Hi I'm Anna! I am a New York-based tea educator and the human behind Anna Ye Tea.
Anna Ye Tea is a specialty Vietnamese tea company focused on celebrating the diversity and complexity of Việt Nam’s tea and culture.
The lack of accessibility and representation of single origin Vietnamese teas, particularly in the U.S, encouraged me to begin sourcing small batches of high quality wild and farm grown teas. As a business that started during the pandemic as a way to fundraise for Manhattan’s Chinatown elderly community and NYC’s undocumented workers, using tea as a vehicle for building meaningful connections and helping communities in need are still an important part of what AYT stands for.
Here's a bit more of the backstory of how AYT came to be and what inspired me / continues to inspire me as the business grows.
Before striking out on my own, I was part of the team at the beloved In Pursuit of Tea for almost 4 years, leading educational workshops for home drinkers and hospitality industry professionals. Then prior to that, I was in fine dining and hospitality– most notably at Chikalicious and two Michelin-starred restaurant, Daniel.
The origin story of how AYT came to be where it is now started in April 2020 when the pandemic hit. I launched and hosted a series of virtual tea classes that helped raised over $700 for undocumented workers and the Chinatown elderly community– two of the many communities that were impacted hard by the pandemic. You can learn more about her Virtual Tea Classes for A Good Cause here.
One of my proudest initiatives that came about in 2020 as an effort to create more inclusive tea spaces was Beyond The Cup– a series of live interviews and wholesome conversations with tea professionals and enthusiasts. Beyond The Cup started and remains to be a means to illuminate greater understanding for the global story of tea, and to bring more compassion and awareness for tea traditions and practices that as lesser known.
Tea’s rich culture, craftsmanship, and ability to build community continues to draw me deeper to tea. I realized my tea journey so far has become one of self discovery and deep exploration. I often say that tea is more than simply a beverage on a menu– it is an extension of my Asian heritage, and more importantly, a plant deeply rooted in our global cultural fabric.