Two Leaves and a Bud: What’s in that name?
With all apologies to fair Juliet, we want to quibble a bit when she so memorably says, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Sure, she’s a fictional Italian teenager pointing out that nobody would care about her crush on Romeo if his last name was something other than Montague. And he’d still be a great guy. She’s not wrong!
But, then there’s the not insignificant blood feud happening between her family and his, and suddenly — even though nobody in the play even remembers what started the historical grudge in the first place — names are incredibly important.
And this is where we’re going to pivot before you think you’ve stumbled on some sort of Shakespearean tragedy blog (which we’d totally read, if it included enough humor) and tell you exactly what’s in our name, Two Leaves and a Bud.
Can you even imagine a bunch of notoriously picky tea nerds sitting around trying to chose a name for their tea company? It wouldn’t be pretty, and that’s why we should all be thankful that our company’s name came about almost two decades ago when this was practically a one-man show, founded by owner and CEO Richard Rosenfeld.
“Two leaves and a bud,” Richard had learned overseas while running his importing/exporting business in Asia, is the exact part of the camellia sinensis plant that is plucked when harvesting tea leaves. In fact, we’ll one-up that statement and say that those leaves and that bud are the highest quality portions of the beloved tea shrub — a statement that makes sense when you consider how tender the leaves and buds are as they’ve most recently emerged before being plucked.
We like to think of our wordy, quirky name as “surprisingly literal,” since delivering the kind of high quality tea that we’re picky about has always been our goal. When you look at our more recent logo, you’ll see that the “T” in our name drops down and ends in — what else? — an illustration of two leaves and a bud.
For even more of a connection to your favorite beverage, consider that when you happen upon photos of tea pluckers with baskets, combing through lush green tea fields, their eyes and fingers are on the hunt specifically for two leaves and a bud at the beginning of each growing season. A fun fact that no true tea nerd can resist: the first plucking of tea leaves in a garden after the plants have emerged from winter dormancy is called the first flush, and those leaves are prized for their delicacy, especially with Darjeeling. Second flush teas grow quicker thanks to the warmer season; Assam second-flush teas are known for their bolder, malty and rich flavor.
One thing we’ve always loved about our company name is how just mentioning it in casual conversation often leads to an informative conversation about tea, its origins, where it’s grown and why we drink so much of it. Spoiler alert: Things don’t turn out quite so pleasantly when it comes to Romeo and Juliet and the importance of their names. Two Leaves and a Bud, however, has been pairing tea lovers with the perfect beverage of their affection since 2004, and while parting might be such sweet sorrow, we’re always quick to point out that there’s another tea time around every corner.
Cheers, tea lovers!