In downtown Herndon, VA—a quaint, historic town just 40 minutes outside of the bustle of Washington D.C.—Elden Street Tea Shop is making waves in the community. Owner and founder Rachel Eisenfeld launched the tea shop with two main missions: to provide patrons with a good cuppa tea, and most importantly, to give back to the community and support local talent. We chatted with Rachel about her quarterly charity program, her favorite books, and our upcoming collaborations together!
It is important for Elden Street Tea Shop to support the community that supports us. We love collaborating with amazing artists and other small businesses. It is essential to keep Herndon a fun and unique destination spot—and if the tea shop can help facilitate more unique activities by collaboration, we are going to continue doing just that!
2. You offer customers a wide variety of teas, both local and international. How do you choose the perfect tea to place at the shop, and how often do you update these options?
We offer some seasonal teas, but the majority of our selection stays the same. We have double and single blind-tested over 200 different varieties of tea to narrow down to the 65+ varieties we carry at the shop.
3. Many writers and future authors work on their manuscripts from the tea shop, inspiring the upcoming “Write From the Tea House” events. Could you explain a bit more about what these events will entail, and why you think the tea shop fosters such a robust community of writers?
Write From the Tea House was started because of our many writers that come to the shop state that they get a lot of inspiration and writing done at the tea shop. Write From the Tea House allows writers the time and the space to get their word on the paper. During these events, we offer $1 off pots of tea, and a novel-tea sommelier will help writers to choose a tea based on where they are in their writing. Mascot Books will be joining us quarterly, offering manuscript services and more information about their publishing process.
4. While there are many writers at the tea shop, there are also many readers—including yourself! When you are not working, what books do you like to read?
I am a lover of fiction and non-fiction! I enjoy a good main-stream fantasy book such as Harry Potter. I am also a fan of American History literature, autobiographies, and Business help books.
5. Starting February 25, we will be launching “Tea Tuesdays” with Elden Street Tea Shop, pairing a Mascot book with an Elden Street tea selection. What can patrons expect to see from these pairings? Which pairings will you offer first?
Our upcoming book & tea pairings campaign is a collaboration between Elden Street Tea Shop, Scrawl Books, and Mascot Books! On the last Tuesday of every month, patrons of the tea shop will be able to purchase a perfectly-paired book and tea bundle. Three weeks after the pairing’s launch, readers are invited to participate in the Novel-tea book club and discussion at the tea shop.
Our February pairing will be Anna Incognito with Crème Earl Grey. On the docket for March is local favorite A Day in Herndon, paired with the Herndon Breakfast Tea.
Our “Tea Tuesdays” with Elden Street Tea Shop will begin Tuesday, February 25th. Catch us at our first “Write From the Tea House” on Wednesday, March 18th! We will be reading manuscripts, chatting with authors, and talking about the hybrid publishing process.