The Queens' Tea | Indeeeed

7/31/2014 | Amy Tibbals
Kerri Fukui

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In 2012, Seth Anderson and Michael Ferguson set out on a bit of a quest. The goal? Fill their evenings with more than dimly-lit, alcohol-filled bars could offer up. The result? This simple pursuit rapidly changed their lives. The two met via the wonders of Facebook, Seth living at the time under the blazing Phoenix sun, and they quickly started the adorable downward spiral into love. That summer, Michael, a bio-engineer major, was head to China for a school project and asked Seth join him. It was on this trip to China that the two fell head over heels in love with the undying culture of tea. They worked on tea farms. They witnessed true tea ceremonies. They saw the light. And they decided then and there to form a Salt Lake-based [and right proper] tea company.

Officially, The Queens’ Tea was born in September of 2012. COLLECTIVELY, we're thrilled about it. The name for this kitschy little brand is an ode to drag queen culture and the desire to proudly fly the ever-loving LGBTQ flag [in fact, the tea labels are each a different color of the rainbow]. The name is also meant to pay respect to the many women who have historically introduced teas to various countries. Seth says that the primary objective of the company is to, “bring people together to form more meaningful, deeper relationships. Tea was the original form of social media and we want to bring that back in a very real way.” Speak on it, say we: we could all use a touch more face time [the non-iPhone kind]. Michael and Seth have also created a non-profit foundation, DigniTEA, an effort that they started to help local homeless youth displaced due to their LGBT status. #amazing That's how you leave the world a little bit better than you found it, kids.

In the summer of 2013, A&E’s Project Startup got a glimpse of what Seth and Michael were up to. They followed them a bit and put together a small "piece", which in turn got the fellas a little seed money and a little company growth. When TQT was a wee babe, she had just five blends--two years later, and she's grown to over 40 flavors of hot damn, that's good. Current faves: Blue Tea, Lady of the Earl [this baby is served up in a delicious London Fog over at Publik], The Green Tea, and The Queen Bee. In an effort to educate folks about tea--from the least experienced to the most passionate sipper--Seth and Michael have also started up classes, offered monthly or to groups of your closest leaf-loving homies. Pssst: COLLECTIVE clients, keep an eye out…we've got a class lined up for you in the near future.

These two are practicing the type of local bad-assery that we love to see. Oh, and ahem: they were Utah’s first gay couple to be legally wed on December 20, 2013, woot! A COLLECTIVE tip of our hat to the delightful pair. Snatch up some of their lovely whole-leaf lovelies and get to proper tea-timing at Publik, the Downtown Farmer’s Market, Wheeler Farm Market, Dolcetti Gelato, and The Queens' Tea online store.

The Queens’ Tea | 423 W. 800 S. #A109, SLC

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