
know unless you have like a huge
purchase order or a huge wholesale buyer
that you're gonna like go into this
business with you're not going to hit
any competitive economies of scale until
you're importing at least 100 kilos at a
time which is very expensive that's some
money and then you're gonna have it
sitting in your warehouse and that's you
know rent on your warehouse and it won't
sell right away unless you have like a
purchase order like before you go into
business and you have like some
relationship with somebody that's going
to take you know half of that off your
hands right away it's just a lot of risk
to take on so yeah that's my addition
I'm a little bit to highlight some
Cynthia but I've been listening so I do
a little bit of both - multicam be in LA
and I find that in some ways having the
obviously like kinda what someone's at
the agency to work directly with farmers
is great but there's also something to
be said sometimes for being able to
trust experts who have been spending
time in regions for an exorbitant amount
of time than you have to be something to
be able to provide like a really high
quality product I know like if I was to
be the one to go in certain areas as
someone who's new in the industry and
someone with a lot of language barriers
I would end up bringing home like a far
inferior product and that's not what I'm
aiming to do so being able to utilize
other people in the industry who have
that expertise has been really nice for
me and obviously as with farmers it's
all about trust it's all about
transparency but I think there's
definitely benefit to both but I don't
think going down the route
putting a little bit more leniency or
putting a little bit more effort into
understanding who you're purchasing from
who might be like a us-based supplier
and utilizing that as a way to kind of
kick-start yourself off as something
that's I think it's a good idea possibly
there was another good question that
came in through Facebook I'll share I
think that'll be good
sorry Sam cut you off but one last one
before breakout rooms I think this will
be great for everybody to kind of give
their answer to this is coming from
Leo Nima first of all he says hello and
good to see so many familiar faces again
and his question is have sales gone up
since quarantine has it been entirely
entirely through social media or have
you found success elsewhere any of the
business owners here want to tune in on
that um I can it's kind of a little bit
of a give and take because online sales
for me have definitely been better but
I'm also losing the Avenue a lot of my
retail places um
so selling for retail you know like I
know sounds fag tees in stores that
don't necessarily have their online game
up I've kind of like gone down in that
aspect but then online has increased and
cafes are ordering a lot less than they
were originally so it's like kind of
fluctuate it's not necessarily that it's
an all up or all down what do you
attribute your your increase in online
sales to is it social media Instagram or
are you doing things extra to bring
people's attention to your website um
mostly online and Instagram has been big
I like started doing some Instagram
lives which I've actually had orders
come in with notes saying like I had
seen you on this channel or whatever
people write little notes and things and
I've started doing a little bit more
studying in on like my digital marketing
and SEO
and trying to be a little bit better of
like rearranging my website that might
be explaining something but back I don't
know if it's been long enough but I've
been doing that for but I think just
visibility on social medias been the
biggest Priscilla has the question so
Han I'm down to do an Instagram on I'm
getting working for what's up and
they're making me nervous but I'm
getting better
hey hello thank you guys for letting me
attend this meeting from my bed my my
body is not feeling very well
today so my bed is going to be mighty
place today so take me her allowed this
and I'm I'm just going to decide I'd I'm
very thankful
would you guys for sharing this specific
topic because I don't live from T it's
not my main yes but I have been thinking
constantly and making the transition
maybe someday I don't know of living
medicine live in psychiatry and start a
a tea business it's not an easy choice
for me because I got passion for what I
do for medicine for psychiatry I love it
and I'm I'm agree we sound when you say
that it it depends the way you want your
business because I didn't want to belong
to a big because it all or to work for
somebody who pays me I'm an independent
doctor in that way so when I open my I
offered my concentration I used to have
one patient for week
or three patients per month and it was
hard to so I think when you want to
start an independent business and making
money and being sustainable and still be
an ethical it's going to grow slow and
in South America died in the other hand
something that you somewhere asked him
in a mail that you did you send me how
it's going to be in South America we
have to buy tea to God like I do guys
because you are a bigger community like
so hot sake you guys speak Chinese or
have a bit direct contact and so this is
how I think the community is growing and
if I give the I made this step and I
start IT business indeed it's basic to
have at a community that has another
contact so I'm thankful Dada I have been
in business in the ad today thanks for
sharing your your experiences it's very
in which meant for people who are not
directly in the business like like
myself and well I wish you guys all the
