From local restaurants to the most exclusive hotels, the Southampton company Plain-T has grown over its eight years to serve clients around the world whether they’re looking for an assortment of favorites in a single box or large orders of custom-created corporate gifts.
Last summer Plain-T launched iced tea in black, green, white, and red, with no additives, preservatives, or sweeteners. The glass bottles were well received, even with their short shelf life.
The creation of Tathiana Teixeira and her husband, Alessandro Teixeira, the “handmade to order” tea company sources teas from small family farms and gardens in the Far East, Mr. Teixeira said last Thursday. The product is “100 percent handcrafted from the garden to the cup,” he said, with no machines touching the product. Even the tea bags and the clear bags that hold them, he explained, are assembled by hand, to keep the quality at its highest level.
The result is a product that is pleasing not only to the palate, but to the eye.
Ms. Teixeira demonstrated the natural beauty of their tea at an event last Thursday at Stitch in Southampton. A jasmine lychee flower, which blooms as it is infused with hot water, was served in a wine glass, with the option of added champagne. Ms. Teixeira, a former professional dancer, and Mr. Teixeira, a former professional tennis player, both from Brazil, each sought out the healing aspects of tea during times of serious injury.
There are misconceptions and lack of information about tea in the United States, Mr. Teixeira said, but he sees a growing awareness of tea’s benefits, certainly since his first tea trade show in Rhode Island, where there were only 10 to 15 booths. Today’s shows are massive, he said.
The couple is also standing behind their tea at many events on the East End, from private, exclusive ones, to public charity events. “We want to support more local charity events,” Ms. Teixeira said. She is particularly proud of their partnership with the Retreat, she said, and she looks forward to an increase in such ventures.
Locally, the Plain-T’s products are sold at markets such as Provisions, Papalajefa, and WellNest in Sag Harbor, Tate’s Bake Shop in Southampton, and Citarella in East Hampton. They are served at such restaurants as the Living Room at c/o the Maidstone in East Hampton, Almond in Bridgehampton, and Sen in Sag Harbor. New York City restaurants serve their teas with a custom menu as well.
They host tasting and educational events at their T Loft in Southampton Village, and Web sales are thriving for the boutique tea company, which offers loose-leaf teas, accessories, and custom gift sets online. It took close to two years to get the site right, Mr. Teixeira said. “We are very picky.” They wanted their Web site to educate, he said, not just scream “buy, buy, buy.” So along with their range of teas and tea-related products, visitors to the site can learn about the history and benefits of tea.