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No. 6 This Tea has a Backstory

A former infantry officer in the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division starts a tea company

I am a devoted drinker of Harney and Sons teas, one of the most prestigious and excellent tea companies on the planet. Though I love to sample all teas, it is rare when I order tea from anyone else. Until Rakkaasan Teas appeared. I ordered their sample packet and it has become the tea I offer all my guests. Their mission combines two things I love – tea and liberal politics. Brandon Friedman and his partner Terrence Kamauf met while serving in the Army in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Rakkasan is the old Japanese word for parachutist. It's also the nickname of a unit in the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division. In Iraq and Afghanistan, co-founders Brandon Friedman and Terrence Kamauf led Rakkasans in combat, often taking time to drink tea provided by locals.

The experience led to a business idea that would help the economies of war-torn areas. That idea was to launch Rakkasan Tea Company in Dallas, Texas. Now they find the hidden gems. Unlike most premium loose-leaf tea bought and sold in the U.S., RTC imports solely from carefully selected estates in post-conflict countries as a way to promote peace and economic growth.”

After his service, Friedman became the first Director of Digital Media for the Veterans Administration. From 2007 to 2009, Friedman was a Vice Chairman and spokesperson for In March 2014, Friedman was appointed by the Obama administration as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. After leaving HUD, Friedman became a PR consultant. His memoir, The War I Always Wanted, was recognized in 2010 by The Military Times as one of “The Best Military Books of the Decade.” I found Brandon Friedman on Twitter just before Trump was elected. He continues to be the most thoughtful voice of reason and wit on Twitter for me. When I learned he was starting a tea company I was delighted and have become a regular customer.

The next time you are in Chimacum. I will make you a cup. Cheers!


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