Online tea business aims to roil North American tastebuds
Michael Menashy, co-founder of TeaSparrow.com , a Vancouver-based online company, got buzzed on tea more than 15 years ago.
On a business trip to China, a factory owner brewed oolong tea for him — introducing him to a ritual of preparing a tea set, washing leaves and heating water just right before serving it.
“The smell that came out was like this walnut, apple scent, just from leaves in the cup,” Mr. Menashy recalls. “And when you drank it, it was heavenly.”
Now, Mr. Menashy has turned his passion and curiosity for the ancient drink into a a monthly premium tea delivery service business — Tea Sparrow. For $20 a month, members who sign up on TeaSparrow.com in Canada and the United States are shipped four loose-leaf tea blends of 10 ounces each — black, green, rooibos and herbal — that are carefully selected by Tea Sparrow’s team of tasters. Jane Pettigrew, a member of the U.K. Tea Council and author of more than 13 books on tea, is one of the company’s tea sommeliers.