Lifestyle & Human Interest

Tea Company Gets Creative, Helps 'Tea-P' Peoples Homes During Quarantine To Keep Business Alive


Desperate times call for desperate measures, and necessity is the mother of invention, so it’s no surprise that small businesses have been coming up with clever — if unorthodox — ways to get essentials out to people while still keeping their businesses afloat.

Christina and Brad Cowherd own Infusion Tea in Orlando, Florida. It’s a small business that has been hit hard alongside other restaurants but has found a quirky way to get back in the public eye and spread joy while keeping contact to a minimum.

“We call it our little COVID miracle,” Brad told the Orlando Sentinel. “We have been able to bring back all of our furloughed employees that want to come back. Everyone’s working that wants to be working.”

“It’s good for the employees, it’s great for morale.”

The “it” he’s referring to is “tea-p’ing,” or making deposits of a positive sort on lawns. They sneakily put up a cheery sign along with a bag of toilet paper and some of their tea on selected properties for the owners to discover.

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It started out small, a fun idea to get their name out there and maybe gain a few customers — but the idea took off, and soon people were sponsoring their own friends and family to get tea-p’d.

The official Infusion Tea website has two choices for customers: You can either select a local drop-off with a sign (only available in certain Orlando ZIP Codes) for $25 or have a care package mailed anywhere.

“This is a great opportunity to not only bless another household with TP, tea, kindness and cheer, but also to keep the Infusion Tea employees working through this crisis,” the website says. “Thanks for supporting them and us.”

“We’ve now done over 1,300,” Brad said. “We do delivery boxes for everywhere else in the country. On top of the signs, we’re mailing boxes every day and we’ve done about 1,000 of those.”

“I think people are happy to see us,” employee Lori Minor said. “People come out and they’re inquisitive about what we’re doing exactly, but then they see the toilet paper, the tea and who it’s from. A couple of them have been reduced to tears.”

“It’s contactless and you can show some love to somebody,” she continued. “For me, it’s a great opportunity to go and do something to still feel like I’m helping somebody or doing something productive.”

Recipients have enjoyed the unexpected pick-me-ups, and photos of the signs have been circulating online.

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“We love tea-p’ing you guys and helping to #spread joy on your special days,” Infusion Tea shared on Instagram. “Thanks for including us!”

“It was such a nice surprise, especially because the day that we got it, it was a really rainy and dreary day,” Emily Blomquist, recipient and friend of the Cowherds, said. “When we got that, everybody was so excited in our house and we couldn’t wait to be able to pass that on.”

“Of course they would come up with something so clever. I feel like Brad and Christina are really creative with making things work and being really flexible.”

“Every day, somebody will call and just thank us for being out and doing this,” Brad added. “It really raises people’s spirits.”

“Overall, it’s been a great experience for us and the community.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking