We are finally down to the last 5 Black Friday orders! These are the last of the “problem orders” and special requests and they will be shipped out tomorrow. This Black Friday definitely went down quite differently than anticipated. I was thinking we might do 20% more in sales than last year’s Black Friday but instead we ended up doing 6 times that. In addition to the large number of orders, a lot of teas that usually aren’t ordered as much became the stars of the Black Friday sale, like our Oriental Beauty and Anji Bai Cha. This lead us to scramble to have teas shipped in from China and Taiwan and flavorings as well as other ingredients being special rushed to us. A lot of very late nights were put in by all, including my 70+ year old mother-in-law who was frequently staying until 2 or 3 am to work. She only normally puts in a few hours a day but she was really amazing during the rush. She also wants everyone to know that a lot of love went into the teas that she made. Working with her is a lot of fun. She’s a retired chemist, so she loves making the teas. I’m trying to convince her to come up with her own special blend. We all felt bad that a lot of orders were really delayed. I’m hoping that most orders make it to people in time for Christmas (or whatever holiday is celebrated, whether it be Christmas or Yule or Kwanzaa, at that point there was no way we were getting orders out in time for Hanukkah though).
During our Black Friday sale, we ended up running out of our current Irish Breakfast. I had seriously underestimated the amount of Hattialli we would need for the year, so unfortunately, that version won’t be coming back until the summer. For this new blend, we started with maybe 17 different combinations. We just tried the final 3 and I think we have a winner. Here is a pic of the final 3: http://instagram.com/p/iKQszalfDg/#. The Dinjoye Assam is the most prominently featured tea with the Khongea Assam just behind it and then our organic Ceylon from the Venture estate. This tea can be really strong, depending on how its brewed. I’m enjoying it slightly less strong by using 1 ½ teaspoons of tea for 3minutes in boiling water. At this level, I’m getting a heavy malty flavor that leaves a tingle on the tongue without being astringent. There are burned chocolate notes up front but a citrusy finish. Some bread notes are present. The citrus is somewhat like bergamot. This is very enjoyable, especially piping hot. It’s not overly complex but a great breakfast tea.
The following is a shameless plug. Sorry guys! I was lucky enough to be involved with 130 other artists (though I don’t consider myself an artist) in essentially a large complicated game of “telephone”. Basically, there are artists that work in different mediums (for instance, dance, painting, music, poetry, photography, film, etc). Each artist is given a piece of art and asked to interpret its soul in their art medium. So, I was given a painting and asked to make a tea based on the soul of that painting. Well, I did and that tea is “With Open Eyes”. That tea was then given to Wes Craven (how crazy is that) to create a character/plot. Here is a link for more info: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/consenses. We are used in the example, so its ok for me to mention it. You can see the painting that inspired it. Sally Taylor is the artists who ran with this amazing idea and she is just super sweet. They are looking for funding. Please check it out if you can, share it, and donate if possible. This is just such a super cool project and I really can’t wait to see the final result.