Awake At The Wheel

In my first post since Christmas Eve – that’s pretty well a month – I am going to attempt to cover a bunch of things, using my own tea Roulette Format for the third time. If you have not read one of my previous efforts of this kind (shame on you!) it’s where I make myself a cuppa and then change topics every time I take a sip. I will write the whole thing over one cup. Here goes.

The tea is Rohini Summer Euphoria 2F.

The Vessel is a mug with a picture of a fox and “For Fox Sake” on it.


On December 31st, The Devotea USA LLC closed down for good.

Like myriad others, our US operation found that tea as an online offering has significant issues, such as volume to weight ratio – a kilo of tea occupies a lot of volume and therefore is expensive to post – and the fact that it’s hard to sell premium blends online when people can’t try them for themselves. Add our “no teabags” stance and our focus on our own blends, and you’ve have to say, it was a dumb idea.

Taking an Australian brand in 2012 that sold less than a packet a day and introducing it to the USA not only was a dumb idea, but it was one that should have quickly died.

So why did the USA brand hang around for 5 years, not 5 weeks? Nicole Schwarz is why.

After coming on board as our blended and distributor, Nicole worked tirelessly to build our US business.  With clever ideas and her own slant on the product line, she single-handedly tried subscription services, sold into events and establishments, trod the lanes at expos and shows, ran workshops and stood behind stalls. All while having the disadvantage of operating perfectly in a complex legislative environment, unlike some of the fly-by-nighters we have been up against.

When we selected Nicole in 2012, we did so knowing that she really had no experience in the commercial side of tea. As an established blogger, she certainly knew her teas, but it does not always translate, and if it does, not easily.

Nevertheless, Nicole’s unstinting efforts won us many fans, and made many tea buyers very happy. On behalf of us all at The Devotea, thanks Nicole.


OK, so this is a thing now? I’m boiling mad.

My Friend Geoff Norman has pointed out an article about the rise of teas making specific claims about wellness. Listed in the article are a forthcoming Lipton’s Wellness range which will just make you amaaaaaaaazingly healthy (Perhaps they could try giving it to their African workforce for starters) and the redoubtable Harney and Sons have teamed up with some Athletics app to create blends with anti-oxidants etc so that you automatically get a gold medal in your chosen sport at the next Olympics. But my favourite is “Psychic Teaz.” Apparently, it is so named because “It knows what you need”. Here’s the entire amount of published info on the product:

15-20 cups in 2 oz of PSYCHIC TEAZ
30-40 cups in 4 oz of PSYCHIC TEAZ
60-80 cups in 8 oz of PSYCHIC TEAZ
120-160 cups in 6 oz of PSYCHIC TEAZ
Psychic Teaz is the ONE handcrafted mystic blend. Good for memory, focus, studying, psychic awareness, skin, heart, energy boost, breathing, digestion, relaxation, health, hair, pranayama, detox, meditation & more. Makes you mentally alert, smarter, aware, keeps you from being brainwashed and gives you energy naturally. Replaces fake energy drinks that cause physical harm to the body. Regenerates brain cells, kidneys, liver, and adrenals. A complete tea that lifts mind, body & soul. Drink just like coffee. Cleans the aura before negative stress affects the body. Made with organic herbs and love. (Because we want healthy & conscious people in the world) 
0 caffeine*
0 sugar*
0 artificial anything*
Originally made for musicians, now open to the world. 

No idea what the asterisks mean, there is no explanation. I managed to find an ingredient list, and it’s just a random selection of a dozen herbals.

Now, let me tell you that this company has three products, and this isn’t even the most shamefully aimed at the gullible. One of their other product is a seaweed pill that draws radiation from the Fukashima disaster away from your thyroid and therefore keeps you alive. I wonder if all the seaweed between here and there helps? I can…


Oh, damn, I sipped my tea before I was finished with the last one. So, what’s next? It’s hot. Damn hot here. You could brew an oolong on Centre Court at the Australian Open just using heat reflected from the surface*.

I guess this means I’ll be inundated with calls to enjoy “Hot Tea” from my friends in the USA. Might just take a quick sip before I get myself into trouble, and change the subject.


Hmm, my tea is now lukewarm.

During the week we delivered our first delivery to a new venue: a pub.

The pub, The Duke Of Brunswick in Adelaide has great tea and coffee now. But it’s always a double edged sword. I can suggest to people we pop in there for a cuppa, and in the past I’ve been disappointed when my tea companions choose instead to drink a bottle of tequila and end up shoeless, singing “Play That Funky Music, White Boy” on the karaoke floor with a bucket on their head.

Just another reason to remember that tea drinkers are basically better people. It’s not like I’ve ever drunk tea so excessively that I’ve ended up loud, dishevelled and wandering the streets of Portland looking for a Chinese meal. Or if I have, it was probably someone else’s fault**.


It’s great to be blogging again but I am so busy. Have  a HR report I should be writing, and a candidate interview report. And a response to someone looking for help. And two tea educational sessions to write. But I can keep doing this as long as I have tea.


Oh, no.



**And we all probably know who. Hint: he was mentioned earlier

Robert Godden

Certified Tea Nutter. Blender. Author of "The Infusiast" and Tea "Stories"

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4 thoughts on “Awake At The Wheel

  1. “Originally made for musicians, now open to the world.” Makes me think one of the “random selection of a dozen herbals” might have been marijuana… Makes sense with all the other claimed benefits, e.g. “Keeps you from being brainwashed”.

    Also, “a complete tea”? So all other teas are missing some essential component? Maybe that aforementioned marijuana…

  2. Sad about the USA adventure but hopeful for a bright future for TheDevotea family and Nicole. And no I did not take that vague psychotic making tea that does not contain tea and therefore is not tea.

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