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DeRusha Drinks: Verdant Tea Becoming A Hot Commodity

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(credit: CBS) Jason DeRusha
Jason DeRusha filed his first report for WCCO-TV on April Fool's D...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – We know about craft beer, and small-roasted coffee, but some food experts believe tea will be the next drink to take off in the United States.

And a Minneapolis couple in their 20s certainly hopes so with Verdant Tea.

When David Duckler starts talking about tea, it’s hard to get him to stop.

He and his wife Lily first started Verdant Tea two years ago and it was online-only.

“My wife and I took our entire savings and our 2011 tax refund and put it all into tea,” he said.

This summer they opened this tasting room in the Seward neighborhood of Minneapolis, with the focus on small family farmers and incredible teas.

“Tea has survived in China because it’s about pleasing people and hospitality,” he said. “If someone comes into your home, you offer them a cup of tea.”

No crumpets or high tea here — it’s chill.

The Duckler’s brew their own kombucha, lightly carbonated, and served on tap.

“It’s sort of like a tea soda, except we brew it like beer,” Lily said.

Tea leaves instead of barley. This kombucha uses Taiwanese pink guava.

The Chai is fantastic good — more than 20 different spices, including a local honey.

With online sales, and partnerships with local businesses, the small business that started in the Duckler’s garage is making money. And it’s making people come together around a ritual that’s 1,000 years old.

“Our goal is to slowly cultivate this taste in people,” David said. “People know what to expect in craft coffee. They don’t know tea, yet.”

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