Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Women in Tea: Heather Agosta

For International Women's Month, I am featuring some of the hard-working and cool women who are leading the cause of tea. I'm starting right here in the Pacific Northwest.

Introducing Heather Agosta, the co-founder, CEO and Tea Blend Formulator of Jasmine Pearl Tea Company

Heather Agosta in a tea field, Shizuoka, Japan

Q:  Could you share a childhood memory related to tea?
A: When I was a little girl, my friend and I would have tea parties in her parents' greenhouse. We would make orange spice black tea with lots of sugar and we would eat gingerbread cookies. I am sure we would get really jacked-up on sugar and caffeine. It was a blast!

At a matcha manufacturer, Japan

Q: Tell us about your business.  When did you begin?
A:  I started The Jasmine Pearl in 2004 with my husband, Chuck. We started out blending teas in the basement of our home. We ran the business out of our living room and basement for six years before we moved to a commercial space.

Q: What does your business offer, today? 
A: We offer 100+ loose-leaf teas, all blended on-site using our proprietary recipes. We directly import teas and source ingredients from all over the world. Our teas are sold to cafes, restaurants, spas and natural grocery stores. Retail customers can also purchase our teas online and in our NE Portland tea shop.
Heather and Jasmine Pearl Tea Company co-founder, Chuck Bauman

Q: What brings you joy about this tea work?
A: I really love tea! I particularly enjoy formulating blends for our company and for other companies, as well. Creating new tea blends is a fun and challenging task. It is especially rewarding to teach others how to blend and to see what interesting combinations they can create.

Stephanie's perspective: Whenever I spy the Jasmine Pearl cans on a grocer's shelf or in a restaurant, I smile (and I order that tea!). If you're in Portland and a tea lover, this shop is a must-see. I'm particularly fond of the tasting bar and the line of Japanese green teas. Sign up for one of the classes to enhance your tea knowledge and skill, or get grounded as you quietly sip your tea in the welcoming seating area. 


Teafan said...

I also love the JP! They have great herbals, too.

Marilyn Miller said...

Thanks for this review and interview with Heather. For some reason I just haven't tried much from Jasmine Pearl, though I love their Japanese black with yuzu.

Inspired but Tired said...

I love getting to know a little more about the woman behind the Jasmine Pearl tea shop. I adore this place from afar by enjoying many of their teas. Next time I visit, I will have to go in person.

Anonymous said...

When I visit you have taken me to this interesting tea shop. I enjoy the tea tasting and learning about the different teas.

Geoff said...

Definitely one of my favorite tea women.

Angela McRae said...

What a great idea for a series, and I love the name of this company!

Stacy T. Gilley said...

This sounds wonderful! I would love to try it!