Hi, I’m Monique, and this is my husband Eli.
Eight years ago, Eli and I started an international candy company called Universal Yums. It has been the most perfect, incredible business for my massive sweet tooth. I’ve eaten violet flower chocolates, truffle (as in the mushroom) flavored truffles, cumin cookies, egg yolk candies, cheese-flavored gummies, and so many other delicious and wacky creations from all over the world.
About five years into running Universal Yums, I developed a habit. Everyday around 3pm, I’d go into the warehouse and eat an entire chocolate bar. It was fun, but also a little bit of a problem. My friend Claire suggested that I try nursing a perpetually refilling cup of tea instead.
GREAT IDEA! First I made chamomile tea. That got boring by the 34th cup. Then I made cinnamon tea and almond tea and sugar cookie tea and after two years of this I turned to Eli and said “I’M READY TO MAKE REALLY, REALLY CRAZY TEAS". He said, “Uh…you don’t know how to make teas,” and that was about as far as that conversation went because then 2020 happened.
So flash forward, it’s 2022 - I’m coming back to work after the birth of our son, Malcolm - and I said “I STILL WANT TO MAKE THOSE CRAZY CRAZY TEAS ELI!!!” And so we talked about it, and he had this really fun idea. We would take the flavor inspiration for my teas from bakeries and donut shops that were super well-loved in their hometown, but maybe you wouldn’t have heard of them unless you were originally from that part of the world. I called and emailed a bunch of dessert-makers throughout the US, and one of them - Brownie Points bakery from my hometown of Columbus, Ohio - took a chance on me and said YES.
Then I called up a fantastic, world-class tea blender named Beth and sent her a bunch of brownies to try. She tasted and blended and tasted and blended until the teas tasted almost like a brownie. Seven months later, it was 6:45am and I was steeping my first cup of Almost alone in my kitchen, waiting for Eli to come downstairs with Malcolm to try it.
I LOVE THESE TEAS, AND I HOPE YOU DO TOO.
PS. All the mugs you see in the above photo were hand painted by our amazingly talented team (aka undercover artists) at Universal Yums & Almost!