New Irvine business wants one nation, under tea

Born from a zeal for American history and a fondness over tea came the business that 26-year-old Blake Driver co-founded with his father, Tod Driver, and uncle Brad Driver.

America’s Tea, an Irvine-based business that launched in March, has flavors representing 14 states and cities.

The business will eventually sell a flavor symbolizing each of the 50 states.

Current blends include a hibiscus herbal tea for Hawaii, an energizing black tea for the city of Manhattan and a sweet peach iced tea for Georgia.

“We wanted to develop a brand that celebrates America’s unique history and the diversity of its 50 states,” Blake said. “There was so much divide in the last political election. People were on polar opposite sides…that’s why we thought to push a brand that celebrates the country as a whole.”

The family calls it “The People’s Tea.”

According to Blake, he and his family always have been a patriotic bunch and find it an interesting coincidence that their surname matches that of William Driver, an American sea captain who lived during the 19th century and coined the term “Old Glory” for the flag of the United States.

“We haven’t tried to confirm if there’s a connection, but it’s cool we have the same last name,” Blake said.

Blake, who earned his master’s in business administration from Concordia University in Irvine, began drafting the idea for the business around September.

“There’s a lot of tea companies so the idea of a tea theme came up,” Blake said, explaining why he later developed the patriotic premise behind their blends.

To brainstorm which flavors epitomize which states, the business team researches the trends and loose keywords that pop up in Google searches when looking up a specific kind of tea.

“For instance, we’d type in ‘herbal teas’ and saw that Hawaii was the highest result,” Blake said.

Along with selling city and state flavors, America’s Tea offers presidential teas such as a citrus black tea called “The Jefferson” and a spearmint green tea called “The OG” or “Original George” [Washington].

To accompany the tea flavors, Blake said he also plans to design a mug for each of the 50 states.

So far, America’s Tea has sold to locations all over the country, including Las Vegas, North Carolina, Ohio, New Mexico, Illinois and Florida.

In keeping with its patriotic purpose, the business also gives 5% of every tea sale to the Glen Doherty Memorial Foundation, a Boston-based organization dedicated to helping those transitioning from military to civilian life.

For more information on America’s Tea or to place an order, visit americastea.co.

Alexandra.Chan@latimes.com

Twitter: @AlexandraChan10

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