When Jason Adams first put on an apron and began selling tea in a Teavana retail store he had no idea how much his life would change a few years later.
“I was going to school for finance and working in a Teavana store in the mall as a part time job. I fell in love with the product and the company,” he said. “About three years ago I got the opportunity to become Teavana’s first designated tea buyer.”
And late last year, Adams found himself brewing the sample teas Oprah Winfrey tasted as she helped create Teavana® Oprah Chai Tea.
“Working with Oprah was a fantastic experience,” Adams said. “It was inspiring because she was so hands on throughout the whole process.”
The first-of-its-kind collaboration between Teavana, Starbucks and Oprah Winfrey has come together with Teavana® Oprah Chai Tea becoming available today as a latte in Starbucks and as a beverage and loose-leaf tea in Teavana stores.
“Chai is one of the most popular and universally liked flavor profiles. The spices in the Oprah Chai are balanced out perfectly and it tastes great hot, iced or in a latte, so there are a lot of ways to enjoy it,” he said.
Those who are new to loose-leaf tea might not know exactly how to brew Teavana Oprah Chai, which comes in a rose-gold colored container with an elegant green label. The two-ounce package inside contains a bold blend of cinnamon, ginger, carob pieces, black pepper, chicory root, cardamom, cloves, black tea and rooibos.
Don’t be intimidated, Adams advised, noting all that is needed to make loose-leaf tea is the tea, boiling water and a way to filter out the leaves.
“Teavana Oprah Chai is one of the easier teas to make,” Adams said. “It’s one rounded teaspoon per eight-ounce cup. Add boiling water; let it steep for three minutes.”
If you want a stronger flavor, which is how Oprah likes hers, then increase the amount of tea. Oprah uses three teaspoons. The teaspoon originated as a way to measure tea when it was highly sought after and used sparingly.
There are a number of ways to remove tea leaves from the hot, brewed tea.
For beginners, Adams recommends the Teavana PerfecTea® Maker. Making tea with this device is as simple as adding tea and hot water, and putting the tea maker over a mug. The patented drain mechanism will strain the tea into a cup and keep the leaves in the tea maker. The device has a removable stainless steel tea strainer for easy cleaning.
Another option is a glass tea pot with stainless steel infuser. Teavana also carries Japanese teapots handmade of solid cast iron with a fully enameled inside and a stainless steel basket for tea leaves. Cast iron teapots keep tea hot for close to an hour.
“There are a variety of ways to brew tea, just as there is so much variety in the tea itself and in ways to enjoy it,” Adams said. “Tea can be refreshing or soothing. You can drink it by yourself or with a group. It’s exciting to hear from so many new tea drinkers. They’re trying something I love.”