(September 29, 2017)
Moonshine Sweet Tea is fast becoming a leader of the Tea Revolution! That’s because our team is dedicated to bringing customers great tasting tea brewed from an unchanged family recipe. No one explains it better than Moonshine Sweet Tea founder, Joele Porter. Here’s the sweet story of how it all began in Joele’s own words:
“All my life people always went on and on about my Grandma’s (Mamaw’s) tea and how great it was. I’d have friends stop by that I hadn’t seen in years and the first words out of their mouth were, ’Let me get some of your Mamaw’s Tea.’ Well, my grandma got her tea recipe from my Grandpa’s (Papaw’s) father, Leo “Cob” Porter.
Leo “Cob” Porter worked most of his life at the junkyard in Mason County. Whilst at work all he had to drink was plain old well water. He thought to himself, ’What if I made (sweet) tea in concentrate form so I can add water to it and make a glass in no time flat?’ Since he worked 60-70 hours a week at the junkyard he didn’t have much daylight left by the time he got home. Between work and hunting deer and turkey, he was a very busy man during the day. He would make the tea in the late night hours and take the concentrated tea to work with him. It was easy to mix by the glass and he could make it exactly as sweet as he wanted. In the 1940’s he came up with the original formula that my grandma kept around all those years and we took it to the Wimberley Market Days almost 70 years later!
When we started Moonshine Sweet Tea we were lucky enough to have a family member’s commercial kitchen to brew in. We were allowed to arrive at 11 p.m., but we had to be done by 5 a.m. The problem was the kitchen was 35 miles away from home and my wife and I had a newborn, our first born, Liviana Rose. We were brewing the tea, still not exactly sure what we wanted to call it, and it hit me, ‘Moonshine Sweet Tea!’ My great-grandad had made the tea in the late hours of the night and here we were almost 70 years later doing the same thing, only in bigger batches. The only ingredient we changed was we used purified water instead of well water!
And so in the moonlight hours one night in the Fall of 2009, the name “Moonshine” was finally born.
December 9th, 2009 it was only 26 degrees outside. My wife, Ashley and I left her folks house in Dripping Springs at 6 a.m. to be at the Wimberley Market Days by 7. The weather was frigid and bitter, to say the least. Windy, rainy, a high of 40 degrees – all the components for a challenging day at the market selling concentrated iced tea. We even had a hot pot for people who wanted warm samples, though even in the miserable weather, they were few and far between. Texans LOVE their Iced Tea! Especially one brewed the old-fashioned way with the highest quality ingredients. We proved right then that people around here love Iced Tea, and would even buy it in the dead of winter!
Not only did we sell 30 quarts for $12 each, but we did it two hours before the market closed. We had gotten up early, fought the elements, stood in the cold all day long with super cold toes, and after all that, we left money on the table. We probably could have sold a few more quarts, if we had been better prepared. I thought to myself, ‘Next time (March) we will bring twice as much product’.
In 2010 we attended the Wimberley Market Days the first Saturday of every month as well as a few smaller local Artisan and Farmer’s Markets in and around the Austin area. By 2011 we were regulars at four Farmer’s Markets every weekend. In 2012 we got into our first grocery store: Parker’s in Liberty Hill. Though very small, they got behind us and really did well with our concentrate. In fact, they still sell it today!
We hope you enjoy this tea as much as our family and friends have for the past 70 years! We also hope by sharing the story of how it all began our customers will understand Moonshine Sweet Tea’s commitment to being the best tea company possible thanks to old-fashioned values and pride in our family traditions.”
MOONSHINE SWEET TEA’S MISSION STATEMENT
OUR GOAL IS TO SHARE THE BEST TEA IN THE WORLD, WITH THE WORLD!
Check out the Story of Moonshine Sweet Tea here!