I think of tea as my dharma, my path, and am so thankful to be able to share its magic with you!
When I was 26, I was working as a cook at the most beautiful little Tibetan teahouse in Bozeman, Montana, making momos and learning all about authentic chai from the Himalayan Mountains. The teahouse was owned and run by a dynamic group of women who I admired for their sense of adventure, travel and heart.
When the teahouse closed down in 2002, I continued making chai and selling it around town. I set up shop in my basement (I know, not 100% legal) and called my business Firepot Chai—inspired by meditation on a candle (a portable pot of fire) and its awesome ability to spread warmth and nourishment and to bring people together.
I figured the same held true for tea.
The spirit of Firepot immediately manifested as friends began showing up—offering to design labels, build a website and essentially help me figure out how to run a business! At that time, I knew in my bones that tea was my path.
It was an undeniable, exhilarating feeling, a knowing, a bit like falling in love. From that point on, tea has been in the driver's seat, leading me on the most incredible adventures!
Our Roots: Organic and Fair Trade Teas
Firepot Chai was rooted in ethical trade and organic production from the start. When I was 7 years old, I knew that I wanted to be an organic farmer when I grew up. That’s when I harvested my first lettuce leaves from my grandmother’s garden in Finland and planted my first watermelon seed at my other grandmother’s home in Tennessee.
Gardening felt like the best kind of magic. I spent my time in high school and college studying and working in agriculture- marine, farm and forest. After school, I lived in a tipi, a yurt and a straw bale home along the California coast and in the mountains of Montana, learning about plants and living in sync with nature.
While studying at the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems at The University of California, Santa Cruz, I began to learn about sustainable development and how it affected people around the world. A fire was lit inside of me; it brought together my love for travel, culture and agriculture. I knew then that I wanted to work with developing agricultural communities around the world.
I took Firepot with me when I moved from Bozeman onto 40 acres of raw land in Talkeetna, Alaska with my boyfriend, and then eventually life moved me to New Zealand to start “Scarborough Fair,” a tea, coffee and chocolate brand that pioneered Fair Trade into mainstream grocery stores across Australia and New Zealand. I always had a pot of chai brewing or a freshly ground batch of loose-leaf chai to share at festivals and farmers’ markets along the way!
Even when I moved home to Tennessee and worked as a tea buyer for The Republic of Tea, I never stopped grinding, blending and brewing chai for friends and family across the world who needed their fix. This tea had become a part of me. And all along, I held Firepot Chai in my back pocket, knowing I would someday bring it back to life.
The Rebirth of Firepot Tea
That day was March of 2013, three months after my first son was born. I woke up that spring in a new mom blur to the realization that it was time.
I set up shop down the road where Firepot Tea Bar is now and began grinding, blending and brewing again. I updated the Firepot logo and branding to represent a commitment to tea people and tea places (women and wildlife), and picked up a few local coffee shops like Frothy Monkey, Bongo Java and Headquarters.
From coast to coast, we have been growing ever since! Firepot has sparked a community and created a movement of people who are drawn together by their love of tea! I am endlessly grateful to those amazing women who, years ago in Montana, showed me how to make the world’s most vibrant chai and to all of the people who have come to love our teas over the years.
This brings us to today…Today Firepot Nomadic Teas offers you a full collection of fair trade and organic tea from the original micro-brewed chai to ceremonial matcha, and from wellness tea sachets to rare, seasonal selections grown and produced by the masters and pioneers of the industry.
We are here to improve lives, make a difference, to bring you peace, health, connection and joy! I look forward to serving you a cup of chai, to sending you freshly blended and brewed teas and to growing a community of tea lovers like you!
Sarah Scarborough, Founder, Firepot Nomadic Teas
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