This interest, coupled with a general interest in all things gastronomically wonderful, fused to form a vision for becoming a provider of ultra-high quality loose-leaf teas to other people – people who would respond in the same positive manner to the terrific tastes and healthful aspects of one of the world’s oldest and most widely consumed beverages.

Rusty and I arranged to meet each other in Chicago for a weekend that same September. The purpose of the meeting was to determine what sort of business endeavor we would like to create. After hashing over a few dozen ideas, I mentioned the concept of a high-end teahouse that would cater to the palates of tea enthusiasts here in the United States. After I shared the seminal vision with Rusty, we were both so taken with the notion that we have never yet discussed any of the other business ideas that we had come up with that day. After scouring the third largest city in America for some representative example of our vision and finding only a few quality shops in the entire area, we mutually agreed to establish our presence in the heart of the Midwest.

We wanted to bring quality teas to the people we were familiar with and that we were sure would respond enthusiastically to the realm of teas, if only introduced to them.

Gong Fu Tea logo.