best and at this point I can split us up
in the break into six people in each and
in the smaller spaces everybody gets to
talk a little more you guys want to keep
up sound good yep yeah all right I
Cynthia I sit here so see ya Jay Davis
senior Jay Davis right later
hi guys hmm see you all right we're here
Elizabeth thanks for tuning in earlier
would you think about the conversation
oh cool it's really Cody here from you
I don't know I work with soap on kind of
with West China so it's nice to kind of
get updated on what's going on through
him but I like to give the other
perspectives or the other tea
businesspeople because I'm still like
relatively new to you so I don't hear
from I've just recently started getting
into the online community I want you
Jeremy Jeremy looks like you're in a
different place today different place
yeah yeah I try to rearrange things yeah
I had to create more of it I guess a
studio look rather than a camera in my
face and nothing more than that that's a
more professional this way slightly more
professional your audio sound good today
- yeah I think I'm getting better at
that but I need to get better at that
because this is the new future isn't it
I think it's like we're all still trying
to figure out whether or not this is the
new normal but I guess prepare for it
now exactly anticipating is gonna be
like this for a while yeah I don't know
what do you guys think about that like I
know it's now you know like doing zooms
and doing live is now but like even
beyond Kovan 19 and when we get back to
our normal social lives is this still
gonna be something that people are gonna
like connect with and want to engage
I know so I feel like I probably taper
off for a little bit especially like
start forming the communities like you
guys have been saying now down to just
like join weekly yeah I spoke with a few
people and I think I think it really
will I don't think people will gravitate
away from this when it's no longer
necessary I think it actually could be
something that you know the fact that
we're talking with people from Brazil
like you know I had a like I had a
breakout room last Thursday I had two
people in it it's fine one was from
Seattle was in Berlin Wow so you just I
think that idea once people have that
experience and how easy it is to connect
with people I think they can actually
become you know you you would dot this
now but I don't think they're gonna
leave it
I think they'll stay with it once they
realize how many people they meet and
from all over the world and like that
communities in place Danny how are your
your life sessions going I know I've
been seeing you do quite a bit on
Instagram it's going wow I've started
with way too much like doing for lives a
day like I was like exhausted talking to
people like having guests every day I'm
like of course my team was helping me
with all the like I was choosing people
and inviting people and they were
organizing everything in the club it was
now we're doing like three times a week
and it's good we've had like many new
followers on Instagram so it's working
well that matter oh and also we're
launching um like guys Jeremy and I have
a school in Brazil it's the largest II
school here and we find yapped and
they're new schools they are already
online so it wasn't my plans at my Coby
just pushed me like now you have to go
and yeah and we're launching like some
new online short classes short courses
next week so hopefully we're gonna have
new students because like for the normal
regular classes we're doing them online
as well but we're a little afraid that
some people will quit it we're not sure
yet what's gonna happen some students
like from last semester or not been like
regularly so I think it's a problem
it would just stop paying for what
you've already done so yeah we have to
what is the what is the business model
for your school oh we have t so many air
course and any course those are like the
main courses each one has 56 hours so we
do it like four weekends each course and
it's been working pretty well like God
did it in 2016 it was the first teacher
media course and the first he blended
course the tip blending course we
launched it like two years ago and I was
like the only woman you know right now
there are like six of other t schools
here so it's not that easy anymore but
so that's why so we need to go recording
many many classes and also with other
teachers not only I'm not so focused
he's familiar and keep blending anymore
like an opening up you know what other
topics like Ayurveda and Chinese
medicine you know related to tea so all
my possessions my lives realized at work
in Brazil they are really interested in
on other topics you know like tea so
many rented mining is like focused on
who wants to
work with tea and people some people
they just want to learn about you so
that's the thing like we're looking at
mmm like we're trying to get to reach
those people right now so your classes
are usually offline they're usually like
you have a facility for that or do you
rent out a space somewhere to do those
we're in some places so the concept of
the school is um how do you say let me
think what's the word for itinerant
school that's the concept I like I'm a
nomad so the thing is that we teach we
open up like the classes in different
cities in Brazil so we've been so far
some Paulo where they're like every
semester and put it G bro it's my
hometown so people do karate and that
every time a strong needs to see reason
that Rio de Janeiro Belo Horizonte
Brasilia fertilizer
Porto Alegre fuckin operas like many of
the main capitals we've been there
