1) How long have you worked for The Jasmine Pearl?
Jodi: I have been a staff member for 1 year, 8 months and counting. I've never been so happy in a workplace.
2) What do you do there? What does a typical day look like for you?
Jodi: I am the wholesale account manager. On a typical day I enter wholesale orders from cafes, restaurants, and grocery stores that sell our tea, I consult with potential customers offering assistance with menu planning, staff training, and any other tea related needs they may have. Once or twice a week I get out of the office to visit customers and search for new ones. There is a lot of variety to my work day. I keep my schedule flexible because I never quite know what a day may hold. The most important part of my day is helping customers that need assistance and making sure they are happy.
3) What attracted you to the world of tea? Tell us about the moment tea became special to you?
Jodi: When I first moved to Portland from Bellingham, Washington I worked at Whole Foods Market in the Pearl District of Portland. After being a team member there for just over a year I became the coffee and tea buyer for the store. I was more of a coffee drinker then, but as a buyer I started to learn more about tea and had the opportunity to taste really good tea. Previously, I had only been exposed to tea bag tea. Tasting loose leaf tea was an awakening! The flavors were clear and complex and I experienced flavors that were totally new. When I met Chuck I realized that my favorite types of teas were high elevation oolongs. Tea became more and more special and my enjoyment grows as I learn and taste more. That first tea cupping with Chuck was when I realized that tea was going to be an essential part of my life.
4) What are your top 5 favorite teas at The Jasmine Pearl?
Jodi: Spring Blossom, Golden Fairy, Dancing Dragon, Cocoa Rouge (when I need a break from caffeine), and Tsuyuhikari.
5) If you were a tea, what would you be and why?
Jodi: I think I would be Dancing Dragon. It's wonderful hot or iced, strong, but still sweet, and the caffeine has a good kind of kick.
6) Tell a fun fact about yourself. What are your hobbies outside of work?
Jodi: Fun Fact: I've been through class 5 rapids when river rafting with my family. It was life changing and I have the crazy pictures to prove it. There is one photo where you can't even see our boat and somehow we all stayed in it!
Outside of work I like to cook dinner or breakfast. In the mornings I do my best to get a workout in before getting to the office. I used to be a volleyball player. Exercise is very important to me. Like most Portland people, I like to read, hike, and go to the farmer's market.
7) Tell us about your proudest moment with tea.
Jodi: My proudest moments with tea are when I'm sampling our teas in a grocery store or at a special event and someone tells me they don't like green tea. With a kind smile and a little coercing I can usually get them to try it. When green tea is brewed properly it can change minds. Many people haven't had good quality green tea before or make the mistake of leaving the tea bag in the cup for too long which makes the tea bitter and astringent. It's the best when I win over a big tough guy and he ends up buying the tea and something to brew it in!
8) What is your dream place to have a cup of tea and who would you like to share it with?
Jodi: I would go back in time to a kayaking day trip that I took with my dad when I was a lot younger and brew us some tea sitting on the Pacific Northwest beach.
9) What is your favorite way to brew tea? What tea ware do you use at home?
Jodi: At home I use a For Life tea pot. I love the handle on the brewing basket. Most of the time I drink oolong at home so it's nice to remove the basket easily so that I can steep the tea again later. Sometimes I skip the tea pot and put the oolong leaves directly into my cup!