My Cup of Tea is more than just a tea company. It is a social enterprise changing the lives of its neighbors in Orange Mound by providing jobs.
Its latest Memphis-themed tea box features the work of Orange Mound artist Andre Miller.
This is the ninth tea box with a Memphis motif for My Cup of Tea, but the first to feature the artwork of a professional Black artist.
“Our best-known products are the eight teas in our Memphis-themed line,” said Carey Moore, My Cup of Tea founder and CEO. “We wanted to add a new tea and thought engaging a local artist would be a way we could further our support for Orange Mound and Black artists.”
The box’s unveiling on Oct. 27 was the culmination of a process in which My Cup of Tea partnered with Orange Mound Arts Council to issue a request for proposals from professional Black artists with an Orange Mound connection. A diverse committee of representatives from both organizations reviewed the submissions and chose Miller to design the artwork.
“This was a thrill for me to be chosen to create the art for the new tea box,” Miller said. “My life experiences, including those from growing up in Orange Mound, influence my work. But it is gratifying that my work is now giving back to the community that gave so much to me.”
The musicians featured in the artwork on the new Sippin’ Soul tea box are those in the three bronze statues in Memphis of W.C. Handy, Elvis Presley and B.B. King — or as Miller likes to say, “the three Kings.”
“We wanted a name that was memorable and reflected the essence or soul of the city. The gospel, blues, and rock ‘n’ roll are big part of the city’s soul,” said Mike Carpenter, My Cup of Tea director of marketing and development.
As the selected artist, Miller received $1,000 in compensation for the box design for the new tea.
The design has been printed on 500 limited edition boxes, and Miller will retain ownership of the original artwork.
The featured tea flavor is Orange Grapefruit. A past World Tea Championship Winner in the Herbal Tea Category, My Cup of Tea’s Orange Grapefruit is an herbal tea blended with apple pieces, carrot, blackberry leaves, eucalyptus leaves, beetroot, Hibiscus blossoms, lemongrass, tangerine and orange pieces.
The new tea is available in the My Cup of Tea online store at shopmycupoftea.com. It retails for $15, and all proceeds go back into the nonprofit to support the women who work there.
“Our vision at My Cup of Tea has always included supporting the revival of this historic Black neighborhood. Restoring Orange Mound to the vibrant community it once was requires the collaboration of many people and organizations,” Moore said. “We are so grateful to have worked with Orange Mound Arts Council and Andre Miller, and we look forward to doing this again next year.”
In 2015, Carey and Rick Moore purchased My Cup of Tea and began the process to convert it to a nonprofit ministry serving women of Orange Mound. Marketing more than 70 varieties of specialty tea from all over the world, My Cup of Tea has employed more than 40 women over the last six years and impacted the lives of hundreds of children, grandchildren and extended family members.
My Cup of Tea operates from a restored Victorian-style home at 3028 Carnes. Customers can order tea by phone at (901) 614-9769 or through the website at shopmycupoftea.com.
Jennifer Chandler is the Food & Dining reporter at The Commercial Appeal. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @cookwjennifer.