By: Victoria Clark
As consumers, we are, by nature, constantly exposed to new and evolving inventions, ideas, recipes, and styles. While some of these inventions and ideas have what it takes to stick around for the long haul, many others fall into the “fad” category, only to be relevant for a short period of time. At the same time, however, our technology-centric society makes it especially difficult and rare for an idea to sustain itself when it is not tech-related. Therefore, we couldn’t have been more excited about PANATEA, a company that first started by reintroducing the ancient Japanese ingredient of matcha as a healthy alternative to coffee, but has successfully evolved to become the best source for this incredibly diverse superfood.
Eager to know more about the brand, Surf Collective sat down with the founders, Jessica and Dave Mandelbaum, to discuss their vision, where the brand is headed, and how they are using their fundamental and strong belief in health and wellness to not only create a sustainable business, but to ultimately create a ritual for life. Because whether it be as a snack in the form of a popsicle or a morning replacement for coffee or tea, PANATEA has changed the way we think about matcha and we couldn’t be happier for it.
Read on to find out more:
SC: How did you discover Matcha Tea?
Jess and Dave: We first discovered matcha in a random shop in Chinatown. It wasn’t particularly good, but it sparked our interest. When we searched for and finally discovered PANATEA’s matcha, we fell in love; with both the taste and the effects it had on our minds and bodies. Matcha supports metabolism, enhances antioxidant activity and provides sustained energy. We began by just drinking it the traditional way (whisking into only a few ounces of water), but now we switch it up all the time. We throw it into smoothies, shake it up into quick iced drinks, and even cook with it!
SC: What makes PANATEA different from other health and wellness drinks in terms of using it as a way to create community (like coffee or tea may do in other cultures)?
J & D: PANATEA is a health and lifestyle-driven matcha green tea company. Our matcha comes exclusively from Nishio, Japan, and has a rich green color, flavor and nutritional profile. In addition to our superior quality though, we’re all about making this ancient superfood approachable and accessible to the modern-day American. We’ve built a platform and a community for people to learn about matcha, experiment with it, share it, and ultimately lead healthier lives by incorporating the superfood into their daily routines (in the luxury of their own homes!). It’s pretty inspiring to see all the different ways our community uses PANATEA. It’s truly a lifestyle. Not just a tea. And whether in the form of our fashion collabs with Knowlita, our expanding partnership with Equinox, or our #GIFTHEALTH campaign, our goal is always to spread awareness about matcha in a relatable way.
SC: What made you and your husband want to start this company? Have health and wellness always been a priority in your lives?
J & D: Health and wellness have always been a priority for us. PANATEA was really born out of necessity. We were looking for a healthier alternative to coffee. Coffee makes me jittery and gives Dave stomachaches. Matcha completely changed our world. We loved the ritualistic process of prepping it in the morning, but more importantly, how it made us feel. Our skin was more vibrant. Our focus was at an all time high. Our energy levels were more stable. We were feeling 4-6 hours of sustained energy, as opposed to the quick jolt and crash we were used to feeling with coffee. We saw an incredible opportunity to bring this ancient Japanese superfood Stateside in an approachable way. We teamed up with an experienced tea master and traveled throughout Japan to find the most exquisite matcha. After the journey, we launched the company (last year), officially starting the matcha movement!
SC: We see that you are in some of our favorite spots like Fika, Egg Shop, Hu Kitchen, etc, what’s up next for PANATEA?
J & D: Yeah! Check out all our spots here to see what’s closest to you! We’re expanding everyday. We actually just launched a special matcha latte batch with Montauk Juice Factory…if you’re heading out east ;) We really love our partners. They all play a huge role in educating and growing our community. As for what’s next, given matcha’s versatility, we’re launching a new Culinary Grade Matcha Green Tea Tin this Fall. We’re also gearing up to launch a subscription over the next couple weeks. We saw demand for a reoccurring business model, so we’re excited to roll out our Monthly Matcha Plan, which will provide savings, convenience and fresh matcha deliveries to our customers.
So, from relaxing with friends to hitting the surf or prepping for a marathon, and even running around for fashion week, PANATEA’s matcha gives us just what we need for that extra kick of energy to seize the day. And speaking from personal experience, it really is all the rage.
PANATEA is available at many fine retailers, restaurants, and lifestyle shops across the U.S – from the West Village all the way to West Hollywood, and dozens of places in between. Click here to learn more!