Berkeley Matcha Crafter Makes Forbes List of "Entrepreneurs to Watch"

UC Berkeley grad student Samantha Tannor sought a non-coffee source of caffeine.


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Image: Tannor's Tea

A new list published by Forbes magazine of "entrepreneurs shaking up the food industry" includes UC Berkeley grad student Samantha Tannor, whose wellness-focused company Tannor's Tea develops organic, ceremonial-grade, Keto- and Paleo-Diet-friendly, plant-based sugar-free matcha concentrates.

Production began early this year. 

Currently working toward an MBA at Cal's Haas School of Business, Tannor "was always a big coffee and tea drinker. She became exhausted after experiencing the jittery highs and crashing lows from coffee, and she wanted to find a healthier alternative," as explained at the Tannor's Tea website.

"After traveling to Asia, she fell in love with matcha and saw that there were no sugar-free matcha concentrate options available in the market."

As reported at Forbes, she was able to launch the company through UC Berkeley's LAUNCH startup accelerator and now offers her product — which was developed and is now produced in Berkeley — online, at Amazon, and in local cafés.

Each half-teaspoon of the concentrate has about 30 mg of caffeine — roughly the same amount that's in one-third of a cup of regular coffee. Tannor is currently developing flavored concentrates to augment the original version.

This April, she traveled through Japan to maximize her matcha knowledge. 

"It was a whirlwind of an experience," Tannor explained at her blog.

"Without a doubt, one of the most beautiful and breathtaking experiences in Japan was the opportunity that we had to go visit some of our suppliers in Japan. The rolling hills of tea were nothing short of magical, and we had a blast learning how to find the perfect tea leaves."

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