already teaching people so different
places and we have like all over stuff
the tea stuff and we bring it together
and then we're into place and then we
advertise and we find students and we
bring the teachers from different cities
like in the beginning it was just me
another like 10 different teachers so
each one come from a different city so
it's very expensive to have that so
we're having trouble with that a little
bit so that's a good idea to put it
online so the expenses are gonna be very
like smaller with that like going I
makes it easier so since the other
schools are already online I have to do
that I mean I'm not so into it you know
it's been like four years I'm like I
don't wanna do go crying I don't wanna
go online how can do censor analyze
online but I must because all the other
schools are doing that and losing we're
customers are losing students but we're
gonna keep the up line classes for those
who wants to attend which is my
recommendation of course but then people
can choose how many students have gone
through your class your courses like in
the kisame year over 300 Wow yeah many
people have done on the cheap lending or
class number 800 around 80 people so we
put around from from 7 to 12 students
yeah many people and then like it's
growing and I'm the thing that I hear
you talking like today and it's like I
don't know about like the whole C
community in the US but it's like you're
into importing T and here in Brazil my
perceptions that people are going to
blanks so those who are importing there
in person plans from Germany or the US
or Canada I'm mainly for departing like
good quality TV you know oh and there
are many people like as I was saying
about the marketplace they own their own
keep lending company you know like
smarty Bernie companies or selling yeah
well you know the more people that go
through your course I'm sharing the more
of the market will change you know to to
less blends because that was the case
here you know five years ago it was very
uncommon for 40 brands to be exclusively
focused on like unblended it also kind
of depends on the customer because it
was it was during the Midwest tube
festival kenric was last year the year
before this woman was
talking about how her business actually
increase 20 vana opened up down the
street and what she was saying is that
Teavana was all this fancy blends and
flavors and once people really got into
those teas they wanted to taste what the
base teas were like you know like oh
this is a fantastic
you know Moroccan mint I wonder what
gunpowder tastes like sotapanna didn't
have that forum so they literally
walking right down the street and she
had all of that for him
but that was that market he's like when
I was doing things like that I thought
it would work as well here and like that
did and people never really took to that
like I said on the peach flavor or like
a like a peach and apricot flavored
gunpowder but they never came back to
get gunpowder so you know it's it's it's
it's interesting the market the US
market is really finicky and place to
it's really hard to figure out your
customer I've been at this in Indiana
for two years I still can't figure about
so that's why I had to kind of restrain
hyper focus on very specific markets and
develop a strategy around that because
it's not like I came to Terre Haute and
I meet a demand that's already here it'd
just be like me trying to create a
demand in a city and that's just too
much for me it's just not there but in
Kansas City was there in Indiana it
wasn't so it's it's just it's hard I
mean it really is hard to figure out the
u.s. customer little by little like I've
had the tea room here in Brazil in
Curitiba like back in 2014 and 2015
no 2015 in 2016 and I had like on my tea
menu and had 14 glands and 45 imported
so I've traveled the world like a mean
to 11 different tea producing countries
tea producers just like Italy so that's
how back
17 so I was like looking for those
suppliers and she producers and
everything so I crowd like that at all
so I've opened the tool room and then I
started making my own plans as well and
then 80% of my sales was blends so like
people would having a tall big party so
I was like wow now I have like heels and
kilos of those equalities and nobody's
having it like wow and then finally I've
closed it you know you have the company
like the tea planning but I don't sell
the parties anymore because like the
markets not ready yet you know it's not
ready so I have a little longer so I
still keep those contacts or maybe
within like five years old
I'll launch it again about the Tea Room
maybe later because not a lot I really
love traveling so I can't have a tea
room if I love to travel I can't afford
it like I can't go I realized I may be
somebody accountable like teaching and
traveling around the world and then
having it to go you have to be there and
talk to their customers and everything
it's amazing but like two different
that's the in a way that's like the
better life because my audience was I'm
actually going to teach like theology
and prayer through tea and because I
like just got started
not that long ago and everything was in
place for coming me to start doing
classroom work so I go there like
churches to churches and parishes and
teach these classes about what you can
learn of your faith through teeth so my
journey I mean in my mind the dream lens
this is gonna be fantastic
I'll be the nomadic tea merchant going
from town to town I'm like parish to
parish and teach all these courses and
create this network I was excited about
that but then that was kind of taken
