Meet Michael Montgomery, founder of Coalition Tea —he's deployed on a personal journey to connect his passion for tea with his experiences as an Army Veteran.

"Michael's grandfathers both served in WWII. His mother's father was deployed to the China Burma India Theater (CBI). A coalition of Allied Forces (including US Forces) worked together in this theater. A leather insignia of the CBI Theater displays with honor on the wall in Michael's home, surrounded with photos of his grandfather's army journey that began in Assam, India, continuing to Burma and eventually leading him to China. 


Decades later, Michael had a similar journey, this time throughout Iraq and Afghanistan. Like his grandfathers, Michael is a veteran and served in similar circumstances in Afghanistan under a coalition of Allied Forces called ISAF (International Security Assistance Force). After his tours through Iraq and Afghanistan, Michael turned to tea as part of his healing process." 

"I needed to figure out what was important to me - it basically came down to family, health, and simplifying my life. Taking on new things can be daunting, especially when my inner critic had been beating me for years. My new focus on health brought me to drinking tea."

  

 

Michael left the Army in 2013. He and his wife Jennifer, along with their friend Cindi, helped create Coalition Tea. In the spirit of collaboration, their logo was inspired by the coalition insignia. They source their teas from across Asia and the Middle East. They import organic, earth-friendly grown teas, herbs, and spices from around the world. 

 

 

 

"While in the Army, I drank tea with local forces at combat outposts, in restaurants occasionally, with our local partner force and even in meetings with all the brass and tribal leaders. Tea wasn't the same in all these places. Some were definitely better than others, but it all took time to prepare. Time for myself was something I had forgotten about, lost in the grind."

His Mesopotamia Loose Leaf Blend is a subtle spiced black tea with roots in the chai Michael experienced while serving in Iraq.

The Lapsang Souchong Loose Leaf  has a bold smoky flavor, with leaves dried by the smoke of pine fires, this tea is not for the weak or faint-hearted. The story goes that an invading army delayed the annual drying of tea one year in the Wuyi Mountains of China.  To catch back up, the farmers dried the tea over a pine fire, unintentionally infusing the leaves with a strong, smoky flavor.  There are other iterations of this origin story, but this is Michael's favorite. 

Hojicha is a roasted green tea from Japan.  Made by roasting a third flush Bancha style leaf, Hojicha is an everyday tea with a robust and rustic flavor.  The roasting process removes much of the tea's caffeine, allowing it to be enjoyed by all.

Equilibrium Poppy Herbal Tea is a lightly floral herbal blend of California poppy with a hint of lemon that won't speed you up or slow you down.  Move over stress and anxiety, Equilibrium is holding steady.

Dream Glider Organic Chamomile Herbal Tea is a lemony chamomile herbal blend with a hint of lavender and a light touch of valerian. The Glider Pilots of WW2 definitely didn't have it dreamy. They received no flight play or jump pay and these glider crews literally got towed to altitude, let go near a drop zone and glided right on in.  In actuality, they were quite literally falling out of the sky with men, weapons and equipment.  The gliders were intended to be silent but in reality, falling to earth at a high rate of speed is not quiet.  The sudden impact could be intense even with modern technology bringing you to the ground like a sack of potatoes. These gliders were nicknamed flying coffins by the men who rode in them.  These drop zones weren't nicely mowed lawns but open areas filled with hazards, tearing apart the intentionally expendable gliders and infantry troops on board.  Like all Army Air Corps pilots, the glidermen wore wings on their chests. Theirs were special, with a capital "G" stamped in the center. Technically it stood for "glider," but they were quick to tell anyone who asked that it really stood for "Guts."   So if you feel like a G, Dream Glider herbal blend will settle you into your secure DZ to cop some zzzzzs.

Their Golden Kahwa Loose Leaf Blend is a lightly spiced green tea, beautifully colored and uniquely flavored with saffron. Certified Elephant Friendly ™green tea with organic cinnamon, cardamom, saffron, ginger, and peppercorn.

“Our products come from the earth, and we must keep the earth as healthy as possible.”

 Assam Black Pyramid Teabags $13.00

Their Assam India black tea is Certified Elephant Friendly. The endangered Asian Elephants are jeopardized by many tea farms in India that use pesticides and electric fences to protect their fields. These can cause harm to the migrating elephants own journey as they roam throughout their country. 

Shop the full line of Coalition Tea on the Marketplace. Follow them @coalitiontea