I have always been a huge tea drinker, mostly because of my mom who loves to drink tea. So when I stumbled upon the California Tea Company, I wanted to know more about the person behind the leaves. Conrad Demich, from New Jersey and of Polish descent, grew up drinking tea. He’s not afraid to experiment with mixtures to make the perfect blend of tea.
Conrad looked very young and when I asked him how old he was, it looked like he got that a lot. He is 20 years old and moved out to LA when he was 18. As a young business owner, I asked him if he felt disadvantaged being so young. He said that sometimes he did, but he also likes a challenge.
He used to work as a barista at the Coffee Bean in Manhattan Beach and was recruited to work as a barista at Space X. He was thrilled at this opportunity since he was also interested in computer science. As a persistent person, he begged people to interview him for an avionics apprentice position. He says, “annoying people is half the fun.” And his determination has paid off, since he got the position and then started his own tea company.
When I met Conrad, it was only his second day of selling tea. I was surprised that this young entrepreneur was so new to the game, but very well presented. His booth was very aesthetically pleasing, with tall glass containers housing the tea. He encouraged me to pick up them up and smell the tea and was very knowledgable when I told him what kind of teas I like. Since I liked rose and fruity ones, he recommended a few that I ended up buying. When I got home and brewed the tea, I was very happy with my purchase.
Conrad called himself, “The Mad Tea Scientist” and I think that title fits him very well. He’s very smart and business-savvy and said that he treats people the same because “every single person may be a potential customer.” When I asked him for a secret, he shared with me that he used to be an amateur mountain biker. Between working at Space X and running his own tea company, he hasn’t had time to ride his bike. He says to me, “my heart breaks when I see my bike collecting dust.” And I see this boyish look on his face and even though he’s doing grown up things like running a start up and working at Space X- he still has that boyhood energy in him.
The California Tea Company’s website will be coming soon and you can follow Conrad’s tea adventures on Instagram at @californiateacompany.