The first time I was introduced to Tea Cuvée, I thought I was in for some top-shelf day drinking. Despite my initial intake, the narrow bottles weren’t filled with mead, (or any wine for that matter). Instead I was poured a glass of chilled, loose leaf tea. Since when is tea served in glass bottles from France? Meet Evy Chen, owner of Tea Cuvée, a Boston based small-batch tea company. Evy’s background is in marketing, and early on she shared with me that her tea was to be packaged in beautiful bottles, or bust. Her vision, “I’d love to see my tea offered in hotels, restaurants, spas and holiday resorts, as a fine wine-alternative that is tasty, elegant, and healthy. Somebody who doesn’t feel like drinking alcohol doesn’t have to fake it with ice cubes and tonic (like I did),” she says.
Evy turned to Olives & Grace to find a home for her product. A place for customers to learn about the Tea Cuvée story, allowing Evy to focus on making tea, crunching numbers, and growing her business. Those Maker & Store relationships are crucial to the sustainability of a small business. Gone are the days of house parties while parents are away. While the Makers hit the road to get back to business, we clean up house on their behalf. (Well, we party a bit too. See above photo from the September ART-Tasting event).
When I asked Evy about her resources for her big vision, she was optimistic. “Boston has a wonderful community that supports local foods, Olives & Grace being one of them. You love to hear from makers and foodies, and share information. I also love FarmFresh, as you can see who else close to you supports local makers.” (By the way, if you haven’t checked out Farm Fresh, please do).
The first time she introduced her product to the public, she went to big dogs at the Fancy Food Show back in June. Evy shares, “I was super nervous as I didn’t know what people’s reaction would be, since the concept of Tea Cuvée (cold brewing, unique flavors, and a tea that looks like wine) was completely new to the market. Luckily people liked it!” This was also the first time Evy spoke with anyone from Whole Foods, and they approached her. Damn, life is good.
And what about balance? I asked Evy, “After a long day of the hustle & bustle, how do you unwind and bring yourself back to center?” Her words seemed to float from her mouth as she imagined those sacred moments, “even after hours of tastings, day after day; I still like to make a cup of good tea, sit in front of my window and relax. I have tea to calm myself down. It’s rewarding to just think about somebody, somewhere, is enjoying Tea Cuvée just like I am right now.”
Finally I asked for any words she’d like to share with others who Make for a living? Her solid advice: “Stay true to your vision, while listening very carefully to the market. Do your research about what’s on demand, listen to people outside of your own social circle.” We can all take a page from her book.
Tea Cuvée Flavors:
-First flavor, Moonlight, is made out of: Moonlight White tea – a raw white tea that is not roasted and harvest under the moon in Yunnan China, with notes of apricot and jasmine that come from France.
-Second flavor, Amber, which is scheduled to hit the market this November, is made out of – Amber oolong, rosemary, and orange zest. A perfectly earthy and bold tea for the cold weather.
Both teas are 100% natural, unsweetened, 0 calories, and are made in Lynn, MA.
Tea Cuvée Appearances:
- Shubie’s Specialty Market Sat Oct 20th from 12-5pm
- Tasting at Olives & Grace Sunday Oct 21st
- Urban Grape Chestnut Hill Nov 17th 3-6PM,
- Urban Grape South End; Sun Dec 1st 2-6PM
- Eat Boutique Holiday Market December 9