Loose leaf tea is generally considered to be richer than tea made from bags. c
In many parts of the world, tea is an important part of the day and an expression of hospitality. c
South Carolina is the only state that has a major tea plantation. It produces the brand American Classic, which has been the official White House tea since 1987. a
The song “I’m a Little Teapot, Short and Stout” was written in 1939 by Tin Pan Ally songwriters Clarence Kelley and George Harry Sanders. a
Tea was a major factor in establishing connections between the East and West. It was also a catalyst for developing new technology, such as faster transport ships. c
Tea can boost exercise endurance. Scientists have found that the catechins (antioxidants) in green tea extract increase the body’s ability to burn fat as fuel, which accounts for improved muscle endurance. d
a 365 Things Every Tea Lover Should Know. 2008. Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers.
b By spending just a few hours each week. (n.d.). How to measure tea-the proper measure yields the perfect cup of tea. Retrieved September 25, 2016, from http://theteadetective.com/MeasuringAndYield.html
c Martin, Laura C. 2007. Tea: The Drink That Changed the World. Rutland, VT: Tuttle Publishing.
d Greatist.com, L. N. (n.d.). 13 Reasons Tea Is Good for You | TIME.com. Retrieved September 25, 2016, from http://healthland.time.com/2012/09/04/13-reasons-to-love-tea/
What do you think of when you hear green tea? For some people, the thought of green tea reminds them of an earthy, leafy taste. For others, green tea reminds them of that news article they recently saw about the health benefits of green tea. The great thing about tea is it can be used as an ingredient in many different recipes!
August 22 is National Eat A Peach Day, so we've created a deliciously refreshing Peach Green Tea that you're not going to want to miss. Our Fujian Rose Green Tea can be purchased here. You can follow the recipe below or, if you're one of those people who have a little bit of adventure in you, go ahead and add a little lemonade, Peaceful Peppermint, or ginger! Then, let us know what delightful creations you invent!
Does anyone else love ice cream as much as we do?! If you ask us... ice cream is always a good idea! That's why we decided to get busy in the kitchen and create a delicious Colombo Crème Earl Grey Ice Cream! You can buy a bag of Colombo Crème here. The recipe is quick, easy, and ready in only a few hours! Have fun!
Summer is the perfect time of year for a glass of iced tea!
In honor of World Refugee Day, we had the privilege of being a part of the World Refugee Soccer Tournament. The event was hosted by Bethany Christian Services, a local refugee resettlement agency. Players, both refugees and non-refugees, arrived early to begin a day of friendly competition. There were a total of 12 teams and many spectators roaming between the tents and fields. The winners were The Grand Rapids Thundercats, which included players from Burma, Bhutan, Nepal, and Vietnam.
RefuTea had a booth setup alongside ethnic food tents, children’s activities, and the Salvation Army, who offered free international phone calls. (How cool is that!) We served a delicious peppermint tea lemonade that was both refreshing and tasty! The recipe is rather simple - a bag of Peaceful Peppermint, brewed like regular tea, chilled and mixed with any brand of store bought lemonade, or homemade lemonade if you prefer!
It was a joy to see the faces of people from all around the world, laughing, smiling, and even sweating. As we come upon the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, I’m reminded of the way sports bring people from all different backgrounds together. Though we may not speak the same language, eat the same food, or live the same way, we share the memories of watching athletes from around the world promote hard work, perseverance, and respect for fellow competitors.
RefuTea was honored to serve the refugee community by donating 10% of all sales to Bethany Christian Services.
My Name is Quinn Sylow and I am one of three interns for RefuTea. I managed to get involved with RefuTea through a classmate of mine through university. The more I heard about RefuTea the more interested I became and I wanted to play an active role in its development. I have always had a strong interest with the plight of refugees and its rare to come across a business that has refugees as an integral part its venture. What struck a cord with me about RefuTea is that it provides a practical solution to problems that many resettled refugees experience in Grand Rapids Michigan.
