ChariTeas: Origin Story

A small chalkboard, with roses in the corner, written on it is "Leave the world a little better than you found it."

One of the things we want to do as a company is try to improve the world a bit around the edges.

This starts with the fact that our goal with our products is to make your day a touch better.  Whether it be a medicinal tea that eases something you are going through, or one of the things we’ve designed for sheer taste experience – we want to add a bit of light, a bit of hope – with what we do.

All of our choices for packaging and ingredients are informed by a similar goal.  We use the best quality ingredients we can get our hands on, and are as transparent as possible regarding them.  We use recyclable or compostable packaging and shipping supplies.  We figure we should be thinking about the planet and our impact on it, as well as our customers.

A picture of Capaldi's Doctor with the text "I'm Serious. I'm trying to save this planet."

If ever we have a brick and mortar shop, this sort of approach would apply to our employees as well.  1

Mister Tea and I have discussed at length what we’d do, were we to reach that level of success.  Paying a living wage, making sure the medical plan was comprehensive and useful, helping with things like college and retirement funds…  Basic stuff.  Amusingly enough one of the reasons that we would love to have a brick and mortar is so that we could make sure that the people working for us were properly taken care of.

We know that kind of establishment is rare these days.  There’s a lot more I could say in this vein, but as that is not the primary purpose of this post, I will leave it at that for now.

When we first started, we were hoping to figure out a way to regularly contribute to a few organizations that we know do good work.  We weren’t really certain how to go about it, as we are a micro-business, and we had no idea how consistent business would be, or how long it would take for Desert Sage Natural to support itself, much less do anything beyond that.

We were handed the way to do so at random, by a request made via an Etsy message.

We were asked if we could contribute something to an event organized to benefit RAINN.  We started with “Yes!” and ended with “We made a tea for that!”2

“I Will Survive” became our first ChariTea, and RAINN our first cause.

We were grateful to the woman who had made the request, not just because she sparked an idea that turned into a tea, but also for giving us the idea for an entire line of teas.

Having the idea for the ChariTeas in play caused a couple of traditions to be created here at Desert Sage Natural.

The first is that when we create a blend commemorate the life of a being that was important to us, it usually becomes a ChariTea.

The second is that when we make a custom tea for someone, for a major life event – so far weddings have been the events – we consult with them on what an appropriate organization would be.  Part of the commemoration then becomes an avenue for supporting a cause they care about.

Picture of Ned Stark from A Game of Thrones with the text "Brace Yourself, A list is coming"

Our ChariTeas (and coffee), so far:

Archimedes Anodyne – Chosen as a wedding tea by two dear friends, it contributes to the New Mexico Cancer Center.

Bonnie’s Blessing – Created in memory of my cousin – my compatriot in chronic illness, it contributes to MitoAction.

Dahvana’s Dream – Inspired by an author’s writing snack, we asked her to choose an organization.  She picked a neat one – Room to Read.

Eureka:  Smoky Monkey – As the urge to try one of the components came out of #365teas and Science Twitter – I decided that this tea would be dedicated to diversity in STEM.  As such, it donates to SACNAS.

First Taste of Home – This tea is still moving through our process, but when it has properly arrived, it will contribute to the USO.

I Will Survive – our first ChariTea, as stated.  Contributes to RAINN.

Jeff’s Java – created in memory of Mister Tea’s father.  It is still in process, but will donate to Fudge Cancer.  Also our first ChariCoffee.3

Jerry Cordial – Created to turn a favourite dessert into a tea, we asked Mister Tea’s grandfather what organization he would like his tea to donate to.  He chose Roadrunner Food Bank.

Lady LiberTea – Part accident, part snark – it contributes to the ACLU.

Mama Girl’s Memory – Blended in memory of Raubahn’s mother, Rook, it contributes to White Kisses Great Dane Rescue.

No Place Like Home – Initially created for a rescue that had a lovely Doggie Daycare program, we shifted it to one of their partner rescues when they went under – Viva New Mexico Rural Animal Rescue.

The Norn Compass – Created for the Mother of Danes and her partner, in honor of their wedding, it contributes to F1F.

Old Eighties Queer – Provoked by a thread on Twitter, this tea is still in process.  But per the choice of the person who started the thread – it will also contribute to RAINN when released.

Pie of the Tiger – This one started as a set of parody lyrics, and evolved to be a tea for Supernatural – which led to it becoming a ChariTea that contributes to TWLOHA.

Steve’s Three Alarm Zen – Dedicated to the memory of a man who was one of those who helped me start to figure out the concept of trusting people – it donates to Pilots and Paws.

If you would like to work with us to create a ChariTea, or have a particular cause or organization you’d like to suggest, please let us know.

Picture of Jane Goodall with the quote "We have the choice to use the gift of our life to make the world a better place - or not to bother."

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  1. And no, I’m not referring to the fact that, depending on diet, humans are compostable.
  2. Yes.  I know.  It is far from shocking that a random tea was provoked by…
  3. Which just doesn’t roll off the tongue the same way.

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