away but you know basically forcing in
this you know it's like so flushed into
necessity so I have to
find out a way to replicate that idea
online so that's gonna be tricky
because you know new to most of this but
yeah the itinerant lifestyle was my hope
now it's a sedentary lifestyle and we
all have to adjust to it somehow so
there was somebody on YouTube watching
that was just commenting about Teavana
how important role Teavana had played in
popularizing tea and kind of creating
that type and that kind of movement
around me but yeah of course it was all
blends and you know not great teas so I
think it's it's important to you know to
both criticize and celebrate it
celebrated you know cuz without Teavana
there'd be you late probably no tea
culture in the United States now or it
would be like even more niche then than
it currently is Teavana at least made
like loose-leaf something exciting and
you know comparable to coffee but yeah
it did leave like kind of a pallet an
uneducated palate a very uneducated
palate like there was a lot of like
wrong information that they used to as
the authority of tea they you know like
the the caffeine levels on tea there's
still people that have to be educated
that black tea doesn't have the most
you know Teavana had like this spectrum
that you know white tea had the least
amount of caffeine and black tea had the
most which is the time I truly got into
like drinking blue sleep stuff and I
started doing ervil's yeah definitely
I always like and keep on it to my
hometown because I grew up in the desert
right California so t-bone was like my
hometown it's like I have no intention
of ever going back but it has served its
purpose I was thrilled to leave I'm
never going back replaced by new you
know different brands of pretty much the
same the same product being sold so yeah
you know I guess you could get back to
that but there's there's David's tea now
at least you can sign in Brazil yeah
there's no steam on here yet
well there won't be it's there are many
Starbucks starting but not as many as in
the u.s. I even like in my hometown
there are no Starbucks so it's like what
it's City you guys like comedian people
and there's no Starbucks here I've never
been to Brazil before but I I would like
to come yeah I'll definitely let you
know when I come I have friends there
but I used to work with a Brazilian and
he had a ritual every day a preparing
coffee and it seemed to me it wasn't
just his ritual it seemed to be like a
very cultural thing so like perhaps the
the ritual of preparing coffee for
yourself you know with your snack or
whatever you take in the afternoon is
something that is more important to
people in Brazil than the activity that
social activity of going to Starbucks to
you know have your cup that social
status could be that which is good you
know the Starbucks are terrible it's not
it's over roasted it's low quality and
over roasted there's many many many
coffee shops in Brazil with very good
very very good coffee I mean of course
coffee producers like mmm Wow they're
like you have many many options for
coming here format of course but like
the coffee
much like mati is not so developed as I
was saying last week when in the virtual
tea festival like we're trying to do
that now with my NGO like we're trying
to put like the terawatts terroirs how
do you say that in English - Wow yeah so
we're trying to do that in market
because there is no such thing
yeah feel like it's been happening for
like three or four generations they're
not so organ like that but yeah it's for
coffee and Martin people really like
well see something very very new in
Brazil so we have big challenge here but
it's going well like everyone who's
working with tea has been happy and like
my students they're now also like
teaching or they have their own
businesses or Instagram
so there are many grams accounts in
Brazil you should put on a tea festival
yeah get everybody together I'm sure
they all appreciate that yeah we're
doing a little bit of bag on slow tea
like trying to bring people together you
know yeah I will aid in well like as you
were saying the the other like two weeks
ago and I was on this he talks that
before relating well like people work
with team Brazil they know each other
there aren't many people yet so of
course this ego but ish I was like no
when I think how my first tea trip I was
like for travelling for nine months and
I was like amazed on how people from
every country they they've just accepted
me you know like they've taught me so
much about tea and I was back in prison
like he is something else you know
people they accept each other they you
know they're it's different there is no
competition there's no anything so I was
like amazed with that but now it's
happening so even a student they were
like Danny you were saying that there
was no competition tea and we believed
in you and all there is and I was like
yeah but there wasn't what can we do
it's like it's it's it's not competition
for for money necessarily because no
one's really making money it's more ego
it's more of an ego thing yes it's like
ah first one to do that
how will the first one so people just
the trophy's what's the point yeah
that's that's the main conflict that I
deal with in my business that I'm
constantly having to to like remind
myself to be humble like I don't mind
that that ego part of it like even if
I'm the first put to do something I
don't care it's not anything important
to me but what I do care is that like I
have opened everything up like even like
participating in stuff like this like
create all these connections you know