I am responsible for contacting resettlement agencies around West Michigan, specifically the Greater Grand Rapids area. Not only do I maintain current partnerships with cafe’s and other companies I am involved with finding new broadening RefuTea’s exposure through new clients a and media outlets. Additionally I organize the donations that are a direct result of every purchase made.
Through every cup of tea you drink, keep in mind, a resettled family is able to keep warm, finish their homework, cook a meal and much, much more! This allows refugees the platform to engage and reintegrate into the community with a lot more ease thus making the community, city or state you live in a more vibrant and happier one.
I encourage all Tea drinkers, make your next cup a RefuTea cup! You will be helping a local business, aiding refugees while enjoying a wonderful cup of Tea.
Hello beautiful people of the world. My name is Adesinmibola Olabode, I am the newest addition to the RefuTea family. It is a privilege to be part of such an amazing team of people that are invested in rewarding the strives of the refugees in our local community. It has always been my desire to be part of the team, but university work did not give a chance. As soon as I was done with that I knew that I had to be part of this initative/business venture. I will be the Research and Development intern.
Why should you buy RefuTea?
We produce delicious blend of loose leaf tea and use the proceeds to sponsor refugees. We have a variety of six blends of tea. We have African Spiced Pear, Fujian Rose Green, Cranberry Cheer, Raspberry Refuge, Peaceful Peppermint and Colombo Crème Earl Grey. These blends can also be infused into a lot of different things for example pastries, skin care products, cocktails and et cetera.
Hello Everyone! My name is Warami Eresanara, the latest member of the RefuTea family. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this awesome and genuine initiative that supports refugee efforts in the community. I am going to be sharing with you today why it is important to help refugees. For those of you reading who do not know the meaning of the term "refugee," let me give you a pretty simple and yet explanatory definition of the word. A refugee, according to the Geneva Convention on Refugees, is a person who is outside their country of citizenship because they have well-founded grounds for fear of persecution because of their race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, and are unable to obtain sanctuary from their home country or, owing to such fear, are unwilling to avail themselves of the protection of that country; or in the case of not having a nationality and being outside their country of former habitual residence as a result of such event, are unable or, owing to such fear, are unwilling to return to their country of former habitual residence. Such a person may be called an "asylum seeker" until considered with the status of "refugee" by the Contracting State where they formally make a claim for sanctuary or right of asylum."
Now that we are all familiar with the term, I want you to do something for me, can you do that? Yeah? Good! I want you to imagine a world in which you have to flee for your life, a world where you don’t know who you can really trust, or if you are going to make it out alive. Imagine seeing the people you love the most die in front of you, or never seeing those closest to you ever again because you were separated when a bomb blew off. These are the types of pain and turmoil these refugees have had to face, and we often forget that refugees are people too. They have undergone a lot of chaos and hurt and have to resettle in a different country in order to survive.
It is very easy for us to be so caught up in our own lives that we do not notice that there are people out there who need our help and support in order to continue living. In the recent events with the Syrian refugees, we see that so many of them have had to flee their war torn country so that they can seek safety in Europe and the United States. Many other refugees have died by drowning in their attempt to get into Europe since the start of the Civil War in 2011 (Washington Post). We need to do something, we need to be part of the change that this world desperately needs and this is why we need to help refugees.
RefuTea is a small business dedicated to supporting refugee efforts in the Grand Rapids area. They do this by selling delicious blends of loose leaf tea and using the proceeds to sponsor the refugees. They work with non-profit organizations such as Bethany Christian Services to help refugees comfortably settle in their new environment.
When you buy the tea, you are not just buying it for the sake of consumption, you are giving somebody somewhere the opportunity for a better life! And this is the reason why I believe we should all do what we can to support this cause and help refugees!
