The Roots of Uproot Teas

The Roots of Uproot Teas

By JC Chen and Cindy Li

I’ve always loved tea. From a young age, I started drinking tea way more than anyone else in my family. 

Cindy as a child on the Fourth of July in a USA flag inflatable pool

For me, tea has always meant comfort and connection: a source of warmth on a cold New England day, an excuse to slow down with a friend. Tea is deeply woven into my heritage; something that I hold closely to who I am. I fondly remember visiting tea gardens while touring China as a Chinese-American, wondering which oolong I should bring back to California for my parents. These wonderful core memories of an early connection I formed with tea slowly blossomed into a rich passion. During my senior year of college I researched the commodity tea trade for an economics paper and learned all about the inefficiencies and inequities of the industry - with centuries-old structures rooted in colonialism. Last September, I had the incredible opportunity to spend a month in Hawai'i working with a small, up-and-coming tea farm to learn all about tea growing and production

Cindy working on a tea farm in Maui

Throughout this entire process,I keep finding myself circling back to one thing that has been a constant comfort during the trials and tribulations of being a 1.5-generation Chinese American woman entrepreneur: a sense of community. Building a community - whether it's with other children of immigrants seeking a sense of belonging, with other small businesses in food & beverage, or with people who share a desire to slow down & promote anti-hustle culture -  is the reason why we do what we do. 

In a relentless age of hustle culture, we are here as a gentle reminder that rest is just as important. If slowing down for one moment during your day to enjoy a nice hot cup of our tea is something we can provide for you, then our mission as a brand has been accomplished. Uproot Teas was created not just to carefully curate quality products for our clients, but to remind everyone to take care of each other and ourselves.

top-down photo of two full tea cups and a tea pot

Being an Asian woman-owned small tea company in a predominantly white dominated tea industry, we are so proud of the minor and major things that set Uproot Teas apart:

  • Real, loose leaves only
  • direct partnership with  tea farmers – cut out the middleman to be able to provide tea farmers with the compensation they deserve
  • loose-leaf tea packaging is 100% compostable, with zero waste from traditional tea bags

Photo of Uproot Teas pouches highlighting the real leaves you can see, single origin tea, zero waste compostable packaging, and Asian American woman owned business

It's been nothing short of a magical journey. I now have 3 amazing farm partners sustainably growing and producing artisan, small batch loose leaf teas and botanicals, and I am beyond excited to share them with you.

As Uproot Teas continues to grow, we cannot wait to continue partnering with other badass small businesses and women of color in the food and beverage industry. After just hitting 1,000 followers on Instagram, we couldn’t be more grateful for the connections we have built with our supporters. As Uproot Teas continues to grow and go through trials and tribulations, we encourage you all to continue interacting with us! Uproot wouldn’t exist without your voice and the more we can incorporate your opinions and needs into the foundation of our business, the better. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of our journey so far with your love and support!




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