Every morning, without fail, I drink tea. On days I don’t have work, I make a full pot; Jamal bought me a Forlife glass teapot a few years ago, and it’s my most used kitchen appliance, right after our tea kettle. On the days when I don’t have time to steep loose leaf tea and enjoy several cups lazily on the sofa, I’ll drink a single mug with a teabag. Drinking tea is as much a part of my daily routine as, I don’t know, brushing my teeth. I’d never leave the house without doing either.
So when Andy Hayes, fellow tea aficionado, Paris enthusiast, and founder of the Portland, Oregon based tea company Plum Deluxe reached out and offered a few samples of his artisanal loose lead tea, I knew I was in for a treat. I welcomed Andy’s offer with open arms (and an empty teapot).
After living in Europe for several years, Andy started Plum Deluxe in honor of his mother, “who lost a brave 6-year battle with breast cancer but never forgot to enjoy “the little things” in life. Paris was her favorite city too, and she spent her final days there.” That I, too, lost a parent —one who also adored Paris— to cancer, only made the tea Andy subsequently sent me that much more special.
My mom taught me that no matter your circumstances, you can choose to create moments that matter, every day. And some of the most enjoyable moments are the small things – time to sleep in, relaxing in a reading nook, going on a neighborhood walk, or catching up with an old friend over a cup of tea.
That’s a lovely sentiment with which to start a company, isn’t it? Hand-blended in small batches, with ingredients sourced from the PNW where possible, all of Plum Deluxe’s unique tea blends are organic, non-GMO, and free of chemicals and sulfites. Andy’s care package arrived in the most delightful plum packaging (I’m a sucker for good packaging), with the teas cinched in a linen drawstring bag. Each individual tea bag comes printed with the full list of ingredients –including ingredients like, “Marigold. Apricot Essence. Love. Gratitude.“– and directions for steeping.
Spoiler alert: they’re delicious. Andy sent me the Self Care Blend, an herbal blend of elderberry and apricot; Coconut Macaron Dessert Tea, a mix of black tea and honeybush, with real coconut bits; and Mindful Morning, Plum Deluxe’s take on Earl Gray. Rationing my stash so I had enough to photograph was torture.
Plum Deluxe offers individual tea orders, weekly newsletters “filled with positive messages and creative ways for living a good life,” a supportive, online tea community, tea accessories (including honey straws and vintage teacups!), and mindful meditations. But what most grabbed my attention was their monthly tea subscription service. For $10 a month, you get 1-2oz. of a limited-edition tea, as well as free samples, access to a private Facebook group, and other surprises. Hint hint: this makes a thoughtful (and easy!) Valentine’s Day present, for those of you who need last-minute gift ideas!
Merci beaucoup, Andy & Plum Deluxe!
This post was not sponsored. I was sent samples without any contingencies, and all opinions expressed are my own.