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Mai-Anh

Mai-Anh

Monday, 02 May 2016 17:08

Tea is For Teachers

As former high school teachers, Emily and I are often asked, "Why did you leave the education sector?"

The long answer is that we merely changed subjects and environments. Although I started at Discover Teas a little over a year before Emily did, we were both drawn to the educational aspect of Discover Teas. It is one of the major factors that helps set us apart from other retail options, and called to our passion for helping people learn, both at events such as our tea tastings and tea classes, and in simple one-on-one Q&A sessions with our customers. As with most teachers, we love learning as much as we do educating, and both dove in with gusto when we discovered the vast depths involved in the world of tea. There is so much more to tea than most people have been taught, and it's always exciting to be able to open the doors to others or clear up long-held misconceptions or confusion. We love being able to expand horizons and help people learn something new every day! 

Instead of teaching world languages, we're now teaching about the differences between green, black, white, and oolong teas. Instead of classrooms, we get to teach in a soothing, laid-back environment, surrounded by tea. 

So, when people ask us, "why did you leave education," our short answer is: We never did. In fact, we have great respect and affection for our former colleagues, which is why this May, for National Teacher Appreciation Month, we're proud to be hosting our first Tea for Teachers Grade-In event on May 28th. 

What's a Grade-In? Well, if you're an educator who is tired of spending countless hours in the classroom after the final bell, or if you find it hard to concentrate on grading at home where there are a million other things to do and the bed is far too tempting, try a change of scenery! Come enjoy a cup (or pot) of tea and our free Wi-Fi at both Discover Teas Williamsburg and Discover Teas Port Warwick, where you can enjoy working through stacks of grading or other work in a relaxing, stress-free environment. The calming, yet stimulating properties of tea are a natural match for helping you stay on task while managing your stress, and we have over a hundred different varieties of tea, including blends like our Mo-Rockin' Mint, which is excellent for helping maintain focus and boost energy. Who knows? You might learn something new about tea, too!

In honor of our upcoming anniversary, the following press release was written by Mai-Anh Tran, which we felt appropriate to share with you. It sums up our origins, our purpose, and some accomplishments along the way.

Local Tea Store Celebrates Five Years With Open House Event
Area Focus for a National Health Phenomenon Turns 5

Williamsburg & Newport News, VA, Feb. 12, 2016―Five years ago, Discover Teas owner Chris Farishon opened the doors of a business concept unique to the Hampton Roads area: A retail store offering all-natural, hand-picked loose-leaf tea, with a focus on health and tea education. This March, both the original store in Williamsburg and the second location in Port Warwick, Newport News will celebrate the anniversary of Discover Teas with an Open House event on Saturday, March 12th. The Open House events will feature tea tastings, tea workshops and demonstrations, flash sales, and giveaways.

Many in the area were initially puzzled by Farishon’s decision to open a store centering entirely on loose tea. “Even in the planning stages, skeptics couldn't believe I was going to try to make a go at a business selling just tea,” Farishon says. Yet five years, two brick-and-mortar locations, and a growing online business later, the appeal of quality tea speaks for itself: In 2015, Discover Teas was voted a Readers’ Choice Best of Coastal Virginia Specialty Food Market, behind only national brands Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. This year, they have been nominated again in the same category.

With consumer awareness of tea’s health benefits rising, Discover Teas’ popular line of health-oriented WellTeaing herbal blends is another example of Farishon’s savvy. “We use herbs that are picked at the height of their phytopharmaceutical potency,” says in-house herbalist Kenneth Roberts, who formulates the WellTeaing blends by hand. “Back when we started offering our WellTeaings, we were practically the only business around bringing this level of research to teas for wellness and healing. Now people are more aware of the potential for tea to improve their quality of life.”

Indeed, a search for “tea health” or “healthy tea” turns up hundreds of millions of results, and even large national brands are starting to join in. But health isn’t the only thing that sets Discover Teas apart. “Education is a big part of why people come to Discover Teas,” says Mai-Anh Tran, who has been with the company for two years. “Tea can be overwhelming to some, but our expertise and personalized service allow people to ask questions, explore at their own pace, and discover new favorites or even blend their own teas. We aim to offer an experience as welcoming to the newest tea beginner as to the most discerning tea aficionado.” Tran and Emily Kamp, the newest member of the Discover Teas’ four-person team, both come from a teaching background, and the company is known for educational events such as their quarterly tea tastings at both locations and free weekly tea classes at their Williamsburg location.

The Open House event will showcase the education aspect of Discover Teas with free tea tastings, demonstrations, and workshops, but fun is also an important part of the plan for the day. Both locations will also be offering flash sale specials and giveaways, and Discover Teas fans will be treated to a special announcement about an upcoming program launch, the details of which are currently under wraps. “We wouldn’t have reached this milestone without our customers,” says Tran, “so this celebration is for them as much it is for us.”

This mentality is a core component of the Discover Teas identity. As Farishon says, “Year after year, month after month, we ask ourselves how can we do things better, how can we provide more, how can we make a bigger positive impact in people's lives. For us, it's all about the customer and creating a positive, unique experience with tea.”

For more details on the event, go to the Discover Teas website at www.DiscoverTeas.com or to their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/DiscoverTeas.

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