Thank you to everyone who has purchased tea! We are happy to share with you that ten percent of sales from our first quarter went toward a deserving refugee family who recently resettled in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Bethany Christian Services, the resettlement agency we coordinated with, matched us with a family in immediate need of home goods for their new apartment. Unfortunately, we cannot release the names or pictures of the refugees due to the security of their situation, but we can relay that they were exceedingly grateful for the goods. Some of the items included were pillows, towels, soaps, silverware, dishware, baskets, cleaning supplies, notepads, pens, a DVD player and Nutella. The DVD player will be used to play educational English language learning DVDs and the Nutella was specifically requested by the refugees as they had taken a liking to it in their travels. We had the pleasure of visiting with them in their new apartment and, with the help of a translator, we learned about their journey and thoughts about living in a new place. They are thankful to be here even though some family members had to be left behind and are still in waiting at the refugee camp. Their first week has been difficult as they adjust to their new surroundings and work around the language barrier, but they seemed comfortable in their new apartment. We were happy to see them using the items you had given and enjoyed discussing our mutual love for tea. They were very hospitable (and quite comical!) when sharing stories about their struggles with the language barrier. We also discussed how winter and summer in Michigan compare, since this winter will be their first time seeing snow. It was a pleasure hearing their stories and we feel encouraged and even more motivated to keep moving forward. Thank you for providing us the opportunity to meet these refugees. Please keep spreading the word and following RefuTea. Our mission is support refugee efforts and needs by serving delicious blends of loose leaf tea and none of this would be possible without the support of every bag of tea you have purchased! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
Autumn - “I think I’ve felt every emotion possible about this business in the last three days alone: excitement, fear, gratitude, frustration, cheer, confusion… but I always come back to gratitude. I’m grateful for everything I’ve learned through this. I’ve learned how to better interact with the people around me. I’ve learned how to develop a product. I’ve learned about sustainability, marketing strategies, cost of goods and profit margins. But mostly, I’ve learned that ideas and words carry much power. From the very beginning of this endeavor, Jenna and I have been constantly blessed by the encouragement and support we have received from those closest to us and from people that received word about what we are doing and instantly jumped on board (shout out to Amy! You are truly wonderful). Launching this business is like a baby taking its first steps. We know these first stages will be a little shaky until we learn the routine of taking orders and shipping out products, but we’ll catch our balance and take off running in no time. And it’s less terrifying knowing we have all the support that we do. Thank you for sharing our vision and compassion for people. I know there are a lot of uncertainties right now, but with all of you on board, I know we’re golden.”
Jenna - “Where to start?! So much has transpired over the past 16 months since that quiet conversation in the back of our classroom. I am humbled by the incredible support we have received and the dozens of people who have so willingly offered to help. While I am confident that God has a greater purpose for RefuTea than simply selling tea, the butterflies are a reminder of the risk that is required to move forward. A verse that has brought me so much comfort the past few weeks has been Isaiah 45:2, “I will go before you and make the crooked paths straight.” Knowing God already has all of our days planned and has aligned everything gives me great peace. Just the other day, Autumn and I were reminiscing about where we were last year at this time, when we smiled and exclaimed, “Think where RefuTea will be next year!” I am eager to see how the next chapter of this journey unfolds!”
Amy - “It has always been difficult for me to sum up myself and my feelings in a short, precise way. The first two words which come to mind now are ‘amazed’ and ‘wow.’ Although I have not been a part of the RefuTea journey for long, the excitement and pride I feel I am sure are only ounces of what founders Autumn and Jenna have inside of them right now! It is such an honor to have them welcome me to be a part of their baby and to inject some of my style into this project.
Lately I have been overwhelmed with the ideas of what RefuTea can become. I cannot get thought to notepad fast enough! Regardless, I know the future of RefuTea is a bright one and one which will shine rays of hope and opportunity for the displaced community.
I cannot help but feel this sense of fulfillment when I look back at the final years before I had graduated. Every challenge, tear and stride became momentum to bring me to this place of peace, optimism, creativity, and philanthropy. One not for just myself but for the betterment of the community. It is truly a blessing to serve you and I cannot wait to connect with you more in the days to come!”
Hello beautiful people! My name is Amy Yik, the newest team member of RefuTea. I am honored to be a part of such a ground breaking initiative that supports such a special community as the refugee community, a cause close to home–literally.
