About Coalition Tea
Michael Montgomery, Founder. Jennifer Montgomery, Household 6.
My first venture in the beverage business was a lemonade stand. It was highly successful, until we got kicked off the golf course. Despite this inauspicious beginning, I have big dreams for Coalition Tea.
I am by no means a tea expert, nor was I a lemonade expert. So, how did I get here? Ultimately, it was probably hitting the lowest point in my life and having to make some lifestyle changes that included adding tea to my life.
I started thinking about tea and all the places I drank it. Growing up, my mother always had tea in the house. My dad was less refined, preferring instant Folgers crystals. Later in life, the places I experienced tea were different and unique to my past, as well as shared experiences with others. Having deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan a handful of times, I started to think about all the different times, places and people who were around when tea was served. We 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.
My family and I left the Army back in 2013. I say this because the Army life is as much theirs as it is mine. Fast forward 6 years, my life had taken some hard turns and it was time to reach out for help and start a new chapter. 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. Outside of places like the Middle East and Afghanistan, I thought only the English and hippies drank tea. I’ve come to learn that tea has traveled the world ten times over.
As I started to align my sights, I began to see that a veteran tea company was on the horizon. With the help of my wife Jennifer and our friend Cindi, Coalition Tea was born.My two grandfathers were the first veterans I met. Each of them served during WW2. My Mom’s father went to the China Burma India Theater (CBI). His journey began in Assam, India and the road he traveled and worked on went to Burma and eventually China. Our logo is a throwback to the CBI shoulder insignia, which was in turn inspired by a similar shield of red white and blue stars. This shield is unofficially a symbol of the United States. As I researched the CBI further, I learned it really was a conglomerate of the World’s armies and made me think about all the World’s forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.
This is a handmade leather version of the China Burma India Campaign World War II theater insignia, brought back from Burma by the founder's Grandfather and displayed proudly on our wall.
Serving in the Army introduced me to standards. There was always a bottom line and standards definitely changed from unit to unit. Health is one of our standards. It's important to us and our environment is an important part of it. Our products come from the earth and we must keep the earth as healthy as possible. This being said we have chosen to go with organic teas, herbs and spices from around the world along with other earth friendly practices. The Asian Elephant is endangered in many parts of Asia including Assam India. Our tea will always be Certified Elephant friendly when coming out of these regions. On a final note, Coalition Tea loves the USA and all its liberties and freedoms.
Blend in and stay healthy America!