Cup of Té is an e-commerce specialty tea company founded by Taylor Lindsay-Noel. Inspired by the Jamaican tradition of morning tea, Taylor has been sipping tea for many years and wants to bring a healthier alternative to coffee for people looking for a warm drink. Along with the unique loose-leaf tea selection, Cup of Té also offers stylish measuring spoons, mugs, and steep infusers to brew the perfect cup every single time.
Having created the Tea Time with Tay Podcast, Taylor is passionate about providing a platform for real people with interesting stories. “I always have great conversations over a cup of tea. I wanted to incorporate a sponsorship brand for the podcast, so the best way to do that was to create my own business to go along with the podcast. I drink tea every day. When I went to university, everyone was developing their addiction to coffee. I wanted to consume something healthier, so I fell back into tea”.
In 2008, Taylor was an aspiring gymnast and was qualified to represent Team Canada for the 2012 Summer Olympics. However, she suffered a terrible accident that paralyzed her and forced her into a wheelchair. When the media shared her story, she noticed significant plot holes in the narrative. The inaccuracies inspired her journey in storytelling. “When I had my accident, my story was told through the media. However, many details of the story were inaccurate.
I went to school for radio media because I wanted to tell stories that were authentic and true. I wanted to work with influencers and in entertainment and share people’s inspiring journeys”. It takes true grit and determination to create a new life after an emotionally and physically traumatizing event. Yet, Taylor has shifted her life path with grace and acceptance.
When asked about resiliency, she responded, “The gym I practiced at had a sign that read “In the Pursuit of Excellence”. Gymnastics is a beautiful sport, and I still have a good relationship with it after my accident. I apply that lesson to every area of my life. I’m very focused as a person, so resiliency is something that I have. Otherwise, it is not something I overly think about”.
With the demand for specialty tea stores increasing, Taylor is mindful of creating a tea selection that is as multicultural as it is unique. “Many cultures worldwide include drinking tea as an everyday ritual, so it is important to include flavors that reflect different countries and their origins. I want to continue to expand our range of products and include superfoods such as moringa”.
The range of teas and the sleek aesthetic of the accessories caught the attention of Oprah Winfrey and her team. Cup of Té was featured on Oprah’s Favourite Things List 2020, giving Taylor and her brand marvelous recognition. Taylor reflects on the opportunity, “her [Oprah’s] team found us through Instagram. They go to many trade shows. Last year, everything went virtual, so they had to scour the internet. Oprah is a fan of tea, so she and her team were looking for a tea company. They noticed Cup of Té and noted that our packaging would be favorable to her audience. It was an incredible experience”.
Taylor is passionate about raising mental health awareness and giving back to those in need. $1 from every Starter Kit is donated to mental health initiatives, including the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. For Black History Month, Taylor and her team put together the All Black Everything Bundle. A portion of all the proceeds will be donated to Black Lives Matter Toronto.
Creating this charitable kit is also a declaration of Cup of Té as a Black-owned business. “The saying “All Black Everything” is popular amongst the Black community and Millennials. So, we put together all of our black accessories (measuring spoon and steep infuser) for the month of February, so people can know that we are black-owned. We chose to support Black Lives Matter Toronto with this initiative because they have a huge associate presence in Canada and the USA”.
Cup of Té and the Tea Time with Tay Podcast are designed to bring people together and share their stories. Connecting with people over a comforting cup of tea was the inspiration Taylor needed in the wake of her life-altering accident. She had a story to tell and wanted to share her story while also giving people the chance to share their own. ” I believe that everyone has an interesting story no matter who they are or what their profession is. Through the Tea Time with Tay Podcast, I want to bring those stories out in other people”.
The full line of specialty teas, accessories, and bundles can be found at https://cupofte.ca/.
The Tea Time with Tay Podcast can be found on Spotify, https://open.spotify.com/show/4I8mYuuekCCuPlZjviS9Ez?si=umuiaiwQQVCuT-3yrzcOJQ