An Interview With Teforia CEO Allen Han (pt 1)

A few months ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing Allen Han, CEO & Co-founder of Teforia, about the company and their revolutionary new tea infuser/machine that was recently launched.

The Teforia machine’s a beaut. It’s the ultimate Keurig for tea, and then some.

In speaking with Allen about the company and machine, it became increasingly obvious that he and his team are passionate about tea, its history, and the communities (large and small) that the love of tea creates. Here is the first part of the interview …

Me: Is this tea infuser the first of its kind?

Allen: Yes, this is the first infuser in the world that is basically the perfect marriage between science and tradition.

Me: That’s wonderful. You may not know this off the top of your head, but you do know how many experts outside of your team gave input and influenced the development of this infuser?

Allen: We talked to over 200 tea drinkers. We also talked to 20 or 30 tea experts. We’ve been sourcing tea in Taiwan for the past few years. We actually seek out artisnal tea makers that make really, really great tea. We befriended a lot of these folks in Taiwan and they’re very friendly to us. Part of our goal is basically not just to provide the best cup of tea, but also to let folks discover. There’s a whole bunch of different varieties. There’s a slogan that we like to use: Beyond green and black. Even within green or black teas there’s actually a variety, there are limitless shades of each and they all have different flavors. There are some black teas you would think – oh, this has to be a green tea, because it has a vegetal freshness to it. I think tea is so exciting if you look at it as a journey.

Me: There is so much to explore! A very similar question, but which countries have influenced or informed the making of this infuser?

Allen: Tea is now very global. And the cool thing about it is each culture has adopted and also refined their own tea tradition. My background is Chinese-American. That has a lot of influence to it. It is also where tea originated, so that has a strong influence on what we do. The second biggest influence is the Japanese [approach to tea]. Right now there’s a huge influence of Japanese Matcha in Western culture. Third is Indian tea. It’s a really unique culture, and tea there is a really unique experience. And lastly is the European tea culture. That’s a combination of the U.K., Germany, and France. Those are major tea drinking countries and they all have slightly different unique tea experiences.

Me: And some are very opinionated about how tea should be had!

Allen: Yeah, yeah! PG Tips. We get that a lot. But the funny thing is that Jane Petigrew, world renowned tea expert, she’s British. We’ve been working with her for over a year now, and she absolutely just loves what we do. Because our mission at the end of the day is about providing a really awesome, powerful platform for tea drinkers around the world, so they can really enjoy tea at a completely different level. As you just experienced, you had a really wonderful cup of tea that we made manually [with a standard tea infuser], but at the same time once I presented the same tea made with our infuser, you said, “wow – this is a whole new side of tea I’ve never tasted before.”

Me: It really is. It’s bolder and fuller.

Allen: Right! And as we were talking about earlier, community is a big component. Tea is now one big global community. We’ve developed a platform now to share tea recipes. We have a recipe for Samovar’s Green Ecstasy. We worked with Jesse [founder of Samovar Tea] to craft that recipe. But let’s say you think, “Hey, I’m Aruna. I like to have things a bit more savory.” You can customize that using our customization tool app. You can make it public, others can download it, and they can try it out.

Me: Wow, the possibilities really do become endless with this infuser.

Allen: Endless. And of course, another cool thing about this system is that it’s an open system. You can use this infuser with your own tea. The recommendation is that you use 5 grams of tea. You put it in the infusion bowl, then go to the app and there’s a button that says “new tea.” The app will ask you three to four questions. What color, what size, and what shape. From that, it will create a recipe. Make the tea using that recipe, try it, then come back to the app to provide feedback. Is it savory enough, is it missing something? It will make it the way you want it the next time. That’s what makes this the world’s first machine learning tea maker. By the third time you give feedback, it will have perfected your recipe.

[To be continued …]

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Win 2 Tickets: 2016 Southwest Tea Fest in Vegas!

It’s simple. Just comment below if you and a friend want 2 free tickets to the Southwest Tea Fest, in Las Vegas, Nevada. I’ll randomly choose a winner on Feb 15th and mail the tickets to you!

What’s the Southwest Tea Fest, you ask?

Screen shot 2016-02-01 at 6.00.23 PM

It’s the first and only tea festival in Vegas, debuting on Saturday, Feb 27th, 10am-5pm at the Downtown 3rd Farmers Market! It’s going to be huge. And there are free-bees (including Swag Bags by Plum Deluxe for the first 500 people to walk through the door). I wish I could go this year!

Highlights of the Tea Fest include:

  • Tea samplings & tastings
  • Tea ceremonies
  • A tea cupping championship
  • Presentations:
  • A silent auction to benefit SafeNest
  • Live music
  • Food trucks

If you want to buy tickets you can do so HERE, they’re $20 per person.

