Of all the businesses I have been involved in during my long career, retailing is the most fun.  What makes retailing fun are the customers.  I’ve never met so many fascinating and genuinely nice people in all my life.  Maybe it’s the product.  I always wanted to be involved in a business that offered something delicious, something that people really looked forward to, and something that made them smile.  I had thought about ice cream, but it turns out that great loose-leaf teas and herbals fit the bill perfectly, and offer the added benefits of antioxidants and other healthy ingredients.  After being involved with two retail tea companies and being open four years here in our Temecula store, I see daily how teas and herbals improve people’s lives.  What a rewarding occupation!

Off and on while writing for T Ching, I’ve thought about profiling one or more of our regular customers and letting them share about how teas and herbals have become a part of their lifestyle.  I chose Danielle because she is one of those “early adopters” and “outside-the-box” people I enjoy so much.  She travels, she learns, she experiments.  I can hear her coming in the store from my back room office and literally feel the energy that always accompanies her.  Danielle and her college student daughter are both really onto herbals right now, specifically Rooibos – unblended redbush brewed strong and shaken on ice.   This adventurous lady has even special ordered Lapsang Souchong from me for marinating and loves Chef Wemischner’s posts that I link to from T Ching on our Facebook page every month.  She doesn’t do anything halfway.

As you can see, Danielle is beautiful and glowing with health.  I’ve noticed that customers who stay with regular tea and herbal consumption are, like my husband and me, not prone to the viruses that keep reappearing in our area.  Danielle found us over a year ago; here is her personal tea / herbal story in her own words:

“My favorite is Rooibos, of course. I was reading about it a few years ago, about the health benefits, and so I tried it from some online company because it was nowhere to be found (unless I went to Africa).  It was okay and came in cute, little sachet bags.  Then I found California Tea & Coffee Brewery.  I now drink Rooibos every day for the health benefits, and I can honestly say I do not need to take flu shots.

I have always liked the varieties of tea – as soon as I learned that Lipton was not the only tea in the world.  I started trying lots of different teas, but something was missing. Though the boxes they came in were different, they still tasted the same … kind of BLAH.  Then a friend took me to a tea place and gave me a fabulous, fresh tea, and I was blown away.  That’s what was missing – FRESH.

I drink tea every day because I can tell how my body feels and reacts when I drink it – more alert, active, overall well-being.  Some teas I drink for relaxation, like Egyptian Chamomile, when I do yoga meditation.  And others for other reasons: Rooibos for its antioxidants, Gunpowder for an extra kick, and Hip Hibiscus because it tastes so good and helps with weight loss (for me anyway).  NO SUGAR added to any of them because that just takes away from the natural taste and flavor.  We are a generation brought up on sugar.  Not good.

I like iced teas in the hot summer months, and hot teas in the chilly months.  Sometimes I even add tea to the bath water!  Hey, if it’s good for the inside, it’s good for the outside.  My daughter became a tea lover as well.  I had to wean the people I know off the sugary sodas and energy drinks, and I can say they are much happier and healthier.

I think we should introduce kids to teas at an early age, instead of sodas and juice boxes.  HEY!!!  “Tea Time For Toddlers”!  Kids would be a lot healthier.  We are a nation that grows up on sugar and sodium; it’s in everything.  My body can tell if I have had too much of either because it goes into shock.  Trust me, once you get the healthy drinks in, your body will thank you for it.”

So, do you see now why I love coming to work every day?  We have regular customers in line behind a newbie and they begin “preaching tea” to them.  We don’t have to sell because our own customers are our best advertisement!