could pull away from my business and all
my efforts it really could introducing
all the farmers and making all those
connections for people could negatively
affect my stuff I'm not so afraid of
that but when it does happen like that's
that's like when my ego gets hurt a
little bit of like oh I like I trusted
that person and like opened my whole
books to them and let them come in and
and shared with them and they just you
know disrespected it and yeah that's
difficult you know to to stay to stay
focused and optimistic that this is my
calling you know and it's not just my
ego telling me that it's like my
business mentors and you know my the
leaders in my life that tell me no you
shouldn't be so transparent that stuff
like you should make everybody pay for
that stuff and I think you know STUV all
people can't pay for it it's not you
know something that I should expect
businesses to do and then that's not
gonna accomplish the ultimate goal of
like creating an actual viable economic
opportunity for marginalized people and
in the rural parts of the world like
your experience of like where we met in
Nepal you know like there's a ton of
small growers that we met there and you
could you know take you know five kilos
of everybody's tea and bring it back to
you and like build your own exclusive
cool brand and as the tea Explorer that
you know oh I can only get this tea from
from Danny but then you know those farm
are actually sitting on five tons of tea
not 5 kilos of tea and they want to sell
all 5 tons of that tea not just 5 kilos
so you know for me it's much more
important to figure out how to like find
a viable economic opportunity for these
for all 5 tons of their tea versus just
5 kilos and in my ego and my brand it's
great it's a great job you're doing the
person on from from Denmark on YouTube
asked a funny question we can kind of
change the subject to answer his
question he asked what's the strangest
thing you've ever found in your tea I
had a box of everything from chicken
feathers hair nails bits of other plants
lead weights and more just from where
anybody want to answer that anything
that we're done I know that's crazy is
it must be factory tea I know someone
said he's found like fingernails and
gross stuff like that into yeah yeah
Factory do you I guess yeah so yeah the
factory stuff is definitely gonna be
more vulnerable to that but you know
even the people that sell hard works
with as I've traveled with so on and you
know I I you know support so Hans work
you know as a proxy within my own
business and spend some time at the
factories where the tea is made and yeah
their sanitation standard is a lot
different than the what we have here you
know often times they're withering the
leaf like right in the road and there's
a market chickens hanging out right next
to it so it's it's not a surprise that
the chicken feathers get in and the FDA
is trying to enforce some new
regulations to bring that standard up so
that doesn't happen but definitely in
the factory t like the big scale factory
t when there
making you know tons and tons and in one
batch lots of stuff cigarette butts is
probably like the most common one yeah
yeah because they can change smoke while
they're processing at one time I was in
a village in Hangzhou area where we're
launching our dragon well is made and we
were trying to produce a video for the
the tea maker and it was late at night
that's when they do the last step of the
last you know hand frying step to drive
the teens late at night and they do it
all night long because they do in small
batches they can only do like 200 grams
at a time in the wok and so we have like
the the the camera on and he's got like
three ashtrays like right on the outside
of the walk just like heaping with
cigarette butts and and we're like hey
can we move your ashtray so it's not in
the frame and he was like no I need a
place to put my cigarettes and he's like
having one in his Medic chain smoking
and we're like actually can you not
smoke while we film like you know
American customers don't like this and
he says no how do you expect us to stay
up all night make the tea we have to
smoke it's so hard to film things when I
was in which suited like series in India
and Sri Lanka and it's hard to film
things because the factories are like oh
my god
we can't record it and that we can't
record that a better and it can't be
either he's like you have to do like
clothes on everything so it won't show
the reality so I saw free because now I
should be in India so this Monday I
should be traveling to India bringing a
group there's 40 expedition so would
visit the tea gardens and everything so
I got postpone each October probably but
then us a little bit afraid like on how
people realize the reality really is you
know I mean the story how
how the factory really is how the
factories really are even the best ones
in India Sri Lanka
you know those come like Thailand Taiwan
China it's not pretty
it's not like you have all these these
guards OHS it's amazing so the story in
the tape and then you see the factory
scary huh I don't know how people are
gonna react I'll let you know yeah yeah
you had you had somebody filming with
you and what I let you what did you guys
end up doing with all that content we
haven't finished yet so we're trying to
sell it to some TV channels in Bristol
but I see since the the new president
came in the cinemas gone in Brazil so
we're not sure yet what you're gonna do
because like cinema is really not
working anymore like he has cut all the
funds for cinema so we have like we've
been approved by to chat to TV channels