Happy sipping!

Aruna

 

Teatulia Organic White Tea – Review

Teatulia’s Organic White Tea is my (and my husband’s) favorite Teatulia tea so far : ) It’s refreshing, and so healthy that if you drink 2 or more cups a day you can reduce your chance of heart attack by 50%.

Ingredients: 100% organic white tea. Packaging: recycled, recyclable, and biodegradable materials (paper, ink, tape).

As I mentioned in my posts on Teatulia’s Organic Oolong Tea and Organic Black Tea, Teatulia tea is delicious, honest and simple, and the company is committed to excellence and social responsibility. What you may not know is that Teatulia is run by a family that has had to overcome many obstacles not only to help the company survive but also to bring the entire community up with them. You HAVE to read this article in Newsweek about how, “the Teatulia tea plantation has transformed a once-barren land into a lush garden paradise” and has pulled the people of the Tetulia region (get it? Teatulia? teehee) out of abject poverty.

Teatulia-Tea-Single-Garden(Photo Credit: Newsweek)

You can use code “tea4me” on the Teatulia website to get 30% off! Click HERE to buy the tea, and click HERE to read more about the health benefits we mentioned.

Thank you so much for reading and watching! Take care : )

Teatulia’s Organic Oolong Tea – Review

If I had to sum up Teatulia in a word it would be …  “simple.” In a good way. Their Organic Oolong Tea is magical only partly because it’s delicious. Wait till you hear about the health benefits… seriously mind-blowing.

Ingredients: 100% organic oolong tea. Packaging: recycled, recyclable, and biodegradable materials (paper, ink, tape).

Everything about the Teatulia experience feels lean, honest, and simple — except maybe their descriptions. I say that endearingly, because they are wonderfully entertaining though a bit over the top. Haha!

But in all seriousness, many thanks to Teatulia for sending this tea my way. I feel so lucky not only to have the chance to review these teas, but also to learn and share information about their health benefits. If you would like to buy this tea, use the code “tea4me” to get 30% off! You can buy it HERE. Also, to read the article where I learned about the health benefits of oolong tea, click HERE.

I read somewhere recently that the younger generations (something like 15-30) are increasingly getting into tea. It’s shaping up to be a tea renaissance! 😀

Thank you for watching and reading! Until next time, take care 🙂

Teatulia’s Organic Black Tea – Review

Ahh, Teatulia. What a great company.

When the folks from Teatulia got in touch with me to review their teas, I was delighted to learn that have won multiple awards for not only their teas, but also their packaging. Add to that a commitment to social responsibility, and you’ve got a company with purpose. Teatulia has established, ” education, health and cattle-lending programs for the people working in the [single Teatulia] garden [in Bangladesh] and surrounding areas” (source).

Without further ado, here is a review of Teatulia’s delicious Organic Black Tea:

Definitely consider buying some, if you think you’ll like it based on our description! I don’t drink black tea much, but I really do think Teatulia’s Organic Black tea is great. If you want to read more about the health benefits of black tea, check out THIS article I found.

Thank you so much for watching and reading! Take care 🙂

Thank you Teatulia, for sending this tea my way. I love trying new tea, and it’s great to support what you’re doing in Bangladesh.

Pekoe Sunny Green Tea – Review!

It’s that time again. Time to try another delicious tea. This time around, it’s Pekoe Sip House‘s Sunny Green Tea. Josh and I gave it a whirl as Storm Juno raged on outside our cozy home.

Gotta love that delicious green tea!

Pekoe Green Tea Image

If you’re interested in buying it, hop over to Pekoe’s online shop. You can order Sunny Green Tea in 2oz (for $8.98) or 4oz (for $17.96). And, until Feb 28, you can use coupon code “TEAJOY” to get 25% off EVERYTHING on their website. Go nuts!

Thanks so much for reading and watching. I don’t know if you noticed, but I finally fixed the audio! And am currently saving up to buy a lighting kit. (Hopefully the lighting in my nighttime videos won’t look so orange in a few months. Wee!) Also, we included a mini announcement of our marriage in the bloopers of the video. Sorry if it’s overkill for those of you who follow my blog or came here via Facebook. That message was mainly for my YouTube subscribers who don’t follow me elsewhere.

Many thanks to Pekoe Sip House for sending this tea my way. I love trying new tea, and it’s always a pleasure to try a new take on a drink like Green tea, which I usually have plain.

Do you have any favorite Green teas? Please let me know! I’d love to try them.

Yours,

Aruna