Kai Oredugba, Chuva Featherstone and David Oredugba; photograph courtesy of David Oredugba

Brothers Kai and David Oredugba constructed upon their experiences as skilled soccer gamers when forming their tea firm, NYA TEA. NYA TEA stands for “Not Your Average Tea.” Nya additionally means “new” in Swedish. Here is why the identify matches.

After enjoying school soccer for the University of California, Los Angeles, Kai—whose full identify is Olukayode Oredugba—performed skilled area soccer in New Orleans, Utah and San Jose after which performed skilled Canadian soccer for the Hamilton Tiger Cats in Ontario, Canada. David performed school soccer for Northwestern University, after which performed professionally for the Helsinki Roosters in Finland and Badalona Dracs in Catalonia, Spain.

Kai stated enjoying soccer stretched their our bodies and minds and gave them an amazing basis, consideration to element and a piece ethic, in addition to the flexibility to encourage individuals, “This is what we’re all about.”

Kai’s introduction to tea occurred throughout his junior and senior years of highschool by way of an alternate program that took him to Fujinomiya and Naha, Japan. His host father educated him in karate and gave tea to Kai earlier than and after every session. This expertise fashioned the connection between tea and athletics and wellness. Then Kai launched David to tea after returning to the U.S.

Kai defined how tea aided with the calls for placed on them as skilled athletes. “Our bodies were taking a pounding and we wanted to keep up that level of competitiveness, so we utilized tea to keep us upbeat, focused and energized,” Kai stated, “but on the flip side, it helped us with the recovery process, which is most important as an athlete.” While in Utah, he started making yerba mate blends for his teammates as an antidote to the difficult results of competing at a excessive altitude; and through the years he continued to introduce different athletes he educated and mentored to the advantages of natural tisanes and tea.

Additionally, David all the time had an curiosity in world commerce, bringing individuals collectively and creating communities. While enjoying soccer in Finland and Spain, he did loads of neighborhood outreach by volunteering and training. He later started making natural tea blends for people.

NYA TEA O.G. (Original Goodness) mix; Photo credit score: https://shop.nyatea.com/

About 4 years in the past Kai had a pivotal expertise that motivated him to enter the tea enterprise along with his brother full-time. One night, 5 of Kai’s male buddies gathered at his home with the plan for an evening in town. One of Kai’s buddies, who was accustomed to ingesting sugary drinks and liquor, had a chilly with some congestion. Kai gave an natural mix to his good friend, who drank it and stated, “This is not your average tea. I don’t know what you put in it, but whatever it is—I want more.” Then, Kai’s different buddies needed some, too. “All the alcohol was pushed aside and teacups were placed,” Kai stated, “and we went until about 3 in the morning, laughing, having the time of our lives bringing up old stories, new ideas and just connecting.” He stated this night was key in deciding to type NYA TEA. “If I can get five guys who are in their prime, looking to be out meeting people, to sit around a table drinking tea all night, I could probably get just about any person [to drink tea].”

Kai and David based NYA TEA in 2016 in Glendale, California. The natural mix Kai gave to his good friend that evening is now NYA TEA’s O.G. (Original Goodness) mix. They introduced of their Malmo, Sweden-based good friend and graphic designer Chuva Featherstone as artistic director, who created NYA TEA’s label.

David added, “Seeing that level of enjoyment… that experience of how people’s perceptions can change. There’s a burgeoning market of people who want to love tea and just don’t know how to love it yet.” He stated this can be a widespread response to their teas. People taste the teas and say, “It’s different; I didn’t know tea could be like this. I didn’t know it could be something so enjoyable.”

Photo courtesy of David Oredugba

The Oredugbas started testing out taste profiles and herbs by way of pop up occasions and grassroots initiatives, and likewise did loads of white label mixing for different firms. Kai and David have made greater than 300 totally different blends. The hottest blends are the eight blends that grew to become NYA TEA’s repertoire, at present bought on the corporate’s web site: Nowness, Mercedes Gonzales, O.G., Nightshift, Bara Vara, Juni & Juli, Elysian Park and Kallis.

People are having fun with the look, aroma and taste of NYA TEAS.

One new mix that obtained robust constructive public response on the latest World Tea Expo was the brand new lavender vanilla ashwagandha chai. This mix might be added to NYA TEA’s assortment this 12 months.

Tea Talk at Community; photograph courtesy of David Oredugba

Another new mix with layers of flavors known as Christmas in Jamaica was initially designed for an ultramarathon runner who needed one thing balancing, energizing and refreshing with out caffeine. It is a hibiscus turmeric blood orange pineapple mix, impressed by a crimson Jamaican beverage known as sorrel.

They supply teas and herbs from across the world, shopping for natural as typically as attainable. Their black tea is grown in Yunnan, China, they import rooibos from South Africa, purple tea from Kenya and inexperienced tea from the Shizuoka prefecture in Japan. They are consistently making an attempt new herbs whereas being attentive to individuals’s reactions.

NYA TEA is an instrument that brings individuals collectively. Kai and David host Tea Talks at totally different places within the United States and Europe at which individuals have conversations over tea, tea cocktails and tea-infused snacks about trendy matters, equivalent to the way forward for Bitcoin and the blockchain. The subsequent Tea Talk might be held July 26 at Community, a handcrafter of premium sneakers in downtown Los Angeles that provides again to the local people and has an occasion house. Another Tea Talk might be in Malmo, Sweden in October. They additionally serve tea at soup kitchens.

Tea Talk at Community; photograph courtesy of David Oredugba

“NYA TEA is more than a drink, it’s more of a statement,” David stated. “It represents those who are creative, those who strive to do better in the community, it’s a way of living.”

NYA TEA is at present distributed to cafes and eating places and may be bought on-line at ShopNYATEA.com.

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