but they can have the funding to finish
like the editing and everything so I'm
sure what you're gonna do we're probably
gonna put it on YouTube because it's
been like a long time already three
years right yeah you trying to get funny
from like India a keyboard and from Sri
Lanka keyboard and the money doesn't
come so we've tried in TVs and I've
tried like so many different way so I
know what to do in work a lot of content
and it's just on my hard disk you should
just put it on an online yeah
well maybe one day you'll find you'll
find the use and they can always be
repurposed I mean even if you put it out
and YouTube in one in one fashion it
could always be repurposed you know for
television or something else that those
opportunities come up either
if you put it on your YouTube then any
TV channel but TV channels on you won't
buy it anymore you repurpose it I like
to travel other quality filming and
everything yeah I would I would think
that a TV network or any type of network
would want to film themselves with their
own gear in their own team and such like
Netflix for example they demand a
certain kind of quality you know we
didn't have so we're not a per Netflix
for something yeah with that content
we've also filmed another series in the
Amazon with some indigenous tribes oh
yeah very nice like the plants they have
like oh my gosh but then there's a
different problem about those plans
approved by the food sanitation you know
Michel Facebook said that Discovery
Channel just bought some footage off of
him from YouTube really our from Denmark
wants to know how each of us got into
tea I don't know Jeremy do you wanna do
you want to jump in and give your story
I gave me the short version okay the
really short version is is basically I
was looking forward in Terre Haute I
couldn't find any good quality loose
leaf scene so I found a way to sell it
so I got in touch with wholesalers and I
sold it myself but essentially what
as I lived in Scotland for three years
and I never had a cup of tea in my life
until I moved to Scotland and then when
I came back to the states I reverted
right back to coffee and then it got to
the point where it just it wasn't it
wasn't good anymore I just don't like it
anymore so when I went looking for tea
it wasn't there so if you got I'm the
one that's gonna bring it to Terre Haute
Indiana and everyone's gonna love it
everyone's gonna buy it and it's so
basically it's kind of like I bought I
started it almost out of personal need
but then it took years for the you know
the business to develop to have a
strategy have a more of a purpose to it
that's I guess the shortest version of
that actually I was an advertiser I used
to work in advertising agencies as a
copywriter I didn't really like it
because I was like what I think that
nobody wants to buy what's the point on
it so then I I went to France I moved to
France for an exchange program and then
I fell in love with food with cuisine
and then I decided to study cooking to
take cooking classes I moved to
Argentina to take cooking classes and
while I was there it was back in 2010 I
realized there were like many tea shops
opening up and I was like hmm it's gonna
happen in Brazil so then I realized that
and then I was the first one like one of
the first ones so in back here upside my
business plan I did like an MBA to open
up my tea room and then there was no tea
schools in Brazil back then I just sold
my car sold my car and I went traveling
the world looking for information and
studying with tea masters and working in
tea farm so I was like working in
in Thailand black tea farm in Turkey
green tea farm in China and then I went
to many different countries yeah that's
it and then I came back and I started my
name he brand my tea room that makes you
school and then I can't stop it anymore
you told us your story briefly but maybe
you could tell us a little bit more and
that also maybe some like aspirations
that you have for your tea life I came
across the tea house one of my own
managers I mentioned it to me because
she had also referred to Austin's was
like about two years ago and yeah it was
like you should totally check out this
tea house is really cool so we went
there with a friend and I was like super
mesmerized by it I was like what is it
before but I love it through YouTube
channel so I did so I learned about like
how to actually start he also like types
of teens so very house goes yeah I just
started going really regularly I'm just
definitely like a more regular just
hanging out of the Chou's any spare
moment and I was a tea server there or a
huge I feel like happy or maybe a little
longer than that because much I got like
I got really into it you can take like
the classes and serve a like a community
and you have to stir through all the
owners and you like a tea server so it's
a two separate belonging in tea house
for a little bit yeah really poor
experience getting to meet a lot of
people and aspirations I am really
enjoying like being involved for two
year community and a tea company as well
and I think to use like a pretty solid
direction that I hope to go in for like
future career wowzers yeah I'm just
working with the new tea house I'll
definitely be a server there
well and then he what comes up after
that because our goal is to open up a
ton of more tea houses like wholesale
with West China guys I gotta go I have
another meeting yeah we've been here for
a couple hours now but yeah thank you so
much it was really nice to connect them
and it was really great to be here again
and so see you next week

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