Tea of the People is set to disrupt North America $10 billion tea industry with its inaugural lineup of innovative teas. Josh Caplan, a 26-year-old entrepreneur and recent project management graduate at Stanford University, has a simple vision; blend together the world’s best teas with the world’s best ingredients, to make a revolutionary cup of tea. Each tea by Tea of the People possesses the most anti-oxidant rich teas in the world, blended with ingredients that are both rare and meticulous to produce.
However, long before Caplan decided his calling was to start a tea company, he knew social entrepreneurship was his calling. Reading “Banker to the Poor” by Muhammad Yunus, was a turning point for the Montrealer who calls the book “the single most influential piece of literature I have ever read”.
Tea of the People is aiming to be among the most socially conscious companies in the tea industry. Inspired by the likes of Blake Mycoskie, Founder of TOMS Shoes and Neil Blumenthal, founder and co-CEO of the online designer eyewear company Warby Parker, Tea of the People dedicates a portion of its profits to those who are making a difference in the world. With a Silicon Valley influence, Tea of the People’s approach to fulfilling its higher purpose is by supporting fellow entrepreneurs and non profits leveraging technology to tackle issue areas like poverty alleviation, education and climate change. Khan Academy, a non-profit educational organization that provides “a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere”, is the socially conscious company’s first organization they will be donating profits to.
Pre-sales were through the roof, leaving Tea of the People to scramble to meet demand. The Dragon Well Super Fruit and Barrel Aged tea collections are sure to be huge hits among the health and wellness crowd, as stores are eager to make room for these innovative teas.
Yet not everyone is excited for this “tea revolution”. While at the World Tea Expo in Long Beach, California this past year, Caplan was scoffed at and told his blends were either too costly to produce or broke too much with tradition. So far Tea of the People is proving them wrong. “I knew I was on to something when fellow tea entrepreneurs passionately shot down my ideas,” he says. “Only when my vision sounded plausible did I worry that Tea of the People was not innovative enough.”
Caplan’s number one piece of advice for entrepreneurs? Read philosophy. The likes of Jean-Paul Sartre and Plato taught him about product strategy and building an organization, while Albert Camus helped him get over doubt he may have felt about starting a company. “Camus teaches us our existence is nothing short than absurd,” Caplan offers. “It’s just as absurd to believe you will be a successful as it is that you’ll be a failure, which lead me to conclude the only thing left to do is follow my heart and that’s exactly what I do very day.”