As a new mom, I’m drinking A LOT of tea. Juggling the baby, my job, my hobbies, and the chores has taken a huge toll on my mental and physical well being. It’s not just the lack of sleep that will do you in, but also the demand to be present and aware 24/7. I’m learning to appreciate the brief moments I can steal away and take for myself – reading a few pages of American Gods, catching up on an episode of Cosplay Melee, writing a long overdue thank you card, or pouring myself a warm cup of tea.
So when Andy, the founder and creator of PlumDeluxe.com, asked if he could send me a sample of tea to review, I leapt at the chance. Since I’m a sucker for an Earl Grey, Andy sent me his Gratitude Blend Black Tea – a strawberry Earl Grey- and I’ve really been enjoying it. The tea comes in a resealable plastic bag and has a lovely berry aroma. Seriously, I could sniff this tea all day. The tea itself has a smooth and mild flavor. With a dash of coconut milk I’m finding that it’s prefect for those dreary Chicago mornings.
But besides the tasty tea, one of the things I love about Plum Deluxe is their commitment to creating memorable moments. My journey into parenthood has been one huge identity crisis after another. It’s really easy to get lost in it all, so sometimes that gentle reminder to slow down and live in the present is super important. I asked Andy to tell me more about why tea and self care are so important to him.
1) What inspired you to start Plum Deluxe?
I had a wonderful, fulfilling career in tech for many years, but after 2 corporate acquisitions (and 2 salary decreases), I found myself in a toxic work environment and suffered health consequences because of it. I decided that the risk of going out on my own was a far better prospect than letting an employer take away my health and happiness. Part of our mission of “creating moments that matter” was inspired by my own experiences, of losing a parent to cancer, to having such a dramatic downgrade of my own work experience, and my hope that if I could improve my own life experiences, I could share those lessons with others.
2) Your blog focuses a lot on self care (and some tasty recipes!) Why is this so important to you?
I think we can all agree that the current state of society leaves a lot to be desired in some ways. We are all “busy” and spend more time tapping on our phones and scrolling through the feeds than we do taking care of ourselves and our needs. And I truly believe that if we all take some time to take care of ourselves, then we can take better care of others and show up to create a better society overall. Self care is culturally derided as selfish or unimportant, and it’s time to change that conversation.
3) What’s the best part about working with tea?
Well, it’s a lot of fun – I think the idea that tea has endless combinations is fascinating in itself. It’s also such a colorful product to work with – literally, colorful, but also the scents, and the textures, it’s a bounty buffet for the senses. I would also say that for the most part, people in the tea industry are great people to work with – honest, thoughtful, kind – everyone wants everyone else to succeed.
4) If you had to chose just one blend of tea to drink forever, which one would you pick?
That’s so unfair, like having to pick your favorite child! Right now, I’m drinking a lot of our Evening in the Garden (elderflower, rose, lemon). The elderflower almost sparkles like champagne, and rose/lemon is a delightful combination. I also start each morning with a cup of our passionfruit green tea, which is a combination of a very grassy Japanese green tea with passionfruit extract – we call it the Abundance blend, which is exactly what it tastes like!
5) What are your current top five geek loves?
I will forever pledge allegiance to Star Trek Next Generation – I recently re-watched the entire series on Netflix and caught a handful of episodes I’d somehow missed. Now I’m cozying up to my second favorite, Star Trek Voyager.
I have a strange fascination with Resident Evil – although I am hopeful The Final Chapter is indeed the Final Chapter (haven’t we put her through enough?).
Supernatural is one of my favorites too on a regular Netflix rotation – although I have to say the first 3 seasons were the best, that’s another one I’d like to see some closure.
That’s 4 TV/movie ones, I’d like to close by saying my favorite geeky activity is reading! I read right around 1 book a week. 🙂 Oddly enough, right now I’m on a [auto]biography kick. Phil Knight and Howard Schultz were the last 2 and now I’m in the midst of Walt Disney (by Neal Gabler), which if you’re a creative person or want to be more creative in general, you might find this (really, really long) book fascinating.
Visit PlumDeluxe.com to find out more about their tea of the month club, and enter below for a chance to win a tea sample from Andy! Sorry international giggles! Due to customs restrictions, this giveaway is US based only. 🙁