The Story of Two Leaves

"When I started Two Leaves and a Bud, our purpose was simple: to deliver the perfect cup of tea to every person of any culture."

" And with that mission in mind, our focus has always been first and foremost on the tea and the tea-pickers. Our name literally describes what gets plucked with every pinch of a tea plant – two leaves and one bud! And we make sure that those are the only ingredients in our tea bags. All our products are certified organic and GMO-free; all our workers are paid fair wages; all our sachets are compostable."
Photo of Two Leaves and A Bud Two Leaves and A Bud Richard Rosenfeld, Founder & CEO

2003

The Adventures of Two Leaves and a Bud

Ready to experience The Adventures of Two Leaves and a Bud? Spoiler alert, there’s more than you think to the story.

Photo of Richard Rosenfeld planting tea

It was love at first pluck

While traveling extensively in Asia for business, Richard becomes (gets introduced to first pluck Assam) passionate about tea. He dreams of finding that same quality tea back at home. But alas…the dusty tea that has been served to Americans just isn’t the same. Then comes his aha moment: "Why can’t I get tea like this at home? I’ll start a tea company!"

In search of the perfect pluck, Richard dives into a crash course in tea. Hanging out in the tea gardens in Sri Lanka, India and China, he develops relationships with organic tea farmers.

His mission becomes clear: Find the perfect cup of tea; make it accessible to everyone. YES!

End of a tea leaf branch held between thumb and forefingers
Two Leaves and a Bud logo

2004

Richard launches the tea company from his home in the mountain town of Basalt, Colorado ('cause he just loves living here!) with one employee – she still works for him!

He names the company  for the top two leaves and the bud of the tea plant (Camellia sinensis) plucked by hand to make the world's best tea.

2004

Enter the pyramid shaped tea "sachet."

Two Leaves and a Bud was a pioneer of the pyramid-shaped sachet in North America, now widely regarded as the gold-standard for bagged tea. Making drinking whole leaf tea conveniently accessible for all, the special shape and size of the sachets allows our happy tea leaves more elbow room to infuse completely, providing fuller flavor. YES!

Learn more about our Tea Packaging
End of a tea leaf branch held between thumb and forefingers End of a tea leaf branch held between thumb and forefingers
A woman picks Darjeeling tea in a field wearing a basket on her back

2004

Environmentally Friendly Tea

When Richard decided early on to source certified organic tea, he chose to use a plant-based material for the sachets to keep plastic out of the cup and allow the tea to go back into the earth.

We are keenly aware that tea lovers are concerned about the environment because we share those concerns! Our adventures continue today, to make our tea and packaging environmentally friendly, despite the added costs. Our commercially compostable eco-sachets are plant-based and petroleum-free. We keep it fresh (pun intended!) in distinctive clear sleeves that decompose.

But the perfect cup isn’t just about what’s in the cup. It’s about every single decision that goes into making that cup. Over the years, Richard cultivates strong and lasting relationships with all the people along the supply chain and finds ways to give back to his community.

Richard Rosenfeld and two associates examine Assim tea plants in a field

2011

Two Leaves partners with National Outdoor Leadership School, where he still moonlights as an instructor, and creates a steady stream of donations through sales of our Alpine Berry tea.

Learn more about our giving programs

2020

The Growth of Two Leaves and a Bud

And so the adventure of Two Leaves and a Bud continues. Every season’s new tea brings variance in cup color, flavor, depth, intensity, all of which need to be cupped and assessed because truly great tea is hard to come by, and Richard is picky about the tea in his cup!

Two Leaves continues to expand with the demand for our great tea, with a team of 11 employees with more than 101 years working for the company combined.

We’ve built a loyal base of tea drinkers – from novices to tea freaks.

Don’t know what matcha is? Not sure how long to steep your tea? Visit Tea Basics for answers. Want to talk about terroir, flushes, and nuanced tea flavors – we love that too.

Two Leaves has expanded to offer a full range of tea formats, since we know everyone’s “perfect cup” is different. We now also offer traditional teabags, iced tea bags, loose tea, and now tea latte mixes. We’ve continued our original objective of making truly great tea accessible, but have expanded it to all the formats tea lovers enjoy.

“If we didn't consider how to keep all the members of our community healthy – from pickers to employees to drinkers – we would never have become as successful as we are today. That's community-powered stewardship in action. By ensuring that everyone has a stake in the process, we can fit a whole community into a single cup of tea.”
Richard Rosenfeld Founder and CEO

Our Values

  • Deliciousness

    Tea itself should taste great, not just the flavoring that comes with it.
  • Commitment

    The relationships we build with our growers, partners, employees, and loyal customers and are for the long-term benefit of all.
  • Doing the Right Thing

    From sourcing organic tea to using compostable packaging, we strive to act ethically and honestly in all we do and find ways to give back.
  • Education

    We spread knowledge about tea at every turn, so that more people can find and appreciate their perfect cup.