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Tea Sweets

Amai’s new product is all about the tea. Tea Sweets, a line of cookies made with premium tea leaves, can be enjoyed alone or alongside your favorite cup of tea. Tea Sweets are available in four flavors: Chai Almond, Green Tea, Lemongrass & Ginger and Earl Grey & Currant (my personal favorite).

The major source of inspiration for Tea Sweets was my disappointment with tea cookies in the past. Every time I searched for tea cookies I would find a small butter cookie or something equally bland, and it was never actually made with tea. With the wide variety of tea available in the world I thought it could be an unlimited source for interesting flavors and wondered why traditional tea cookies didn’t take advantage of this. I decided to add tea leaves directly into my cookie recipes (along with a few complimentary spices and flavors) and came up with four distinct tea cookies.

We first began testing Tea Sweets around Valentines day. We showed them to our friends and brought them to dinner parties where we got comments from people like, “I love the Lemongrass, but Green Tea is not my thing,” and “I know cookies, and that Green Tea cookie is excellent but I don’t know about the Earl Grey,” and yet another who would say “The Earl Grey is outstanding, but the Chai is too spicy for me.” With such a wide variety of feedback I questioned if the cookies would work, but then I realized this was the sign of true success. People seem to love the cookies the same way they love tea; everyone has a favorite that they drink (or in this case, eat) regularly. Everyone would always come back for more of their favorite cookie. Over time people began to experiment with the other flavors and many came back to say that they loved them all.

The Wild Lily Tea Room in Manhattan was the first customer to order Tea Sweets, and they currently offer them as part of a cookie platter in their tea room. As we were looking for other stores that may be interested in the cookies, we learned of a new tea shop opening in Union Square named Tavalon. Tavalon’s goal is to be an expert in tea, and they have partnered with some of the best bakeries around New York City to offer complimentary baked goods and sandwiches in the store. We are proud to say that Tavalon now carries all four of Amai’s Tea Sweets and you can take one to go along with a cup of tea. Many thanks goes out to Wild Lily and Tavalon for supporting us during the development stage of the cookies. I recommend you visit both to have a warm cup of tea and delicious Tea Sweet.

We are now in the process of developing packaging for each cookie and hope to have them in stores by April. We will also be selling them online so you can get your own taste of our newest creation. We’re constantly working on new flavors, so let us know if you have any favorite teas that you would like to see turned into a cookie. We’ll also be pairing each cookie type with a tea saying or proverb, so please share what inspires you when it comes to tea. One of my favorite sayings that captures the spirit of Tea Sweets to me is, “Contentment is a cup of tea and a piece of sugar in the mouth.” I couldn’t agree more.

Wild Lily Tea Room
511-A W. 22nd Street (between 10th and 11th Ave.)

22 E 14th Street (between 5th and 6th Ave.)


Laurie says on March 30th, 2006 at 9:45 pm:

Very interesting – good luck on this new venture!

jawsrules says on March 30th, 2006 at 11:12 pm:

green tea — my favorite tea and now in cookie form! thank you!

linda says on March 31st, 2006 at 2:06 am:

Sounds good! Maybe a variaty with rooibos tea (or do you say red bush in English?) might work?

Karen says on March 31st, 2006 at 9:39 am:

I can’t wait to try them! Sadly, they are still wrapped in their packaging as I’m going to photograph them first. Then I’m sure they’ll be gone really fast. :-)

Out of curiosity, what kind of teas have you tried or like?

Angela Willis says on March 31st, 2006 at 5:31 pm:

Those cookies sound GREAT! Congratulations on your new venture, I know that you will do great!

I happen to really like Irish Breakfast Tea at the moment… of course Orange Sprice might be good too. I don’t really know how you could do it, but it would be interesting to create a flavor that tasted like tea with cream and sugar… now that would be amazing!

shuna fish lydon says on March 31st, 2006 at 8:03 pm:

I’m just wondering, from a business perspective, did the businesses who ordered your product need anything from you? Like a certificate or proof that you weren’t just baking them in your home?
(I have a very tiny business idea…Nothing as big as this, but am still interested in some of the minutae.)

I look forward to being an internet customer.

Kelli says on April 1st, 2006 at 12:58 pm:

I’m in Los Angeles right now and just had the pleasure of drinking tea at Jin Patisserie. I had the Du Hamam tea there and it was one of the best I ever had! I’ll write it up soon. I also like the Black Vanilla Orchid tea from Serendipitea, Hojicha from Ito En and the Tropical Peony tea from Tavalon.

Shuna– Shops should ask for proof of insurance for your product, but from my experience they never do. In order to get insurance you have to be baking from an approved kitchen, not your home. (You should have insurance anyway since you never know what will happen. Someone could choke on a crumb and suddenly they’ll sue you.) You can give away samples of your product for free and be protected from lawsuits, but once someone decides to buy you are liable. I know of a million different places that start out baking in their kitchen and no one asks. I even heard of someone who was selling to Dean & Deluca like this. Amai does use an approved kitchen source and has insurance — suprisingly it is pretty affordable.

Jane says on May 6th, 2006 at 3:55 pm:

Starting a new venture is always a lot of work, good luck.

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Lovescool is the documentation of a journey to discover what sweet things are out there, why people love them so much, and perhaps what it takes to start something new.

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An interest, that turned into a blog, that turned into a career. Kelli Bernard is now the owner and baker of Amai Tea & Bake House.

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