18th Century portraitist Joseph Ducreux would like you to have a cup of tea.  Where better to sip delightfully outlandish and organically farmed teas from the wilds of Japan, China and India than at Teatotaller Tea House.

You have to check out this video (and their Kickstarter campaign)

And I urge you to check it out for three reasons.

#1. That’s my broseph.

That’s right, the guy in that video is my little brother and it is in fact his tea shop you’ll be supporting, but my blood relation to him is not why he is in my top three reasons for supporting this cause.  The real reason is if you’ve ever met my little brother then you’ve probably never met a more industrious person in your life. He wasn’t the type of kid to start up a little lemonade stand on the corner to make a few bucks, he was the type of kid that started a lemonade stand on the corner selling pretzels and pizza and cookies, whatever he could cook up fast enough.  Hell he even set up a hot dog cart and went around town to sell them to construction workers and the like during their lunch break.  And this was all before he was even in high school. I could go on about his many accolades but you could google it or something, plus I’ve got two more reasons.

#2.  “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”  -Albert Einstein

Recently my little brother ran for election to the city council in my hometown (a real wiz kid right?)  Well he lost, to the incumbent, a guy who had been on the city council for years, and who had no more qualifications than the fact that he had been there a long time.  No offense to the guy, but if we’re talking about real change in our community and especially an economic change we might not want the same people in charge that were part of the problem.  So how does Teatotaller’s fit in?  Well it fits in, almost absurdly, because of it’s own absurdity.  Part of Teatotaller’s plan is to help revitalize the community and most especially our main st. which remains almost entirely forgotten if not completely shut down.  I never would have thought that a tea house in the middle of small town USA would be a great way to increase business in the area, but then again everyone told my cousin Sherry Pratt that a little vintage retail store had no place in Somersworth either.  Half a decade later and they’re still doing well and have just moved in to a space just a few doors down from their original shop. They’ve brought in a whole new market to Somersworth, and as a result a thrift shop has just opened up in their old space which might not have had the chance otherwise if Sherry hadn’t gone trailblazing for us.  Now people are coming all over for her awesome items and clothing.  Check out Poppy Seed Studio.

#3. Creating a Culture

I’m not saying we all need to be teetotallers, but wouldn’t it be nice if Wednesday night we all got together over a nice cup of tea and talked about Martin Amis’ next book or maybe you and I sit down for a game of Twilight Struggle (not of the “Twilight” vampire saga thank god) on Sunday afternoon with some great biscuits.  So it’s a place to meet, cool, free wifi, get some work done, cool.  What you might not realize though is that at the same time you’re getting all the normal things you might get from a really swanky cafe, you’re also getting something a little more, a little different.  This isn’t your average cup o’ tea.  This is high grade, quality organic tea shipped directly from China, Japan and India.  Think of this as going to a wine tasting, or going to a microbrew, but this is a teetotalist experience, so maybe equivocate it more to walking into a great coffee shop and getting the run down on some of the best coffee beans South America has to offer.  Think of this as sitting down with the Queen.  Think of this as Culture coming New Hampshire.


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