“In my previous career, I was actually a hybrid UX designer and software engineer. At the time, I was working for a financial technology company in Austin, Texas and I would make the mobile apps for banks and credit unions,” says Jennifer Martinez, founder and owner of Elevation Tea Company. “I always designed for other people. One day I just sat there and thought, “I do this for everybody else. I want to do it for myself.”

House microbrewed London Fog with Lickity Splits Vanilla Ice Cream topped with a French macaron


That urge to change not only the way she worked, but the way she lived is what drove Martinez to start Elevation Tea Company in 2018. “At the time I was dealing with some different health issues and got into the Teavana scene back when they existed. That was really my introduction to tea,” says Martinez. “So I eventually switched over to some more natural things, started exploring some herbal teas and different, more natural versions of loose leaf tea. That’s where I found a lot of the healing process began in my body and tea became a gateway into a more healthy lifestyle.”

From there, Elevation Tea Company began its journey as an online business, only selling bags of loose leaf tea from Austin, Texas before Martinez and her partner made the move to Sarasota. Then came the ten by ten square foot popup tent in the Venice and Englewood farmers markets, eventually replaced by a trailer and an offering of iced, hot, and tea-based mixed drinks, and finally a storefront in downtown Sarasota, which opened on May 14th. Amongst some of the offerings that include over 40 loose leaf teas that can be brewed to one’s liking, are Elevation Tea’s signature mixed drinks and Tea Floats. Yes, that’s correct, a typical ice cream float, but with special tea-flavored ice-cream dunked into an iced tea, topped with a macaroon cookie. “You have the ice cream, you have the tea, and then you have a French macaroon. One of the newer ones is our Fruity Pebbles float which has Earl Gray ice cream–a vanilla ice cream with lemon oreos and has the bergamot flavor, which is what flavors Earl Gray tea. Then it’s topped with our Reb Rooibos loose leaf tea and a blueberry lemon macaroon.” says Martinez.

The process of creating these flavor profiles, like Elevation Tea Company itself, does not happen overnight. Whether it applies to the Fruity Pebbles float or the Mint Julep mixed drink, born from Martinez’s memories of enjoying the drink on trips to Disneyland during her childhood in California, Martinez will stop at nothing to create that “perfect user experience”. “There were months of drinking really nasty concoctions of what I was trying to make. You’ve just got to stick it out and keep doing–that patience for failure is something from my past career that has really helped me out in multiple ways for Elevation Tea Company,” says Martinez.

Elevation Tea Company, 1383 McAnsh Square, Sarasota, elevationteaco.com