The story behind Tangential Tea

By now you may have seen some tea popping up in our site and on social media. Back when we were planning to open our café in Lansdale we knew we wanted to place a focus on tea as well as coffee to enhance the customer experience. As much as we love coffee, it’s definitely a treat to mix things up. So we called this project Tangential Tea. 

Back in 2011 I had a short stint away from coffee when I worked at a specialty tea café for 6 months while living in Indianapolis. This was an experience that opened me up to the dynamic world of tea. This, however, made me no professional. We were lucky enough to connect with Ravi from Royal Tea New York to curate a diverse, yet concise, tea menu. Royal sells to wholesalers like us, founded in 2016 by Royal Coffee NY (an importer we work closely with to source many of our coffees). Ravi has more than 17 years experience in the tea industry and has had the opportunity to spend some time at origin. 

If you have been to Ambler Farmer’s market this summer you may have already tried some tea on nitro draft. This has been a fun product for us to play around with and try different teas on. We will continue to sell nitro tea at Ambler market through the fall and we plan to explore the opportunity to offer this product elsewhere. Or maybe you have had the chance to try some tea prepared by hand at our café. If not, now is your chance, especially as the season changes and hot tea becomes more alluring. 

Jade Needle, green tea.

Jade Needle, green tea.

Our tea menu has a few classic blends mixed in with some single origin teas. One I would like to highlight is the Jade Needle’s Green Tea. This is a tea that Ravi has been purchasing for the last 8 years from a family farm in China. The tea has notes of artichoke, fall squash, and a nice buttery mouth-feel. Green tea is not oxidized like black tea, so it tastes more raw and natural to the original leaf. In some ways you can liken green tea to light roast coffee – the flavor comes more from the leaf, varietal, growing conditions, and origin than it does from oxidation (or roasting when we are talking about coffee).