We’re pioneering tea as a modern American culinary experience. Our former careers as a designer and a French professor gave us incredible opportunities to see the world. In our travels, we discovered that tea could be flavorful, elegant and exciting. It became obvious how much American tea was missing. We were inspired to make tea modern, beautiful and pleasurable for Americans. And so we created August Uncommon Tea.
Up until now, tea has been a quietly neglected part of modern culinary culture in the US. It’s been missing careful attention to taste and preparation. It’s lacked the novelty and excitement that modern palates demand. That’s changing with August. We’re bringing tea into the 21st century, one cup at a time with astonishing culinary blends, small seasonal batches, and a modern brewing system. Once you taste August, you’ll expect more from tea.
Gina Zupsich has always favored her sense of smell and taste. Being an army brat gave her senses a lot to explore across the American landscape. Her first visit to France at age 16 was a culinary revelation. Her fascination with French culture and cuisine led her to earn PhD in French Literature from UC Berkeley. During her doctoral research in France, she alternated long hours at the library with adventures in fashion, perfume and food. In 2009 she began exploring her love of scent in her blog, Olfactive. In 2013 the lure of a more sensuous life led her to leave academia to co-found August Uncommon Tea, in which her fantasy of becoming a chef, perfumer, chemist, and novelist collide.
Aaron Shinn is a lover of beauty, precision and playfulness. He was raised in Columbus, Ohio in a family of artists and iconoclasts. As much as he reveres classical art, his taste leans toward the avant-garde and the experimental in art, music, fashion and design. He studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, earning his BFA at Parsons in New York. He has worked and traveled extensively in Europe and especially Japan, where a cultural attention to quality, uniqueness and natural beauty continues to inspire his visual and culinary aesthetic. Before co-founding August with his wife Gina, he worked as a designer and strategist for IDEO, and prior to that he worked with the art-fashion publication Visionaire. A selection of his design work is featured on his personal site.