If you are seduced by the ambiguity of the word ‘artisanal’ like I am, then you may have recently purchased a jar of Runningbyrd Iced Tea from a cashier in a backwards hat. Newly introduced to campus this year, Runningbyrd Tea Company markets itself as a local brewery looking to bring back a culture of Southern storytelling.
When you purchase Runningbyrd, you don’t just get a bold spiced blend and another mason jar for your pencils: you get a story. Each jar is inscribed with a description of the flavor and the inspiration behind it.
With that in mind, I’ve collected some of my own stories connected to Runningbyrd’s various flavors, in the hopes that they’ll encourage you to start a story of your own.
1. District Breakfast was made to help you suffer that one acquaintance that likes to talk about herself too much. Stuck in an elevator, fake smile weakening under the exhaustion of nodding my head encouragingly for too long, I distractedly sipped the stately tea. Unsweetened and no-nonsense, District Breakfast convinced me that I wasn’t an absolute failure— even if I didn’t work two internships on the Hill and walk Hillary Clinton’s dogs on weekends.
2. One day you’re sipping something fruity poolside, and the next you’re calling Safe Rides to taxi you home from the campus center because icy DC sidewalks are a straight death trap. Post-spring break, I could feel the stirrings of summertime sadness… that is, until I took a sip of Shenandoah Smoke. A tea that must have been brewed over a campfire under the stars, Shenandoah Smoke reminded me of a time when I could actually feel my legs.
3. There’s nothing so prime as being placed in the same Intro to Philosophy class as your college crush. Unless, of course, you’ve just finished a Greek salad with a few too many red onions. Luckily for me, I keep a glass jar of mint iced tea in my backpack for just such an occasion. Thanks Montgomery Mint. Let the games begin.
4. Watch Friends on Netflix, or finish that econometrics problem set? Finally call in a service request for that broken window, or take a nap? Apple Cider Tea is a sweet lifesaver on indecisive days. After accidentally knocking over the jar and spilling the sweet mix all over your sheets, it might even convince you to quit it all and just go out for the night.
Runningbyrd can be found at Corp storefronts across campus, including Vital Vittles and The Hilltoss, as well as Whole Foods in Foggy Bottom. Be on the lookout for the return of seasonal flavors, such as Spicy Thai and Lemongrass White Peach!
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