Virgil Winston: Marketing Guru

I am a confirmed coffee addict—and by coffee, I mean coffee. I don’t go in for lattes, half decaf cappuccinos or Americanos with soy and a shot of vanilla. I like my coffee straight up, with nothing to contaminate the strong, slightly bitter taste of the liquid black gold with which I begin each morning. My wife and I used to share a pot of coffee every morning but she recently switched to tea, with a vengeance. The woman is obsessed. Not only does she prepare her morning tea with the precision of an alchemist—creating her own blend of green and red tea with a spoonful of yerba mate—but she is a purist and insists on using only whole leaf tea. She won’t go near a tea bag, claiming the leaves need room to roam free in order to reach their full flavor potential. I don’t really understand it, but I admire her passion.

Last weekend her passion led us to Chinatown, with a quick stop at Starbucks for me, to stock up on Gunpowder Green Tea, so named for it’s resemblance to old fashioned gunpowder. The tea emporium we visited had every variety of type of tea you could imagine and quite a few you couldn’t. The more expensive varieties were housed in locked glass cases and some cost over $100 a pound…and I thought coffee was expensive! Thankfully the green tea my cost conscious wife prefers is less than $5 for 1000 grams. She also splurged on a small amount of rose tea that smelled an awful lot like my Nana’s toilet water, but the saleslady insisted that it would add just a hint of rose and take away the bitterness of stronger teas. I have to admit, our trip to the Chinatown tea shop was far more interesting than any experience I’ve ever had a Starbucks or Coffee Bean, but then again they didn’t have wi-fi and jazzy music.

I also had a thought—promotional “coffee” mugs can also be used for tea. Don’t be afraid to gift your tea toddling clients with a Bone China Mug from Rush Imprint because, “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Well, I’ve got to sign off, it’s “tea time” and I promised Mrs. Winston I’d at least try her rose tea. I just hope it doesn’t smell too much like my Nana.