Artisan Profile: Taelor of Tea with Tae

May 24, 2022

Artisan Profile: Taelor of Tea with Tae

We're excited to share an artisan profile today on Taelor O'Dorisio, owner and founder of Tea with Tae. She got her start fairly recently, at the beginning of the pandemic. We love how she used that time to build her website, develop relationships with suppliers, and launch an amazing business! And she managed to do it FAST - in just three months or so. Pretty impressive stuff.

We stock her Calming Tea all year, and then rotate in some of her seasonal flavors throughout the year. Everything she makes sounds good, and everything we've tried is great! We hope you enjoy getting to know her and her story, below...


How did you get started? What were your first steps and how did it evolve from there?

I’ve always loved tea, and tea has always been an important part of my life. I’m sure most of us can remember our parents taking care of us when we would get sick as kids, and part of that routine usually involved a hot cup of tea with ginger and honey.

I first got the idea of starting a tea company back in 2017, and that’s actually when I bought the domain teawithtae.com. For almost 3 years, the domain just sat there, collecting dust, nagging me. I never did anything with it until the beginning of 2020. I was at dinner one night with my husband, Rod, and while at dinner, I had the most delicious cup of green tea. The tea itself sparked a conversation right there at the table, and I ended up leaving with a business plan sketched out on the back of a napkin. Little did we know that this would be one of our last dinners out before the COVID pandemic hit.

Over the next 3 months, we forged partnerships with both tea and packaging suppliers and also built out the website. This was especially daunting, since the pandemic picked up in full force in February and March, which really created a lot of doubt. But we were already so far along by that point, that I just felt we had no choice – pandemic or no pandemic, we were going to launch this business.

Taelor, Rod, and doggie Lincoln

We officially opened our doors (online) in April 2020 and began fulfilling orders out of a commissary kitchen in north Denver. A year later in spring 2021, we moved into our own warehouse space in Lakewood, and we are still there to this day.

Variety of teas in and out of packages

 

How did you come up with your name?

My first name is spelled a little weird: Taelor or “Tae” for short. Growing up, people would sometimes misspell my name even after I’d tell them how to spell it. They’d write it out as “Tea” instead of “Tae,” swapping the “e” and “a” around. Well it happened again in 2017, and afterwards, it was like the light bulb went off. I had the brief thought that maybe I could use my name in a tea brand, as an anagram, with the word “tea.” So I bought the domain later that night: TeaWithTae.com. And a few years later, it came to life.

Tae with mug of tea

Tell us about your workspace!

We have a small 2,000 sq. ft. warehouse in Lakewood. It was nice and spacious when we started our lease back in 2021, but we are quickly outgrowing it (and once we get our new tea machine in the next couple months, it’ll be very cozy in the back!). We have a couple offices, one for me and one for Rod (our COO). We also have a little storefront where people can drop by for local pickup or just to say “hi” and have a cup of tea.

tea with mug

Do you have a favorite review or comment about your products?

“I have been ordering tea from Tea with Tae for a while now and the quality is outstanding. They have amazing flavor options and everyone will find a tea they love. I no longer buy tea anywhere else. Their customer service is also very good and personable.”

We pride ourselves on our customer service, and that’s what makes me the happiest about this review. We have a chat feature on our website, and our response time averages <1 min. Early on in the business, we also set up a special phone number (1-888-TEA-W-TAE) for customers to call us directly and know that a real human is going to be on the other end.

Customer review with bedtime bliss tea

What’s your favorite product you sell?

My favorite product is our Tea Bento Box. It’s a “bento” style box with six different mini tea tins inside, and each mini tea tin is a different tea blend. It’s a uniquely designed product with a community focus – perfect for gifts, gatherings, meals, or just the curious customer who wants to try different tea blends from all over the world and share them with friends and family. The Tea Bento Box is really all about bringing people together over a cup of delicious tea, and that’s what I love about it.

Tea has always been associated with social events throughout history: from 12th century Japanese tea ceremonies to 19th century British afternoon tea to ladies tea parties, tea has always served as an impetus for social gatherings. Over the past few decades, I feel like the social quality of tea has somewhat lost its luster, especially as society continues to shift more towards convenience and instant gratification. The objective of the Tea Bento Box is to rekindle that social aura of tea and motivate people to get together, have a cup of tea, and enjoy each other’s company. Coming out of the COVID pandemic, that social connection is more important now than ever, and we want our Tea Bento Box to be a means for reconnecting people after years of lockdowns and isolation. We want to bring people together one cup at a time.

Tea bento box

Are there any great local artisans that you’re into right now?

I love Bjorn Colorado Honey. We do a lot of business with Bjorn because nothing tastes better than tea and honey! Bjorn is a small-batch, local honey producer based in Boulder. Their beekeeper grew up in Sweden and learned the practice from his grandfather Björn, the company namesake. And then they brought their beekeeping practice to Colorado. They sell a variety of different types of honey, honey sticks, honey-based skincare products, and beeswax candles. I highly recommend you check them out!

Bjorn honey products

(Check them out on Instagram at @bjorns_co_honey)

Do you have a favorite local restaurant?

I really love Asian food, and my husband and I have tried most of the Asian restaurants around town. Hands down, the most authentic and delicious Asian food I’ve had is at a place called Dating Yumy  in Aurora. I highly recommend the dumplings and pork buns.

Pork buns

(Check them out on Yelp here)

What’s your favorite thing about Colorado?

I love the endless variety of outdoor activities this beautiful state has to offer. I also love the seasons in Colorado. I grew up in California, and it’s beautiful there, but there aren’t really seasons like here in Colorado. 

Telluride, CO

Thank you Tae for sharing your story with us! 
You can shop all of Tea with Tae's products on her website, and we offer a selection of her teas on our site via Build A Box.

If you enjoyed this blog, check out some of the other artisan profiles we've done in the past:




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