In celebration of International Women’s Day on 8th March we chatted with six women who are shaking up the tea industry! They each saw a niche in the tea market, decided to follow their dreams and founded their own tea businesses. And the tea world is all the richer for them! 

Fourth in our Women in Tea series is Carole Tan, Founder of TEASPEC. Carole was introduced to the world of Pu’er tea through her mother-in-law’s formidable tea collection. Built up for over 35 years, this collection became their family legacy, boasting the best quality Pu’er teas of different vintages and different blends. They began sharing their Pu’er collection with friends as gifts, before deciding to share their treasures with the world via TEASPEC.

Q1. What inspired you to found the company?

I have always been health conscious and interested in natural remedies.  After witnessing how regular consumption of  Pu’er has successfully lowered the cholesterol levels of my parents-in-law,  I felt compelled to introduce this well-kept secret to the wider tea drinking community. 

Pu’er tea is a complicated, traditional product and my raison d’etre is to set the trend by contemporising our beloved Pu’er tea and the Chinese tea culture for modern society. This unique tea has addicts and investors alike, and I’m keen to introduce such an interesting tea to the world. I started by redesigning the perception of Pu’er tea, and making it accessible to a younger tea drinking crowd. Pu’er is similar to wine in that it can be stored and its value increases with age. 

Q2. How are you enriching your customers’ lives?

Pu’er tea’s traditional form is a compressed tea brick or tea cake, requiring specialist brewing equipment to chip away the tea leaves in order to brew. I want to make this fascinating tea more accessible to curious tea drinkers. So I’ve designed a range of Pu’er teas that come in loose leaf and biodegradable teabag format, as well as kits for brewing the traditional format. In this way I hope that anyone who wants to explore Pu’er tea, can do so easily.

Tea is not just a thirst quencher. It opens up reflection, it brings people and thoughts together.

We know that for best results, the tea brewing method is just as important as the tea itself. Even though artisanal teas are the trend these days, the teapot design has remained the same over the years. Often times, tea leaves get over-steeped at the bottom of the teapot. So, to overcome this issue and to befit the quality of my tea, I’ve created functional teaware such as Lazy Pour teapot for home use and Lazy Go tumbler for on-the-go. The specially designed teaware comes with a built-in strainer that allows anyone to easily brew a perfect cup of tea no matter where they are.

Q3. What excites you the most about the future of tea?

It’s exciting to see more young people drink tea these days, and tea is becoming as trendy as coffee! Most importantly, there are now more research institutes studying the health benefits of tea. I hope that tea’s curative properties get recognised by the mainstream medicine one day.

Q4. Finally, tell us about your perfect tea moment.

Tea is not just a thirst quencher. It opens up reflection, it brings people and thoughts together. Because a piece of Pu’er tea cake is in a constant state of change, my perfect tea moment is to enjoy Pu’er with friends and family after a meal by sampling tea of different provenance, vintages, blends and storage conditions.

Find out more at https://teaspec.com/

Check out Part one, Part two and Part three of the Women in Tea series.

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