Maker Story: Apolis Craft Tea

The path to becoming teamakers wasn’t linear for Apolis Craft Tea owners Audrey and Alex. Originally from Alaska, Audrey had been accepted to grad school and was running a local spice and tea shop when Alex encouraged her to take it over. Audrey deferred grad school, the couple brought tea production in-house, and they figured out how to source and make blends. 

But that shop was never truly theirs. 

Organic Tea, Apolis Sweet Cream Earl Grey Tea Spilling out of a Jar

Making Craft Teas in Seattle

Audrey and Alex wanted more. They wanted to go from running a shop—from building someone else’s vision—to becoming a supplier. Self-described foodies, they put more intention into creating exciting tea blends. Audrey and Alex moved to Washington for a change of scenery that still reminded them of home. And they went all in on Apolis.

“We wanted a tea line inspired by food, desserts, and cocktails we like. That’s why we have a Peach Pie blend,” they told us. “It’s not just a black tea with peach. It’s a little more complex and layered.” 

“Our Honeymint is a good example, too,” Audrey continued. “I was thinking about Moroccan Mint, which is a classic. It’s usually a gunpowder green tea with spearmint.” Audrey and Alex started over with the blend. They used different green tea and spearmint and added osmanthus flowers that smell and taste like honey, along with orange blossom, for a little extra je ne sais quoi. The result: a tea that conjures visions of “warm, sunny days and bees droning around in the garden.”

A Commitment to Creating The Best Organic Teas

“When we had the opportunity to build Apolis from the ground up, it gave us a chance to think about what we want and what excited us about tea,” Audrey and Alex said. “It was about having inspiration from food, places we’ve been, and experiences we’ve had.”

As they conceived Apolis, Audrey and Alex committed themselves to a few things: The tea line is certified organic, packed in the company’s own (compostable!) tea bags, and every blend is exceptional. Another detail that sets Apolis apart: Each blend is presented in gorgeous powder-coated glass mason jars. These jars are airtight and protect the tea from all UV light.  

“We only want teas that are the best teas anyone has ever had,” they affirmed. 

Honey Mint Tea Blend from Apolis Craft Tea, Product Display with Tea Jar and Spoon

Bringing Apolis Craft Tea to Made In Washington

Apolis launched as wholesale only, and once Audrey and Alex got in a good flow with creating blends and managing fulfillment, they decided it was the right time to connect with bigger stores like Made In Washington. Like the best relationships, they can’t remember who reached out to whom first. 

“They’re so organized and so easy to deal with,” Alex said. “They do a lot of outreach for their vendors,” which gave Apolis more visibility to customers. At in-store maker pop-ups, Audrey and Alex were able to meet many of their customers in person, which they’d never been able to do while they were so focused on fulfillment, sitting in their warehouse covered in tea dust. “Every staff member I’ve met has been the nicest, most helpful person,” Audrey told us. 

Apolis: More Than Organic Craft Teas

Apolis Craft Tea proves that a brand is more than its logo and colors (which are stunning, for the record). “We got into the aesthetic of it,” Audrey and Alex said. They were thoughtful about their name (“It was trademarkable, and it looks good in cursive”), their website, and their tea descriptions. Like all of our Makers, they considered their customers and what those customers would like to taste, how they wanted each person to feel as they sipped their cups of tea.  

“Most tea drinkers are open to trying new things. They’re likely to be adventurous,” Audrey and Alex said.  

The husband and wife duo at the helm of Apolis constantly comes up with new combinations, testing blend ideas and ensuring the company catalog resonates with the people it’s intended to serve. “We do it all. It really is just us,” Audrey said. 

And they’re doing a fantastic job.

Apolis Craft Tea Owners in Sumner, WA

We’d be remiss if we didn’t ask them our favorite question. So, what is Audrey and Alex’s favorite thing about Washington? “We like that Washington is similar to Alaska. We like having seasons. We wanted something kind of similar to what we’ve known.” They’re using the inspiration of the wild world around them to inform their teas—and we’re all better for that.  

Apolis Craft Tea is designed, crafted, and made in Sumner, Washington. 

Tags: Sumner