Before I get into how the refugee community has brought me into the world, let’s start with the basics shall we? Ever since I could remember I was helping. If I wasn’t helping I was either dancing or educating myself about the world around me. Whether or not I already knew about a subject, I wanted to read more about it which has probably been one of the driving forces navigating me and bringing me to this point in my life.
I am now a Grand Valley State University Almunus (no really, I just found out last week)! After 8 indescribable years, I now have a degree I feel I was called to. My degree is Liberal Studies (no, it does not have to do with any political party or necessarily represent my political affiliation). At Grand Valley, there is a create your own major, Liberal Studies, offered by the Brooks College of Inderdisciplinary Studies. In a nutshell, Liberal Studies allows for students to create a major around their interests while having the basic understanding of every other discipline. Basically, I know a little about everything;).
Although I have heard I am now in the “real world.” I have always been an old soul. During my unbelievable years at Grand Valley, I have lived so many lives. I was the young kid involved with multiple registered student organizations and sat on multiple executive board positions and returning home as soon as I could to help my single mother with my siblings and minding our home. I’ve also been the hard working combination plate with the beforementioned things and work to taking time off of school to become a full time caregiver and full time employee. Despite the curve balls, I came back to school a year after my mother had passed on more determined than ever to achieve my degree. I was blessed to leave and return to school with no resistance from the university and focused on reaching my degree part time, running a business part time, while remaining guardian full time. After all this, I am now a Grand Valley State University graduate with a degree in Liberal Studies and an emphasis in Community Health Engagement in Business and Non Profit Organizations (just a fancy way of saying my emphasis is in raising the health of communities through local partnerships).
At first glance I can understand it may be easy to say RefuTea has no relevance to my major—but part of the job of someone with my degree is to connect the dots where there may not be any (or where no dots may exist!). I view health as sustainability. Be it physically, emotionally, mentally, environmentally or through relationship. For me, RefuTea offers a unique opportunity to achieve all those things and more—financial independence, entrepreneurship, and the power over our employees’ lives to live a fulfilling life. It sounds cliché, but weren’t we all created to live our most fulfilling life? My elders needed an opportunity and West Michigan churches gave them so much more than that. There is no doubt RefuTea will offer families in this community what those churches did for my family. By being a recipient of this type of opportunity comes a sense of purpose, humbleness, gratitude and a sense of responsibility to give a hand up to others once it is attainable.
RefuTea entered my life in a business course I took last year. The emphasis of the course was entrepreneurship and the professor referenced the great work Autumn and Jenna are doing to help the community during a couple classes. At the time it was hard to wrap my mind around making time for this opportunity but come to just a semester later, I am in a position where I need to find a new internship opportunity STAT. As soon as the moment came where I needed to find an opportunity which struck a chord with me, I remembered RefuTea. I emailed my professor from that business course for Jenna and Autumn’s contact information and as they say, the rest is history!
Although I may not have had the actual refugee experience myself, I understand the challenges many first generation families are faced with. During the time of the Vietnam War, neighbor nation Cambodia was in a state of genocide. Leader Pol Pot forced the country to begin moving toward year zero. Entire families were split apart, divided into labor groups, and driven to work as slaves meanwhile the educated, one being my uncle, were called to attend “meetings” never to be heard from again. Among these slaves were my entire family of Chinese descent, entrepreneurs themselves who made and sold goods all the while trying to blend in into the Khmer community who did not always welcome them. Somehow my family members were blessed enough to locate one another and fled Cambodia. Between the guerilla army, thugs, and land mines, the journey on foot would not be an easy one. After more time in and out of refugee camps, American churches began visiting the areas my families stayed and sponsored entire families to live in America. The day my family was sponsored unfolded a completely different path for my loved ones and the possibility for my generation to begin a life our parents were willing to sacrifice their lives for.
With all that said (thank you for staying with me for those who made it to this point), among other duties I will be assisting Autumn and Jenna with the RefuTea social media, sourcing, fundraising and event development. Stay tuned for the wonderful things to come! I cannot thank Autumn and Jenna and the support of our community enough for this opportunity!