"We all wear alot of hats...", a phrase often uttered within the doors of our tea company. As a small company, it comes as no surprise that our employees often fill more than one specific role. Though we all bring our specialties to the table, at any given moment we shuck our projects to the side to focus our attentions on other tasks at hand. With only five heads, the many hats of industry tend to rotate among the bunch. Every day brings unique challenges, and ten eager arms together lift the weight of daily business.
Here is something that you may not know about us: the company itself also wears many hats. Did you think we operated solely in tea? Think again. Our talents and efforts bleed into several other areas. A true entrepreneur, founder Manish Shah never closes his eyes to opportunity.
Maya Tea Company itself got its start at a local farmers' market here in Tucson. Eleven years ago, Manish sat alone at a booth selling small bags filled with his own formulation of chai. One simple product, one man, one day a week. The growth of the tea company mirrored the growth of the farmers' market, and in 2002 the administrator of the market stepped down and Manish was asked to fill his shoes. Manish became the market coordinator, and today this event is still operated from within our small company. Monday through Friday our phone lines buzz with potential vendors and customer inquiries, and with dawn on Saturday and Sundays our two market locations begin to crawl with agriculture. From large scale farms to local backyard growers, bakeries to barbecue, flowers to eggs, vendors and their booths line the manicured courtyards of our Oro Valley and St. Phillips markets fifty-two weeks a year, offering the fruits of their labor to the community.
Every week we work to organize these community events, sending press releases, planning market festivals, and processing applications. Amidst our large bags of tea and mixing machines are market tables, signs and tents. Our efforts endlessly intermingle between the two.
Then, there are the spices.
The Cafe Terra Cotta, a beloved local restaurant and one of our longest wholesale tea customers, sadly closed its doors during last year's economic downturn. Alongside the savory southwestern dishes that they specialized in, they also produced a line of spice mixtures for the public to replicate their delicious sauces, glazes, marinades and dressings. When the business closed, Manish stepped forward and offered to carry on their spice legacy. Terra Cotta's exclusive spice recipes are now mixed and packaged here alongside our tea blends, and we are proud to continue to provide the exquisite flavors of the Southwest to our customers. This week we have introduced these spice mixtures to our website so that you may carry on the Terra Cotta traditions from your own kitchen.
To browse the line of Terra Cotta spices, click here.
In the spirit of experimentation and creativity, we have included the line of spices in our research and development sector, and in our spare time (ha!) we tinker with new spice mixtures. Our chefs hats are always kept handy in our back pockets, and just as you check in regularly for new tea offerings you should keep an eye on our spices as well. We hope to offer additional Southwestern spices within the next few months, including our current project, an Adobado sauce mixture.
Here is something else you may not know... I am the company bookkeeper. That is my specialty, and every week I balance our registers, pay our bills and manage our accounts. It is my honor and privilege to write these blogs, providing you with a glimpse of the inner-workings of the Maya Tea Company, who we are and what we do. This is just an example of the versatility behind our doors, and between you and me, this is my favorite hat.
Comments will be approved before showing up.
The first time I tried chai was in the kitchen of my parent’s house, and served by my younger sister. “You have to taste this—” she insisted, pushing a mug across the countertop to me. She refused to elaborate on its contents. The flavors, she said, would speak for themselves.
The quality of water affects the taste of your tea; this is beyond dispute. The relative quantities of mineral salts, oxygen and trace elements determine the relative "liveliness" or "flatness" of a particular cup. To that simple substance we add the basic flavor of the leaf itself or an herbal substitute.