Tea with Tae: Interview with Founder Taelor O’Dorisio

Tea with Tae
Tea with Tae is a startup company that was founded by Taelor O'Dorisio with the intention to bring tea to the masses.

Tea with Tae is a startup company that aims to bring tea to the masses. Herbal, Black, Green, Chai, Rooibos, Oolong are among the offerings and consumers are invited to sample favorites by either creating a custom box of flavors or choosing from the preset curated collection. All tea is available in tea-pyramid sachet bags that are biodegradable and cost $39.99 per box.

Taelor O’Dorisio is the founder of Tea with Tae who has an extensive experience working in communications for a food chain. Taelor once ran a blog called taebur.com where she posted about lifestyle topics, home, and entertainment. She was fortunate enough to work with brands such as WeddingWire, Sherwin Williams, and Bed Bath & Beyond. She established Tea with Tae as a woman-owned tea company offering premium teas from around the world. She currently lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband and Goldendoodle.

Taelor O’Dorisio recently discussed her business via an exclusive interview.

Meagan Meehan (MM): How did you discover your love for tea and how did you establish your company?

Taelor O’Dorisio (TO): Throughout my tea-drinking journey, I’ve been fortunate enough to try a bunch of different teas from around the world, including experiencing the different ways tea is served. Hands down, loose leaf tea tastes the best compared to your off-the-shelf tea bags. I quickly realized, however, that it’s difficult to set aside time to prepare a cup of loose-leaf tea amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Before I started Tea with Tae, I worked in a marketing job that required me to travel a lot, and I felt like I was on the go 24/7 with little downtime. As a result, I had to settle for the traditional, low-grade tea bags filled with tea dust and fannings. I could easily make a cup of tea on the go, but I had to sacrifice quality and flavor as a trade-off. I wondered if there was a way to merge the best of both worlds to enjoy premium, delicious teas without the inconvenience of brewing loose-leaf tea…That’s when I decided to start Tea with Tae. At TWT, all of our teas are premium, high-quality teas sourced from all around the world. The tea is loose leaf, but it’s served up in tea pyramid sachets, where our tea sachets are adapted to the tea, rather than adapting the tea to the teabag by jamming in flat-tasting tiny leaves into small tea bags. By serving our tea in our plus-size tea sachets, we are preserving the sophisticated flavor profiles and aromas of the loose-leaf tea, while maintaining the convenience of a tea bag at the same time. It’s the best of both worlds, especially for those who are constantly on the move and hustling every day!

I established TWT early last year, and we officially launched in April 2020. For the first year of TWT, I still worked full time at my day job in marketing. It wasn’t until January of this year that I made the leap and went full time into TWT. Choosing this path has definitely caused us to grow a little bit slower, but it’s given me the opportunity to completely bootstrap the business to date, which has given me a lot of freedom and flexibility to build the vision for TWT from the ground up. We are a mission-focused company dedicated to bringing our customers great tasting and beautifully-packaged tea that can be given as gifts to friends, family, and loved ones.

MM: How did you decide which blends to include?

TO: We wanted to make sure we had a diversity of blends from different parts of the world, so our customers would have a variety of menu options to suit their taste buds. We also wanted to make sure that our blends were appropriate for different times of day with different levels of caffeine, so on our tea menu, you’ll see a variety of teas that can be enjoyed first thing in the morning (like our caffeine-forward Lavender Earl Grey) or in the evening to wind down your day (like our herbal, caffeine-free Calming Tea).

MM: What was the process of getting the sampler Tea Bento Box together like?

TO: Creating our sampler Tea Bento Box was one of our most fun projects. In order to select the right teas, we had to look at our sales analytics of our top selling teas across each of our tea categories. And then, once we identified the top teas from each category, we had to narrow that list down to the six top teas. To narrow it down, we went out and did these customer development surveys, which ultimately led us to our current sampler Tea Bento Box. We plan on updating our sampler Tea Bento Box annually to ensure it accurately reflects the most up-to-date preferences of our customers.

MM: Be honest, what’s your favorite of all the teas?

TO: I would have to say our Jasmine Green Tea has been my favorite as of late. I love it in the mornings and drink it iced in the afternoon.

MM: What is some of the best feedback you’ve gotten about your teas?

TO: Many of our customers love our tea and how convenient it is to have tea sachets but still preserve the amazing flavors of loose-leaf tea. But probably the best feedback I’ve gotten is praise for our customer service team. We’ve had some customers place rush orders where they want to give a Tea Bento Box as a gift at a party the following day, and we really pride ourselves in going the extra mile for our customers. We’re always happy to make sure your Tea Bento Box arrives on time–and in time to give that perfect gift to your friend, family member, or loved one, even if that means I’m the one personally delivering your Tea Bento Box to your doorstep (which does happen more than you’d think!).

MM: What flavors would you like to add soon?

TO: Most recently, we’ve been exploring adding a lemon ginger tea to our menu. We’ve had a lot of requests for this tea, and we can’t deny it — not only is lemon ginger tea delicious, but the health benefits are unparalleled. Lemon ginger tea has been correlated with weight loss, improved immunity, decreased risk of cancer, and decreased risk of cardiovascular and liver diseases. Stay tuned. We should be adding a lemon ginger tea very soon!

MM: How do you hope the company expands over the next ten years?

TO: We hope to continue building on our mission of bringing happiness and joy to our customers’ lives through providing gifts of delicious tea in beautifully-presented packages. As we grow, we are sure to add more products, including new tea varieties that we know are sustainably-sourced and high-quality. We also anticipate bringing our TWT to other parts of the world outside the U.S., since tea is a global beverage that so many people enjoy. We’re also in the early stages of possibly opening some “tea houses” where you can shop the TWT collection in-person–and in some cases, literally have a cup of tea with Tae!

MM: What projects are coming up for you soon and is there anything else that you would like to mention?

TO: We have an upcoming collaboration with a company called Vellabox that we are super excited about. That should be launching at the end of May. We are also in the process of redesigning our packaging to be more eco-friendly and have a smaller footprint (yet still keeping the luxury style). We anticipate launching our new packaging in the next few months!

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Follow Tea with Tae on Instagram @shopteawithtae.