Akron tea and wine enthusiast Brandon Ford has created Vintage TeaWorks, a line of loose leaf teas inspired by the flavors of wine varietals.
Ford grew up in West Akron, is a member of Buchtel High School’s class of 1996 and graduated from Case Western Reserve University and the University of Akron School of Law. In addition to establishing Vintage TeaWorks in January 2012 and launching the company last summer, he is an attorney, specializing in mergers and acquisitions.
“I still practice law,” he says. “It allows me the freedom to continue to invest in the business without the pressure of paying myself.”
When it comes to wine and tea, Ford is not only a fan, he’s an expert. He holds an Advanced Certificate in Wine and Spirits from the London-based Wine and Spirits Education Trust, is a Certified Spanish Wine Educator, and holds Level 1 and Level 2 certificates from The Specialty Tea Institute.
Vintage TeaWorks products are blended according to Ford’s exact formulation and then sent to Ohio for distribution. He specifically designed his teas to be loose leaf, rather than bagged.
“Tea leaves like to have room to unfurl while brewing. A bag can sometimes hamper this process,” he says. “I think loose leaf is more flexible too. Tea can be used in food and cocktail recipes (among other things.) Loose leaf gives consumers more options for how they use their tea.”
>> Vintage TeaWorks offers six non-alcoholic blends, and each one contains all-natural fruits and spices: White Tea Riesling, Green Tea Sauvignon, Oolong Chardonnay, Rooibos Noir, Black Tea Merlot and Pu-erh Cabernet.
Thanks to the line’s gorgeous packaging, the teas have a modern, sophisticated feel. You can peek at the blends through the clear base of the kaleidoscope-style canister.
Sometimes flavored teas can be overwhelming but each Vintage TeaWorks blend has a unique flavor profile and fragrance that’s subtle, a feature that both wine and tea aficionados will appreciate.
Ford hopes to get Vintage TeaWorks on more store shelves this year.
“Like wine, tea is meant to be shared,” he says. “And I am having a blast sharing Vintage TeaWorks with the world.”
Vintage TeaWorks blends sell for $15.99 to $18.99 and are available locally at Regency Wines in Fairlawn and online at www.vintageteaworks.com.