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Meet Dan Klein and Patrick Tannous of Tiesta Tea in River North

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dan Klein and Patrick Tannous.

Dan and Patrick, pre-school best friends turned business partners, took a weekend trip to Prague in college where they fell in love with loose leaf tea. Tiesta Tea was then started with the mission of creating functional loose leaf tea blends that are affordable, accessible and understandable. Each tea blend falls into one of five categories (Energizer, Slenderizer, Eternity, Immunity and Relaxer) that describe what each tea does for one’s body. Tiesta Tea can now be found in multiple parts of the grocery store; from the produce and bulk foods departments to the tea and beer aisles. With a history steeped in loose leaf tea, Tiesta Tea has expanded to make a ready-to-drink cold brew tea line and soon to be fresh brew line. Tiesta Tea has also partnered with Shipyard Brewery to make a tea beer. The company’s products can be found in over 6500 grocery stores and cafes around the US.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
In the beginning, Tiesta Tea experienced trouble breaking into the marketplace. Dan and Patrick had to find creative ways to keep the business afloat. Back in 2011, these two business partners couch surfed in four cities for 20-days throughout New York, going door-to-door talking to over 500 potential customers to keep the business alive. From that trip, Tiesta Tea gained several large clients that finally helped them break into the grocery store marketplace. In addition, Dan and Patrick had limited experience and knowledge of the food and beverage industry. It was this lack of experience that gave them the determination to learn and the passion to be successful. The tea industry is saturated by tea companies that focus on tea type and ingredient origin. This is not a bad thing, but Patrick and Dan realized the common consumer does not care where the tea leaves are from. What the common consumer cares about is what the tea will do for them (functionality) and what the tea will taste like (flavor).

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Tiesta Tea – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Tiesta Tea creates understandable, affordable and accessible loose tea blends by using natural fruits, herbs, and spices to enhance the flavor and function of tea. Tiesta segments its blends by functionality into five different categories: Energizer, Slenderizer, Immunity, Relaxer and Eternity. This makes it simple for consumers to find a tea that fits their lifestyle. Tiesta Tea’s 50 flavors are sold in 6,500 grocery stores, cafes and online. Tiesta Tea pioneered the loose leaf bulk program in grocery stores, allowing customers to engage in a store-within-a-store concept by scooping tea in an economically and environmentally friendly way.

Now, opening up into new marketplaces, Tiesta Tea has created a ready-to-drink cold brew loose leaf tea beverage. The aim was to get all the flavor that the loose leaf tea has and create it into a cold brewed beverage that has low calories and low sugar content. The line of cold brew teas has been out for 4 months now. Once July hits, Tiesta Tea cold brew will be everywhere! We are proud of how healthy our beverages are and that we motivate people to live loose. Besides our product being the main focus, we are also very proud of our giveback initiatives. In 2017, we had the opportunity to build a water well in Nigeria where our hibiscus farmers live. This was a way for us to give back and make a direct social impact. We are continuing this initiative by aiming to build more wells through the years. We are currently in the process of building the second well. Our Living Well Project is affecting over 100,000 people and we are so happy and proud we can do this.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
As Tiesta Tea grows faster than ever, we are looking to try new blends for our loose leaf tea and our ready-to-drink tea. There are so much growth and opportunity in the ready-to-drink space and being able to have a low sugar/low-calorie drink that offers caffeine and non-caffeinated options are what is trending. We want to expand in every direction in the tea market as we currently have our loose leaf tea, our cold brew, our tea beer (partnered with Shipyard) and our new fresh brew program. We continue to grow and share happiness with the world through tea.

Pricing:

  • Sample Size: $3.00
  • Pouch Size: $5.00 – $7.00
  • Tin Size: $10.00 – $15.00
  • Bulk Size: $15.00 – $30.00

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Colleen Cesaretti

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