Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Tea Meets Travel: Introducing Five Mountains Tea Company


Simplicity....the secret ingredient
Imagine for a moment that two twenty-something travelers, residing as Buddhist monks in Asia, happen to both be tea fanatics. Now imagine that these two individuals cross paths in San Francisco ten years later and decide to create a business opportunity out of their passions.

So began the story behind Five Mountains -- a small, recent upstart tea company located in the heart of San Francisco. As a city renowned for big name tea importers like Mighty Leaf, The Republic of Tea and Numi, San Francisco certainly knows its way around the tea market. With the addition of Five Mountains to the scene, though, the Bay Area is in for something new. Let's just say that this tea company is redefining the idea of tea purity and simplicity. Are you itching to try them out yet?

Jason Creech and Jeff McCloud are the gurus behind Five Mountains tea and all it takes is a glance at their website to get a feel for the spiritual-mindedness of the company. Creech himself noted in an interview with San Francisco Magazine, that they "don't do flavorings, additives, or fanciful concoctions...[they] don't like the whole mystical aspect of tea or the hokey marketing." Instead, Five Mountains is focused on providing heirloom varieties of tea that are organically grown and sustainably harvested in the region of southeast Asia known for the five legendary mountains where tea cultivation is said to have begun.

Despite being a recent addition to the market, Five Mountains is already providing clear competition. They are the first company in the country to use 100 percent biodegradable and home-compostable packaging. So not only can you enjoy the tea, but you're doing the environment a favor as well.  What is there not to like about that?

The Five Mountains shrouded in fog (courtesy of Five Mountains tea)

Unfortunately, I haven't had the opportunity to try any of their teas yet, but that is soon to be rectified. The new cafe I'll soon be starting work at will be offering the teas and I can't wait to start taste-testing. Look forward to upcoming Tea with Tiffany reviews in that regard!

If you're interested in trying out the tea for yourself, have no fear if you're located outside San Francisco. Five Mountains teas are only currently available online & in local restaurants, as they haven't yet breached the retail market. I can't help but love Creech's explanation as to why: "We're tea guys who got into business, not business guys who got into tea."

And with that, here is a warm welcome to Five Mountains tea and the fresh perspective they bring with them to the Bay Area.