I’m John. Since 1973, I’ve been going back and forth to China to get my tea fix. I created Sophie’s with my business partner Xiaobei to expose Americans to teas that are as complex and carefully crafted as high end wine and coffee.
I had my first tea experience in China before they opened their doors to Americans. The tea served to me during that trip was unlike anything I had back home. I have been hooked ever since.
Before moving to America, Xiaobei had experience running businesses in the tea and hospitality industry in China. We had known each other for several years before our love of tea made us explore opening a tea business together.
Opening Sophie’s was not as easy as we thought it would be. We found that there were two big challenges with the market. In China, the tea literati did not believe that Americans were willing to pay for exceptional teas, for good reason. In America, the tea shops and symposiums we visited didn’t have a deep grasp on high end Chinese teas.
It took us ten years to work around these barriers to open Sophie’s. During that time, we spent months at a time building friendships with farmers, professionals, and agricultural scientists in China. We used our trips to gain a deep, extensive knowledge about tea and discover how to adapt the art of handcrafted Chinese tea to an American audience.
Now, we are bringing our travels and learnings back to America, and more importantly bringing back the most exceptional cups of tea that we can find.