Humans of Cartel: Jeff Yang
Two of our #HumansOfCartel are traveling through Colombia right now. Jeff here is one of them. Jeff is often behind the scenes. He creates content, designs packaging, and is practically a genius (but he won't tell you that).
Tell us something interesting about yourself.
I've traveled the country on a motorcycle. 10/10 would do again. Come meet me at the next Distinguished Gentleman's Ride.
What brought you to Cartel?
When I first moved to Phoenix, I was freelancing and needed a coffee shop to work at; Cartel came up highly recommended on Google or something. I ordered a hot tea with very low expectations—tea is usually an afterthought and most American places don't get it right. (Is that too much of a sweeping statement?)
To my surprise, it was served loose leaf, something I'd only seen growing up in China and in tea houses that know what they're doing. My thought was that this is a company that cares about what they serve and have done their research.
What's your perspective on Cartel, your community, and the industry as a whole?
Getting back to the tea... when I worked as a barista in Downtown Phoenix, I came to learn some people are really bothered by the loose leaves—unreasonably irate, actually.
To me, it's the tea house (or coffee shop) showing that they have nothing to hide. That they aren't stuffing low-grade dust and crumbs in a bag. That you're getting what you pay for. It's about honesty—it's a stance against commodity and the pedestrian. After all, you wouldn't consider IKEA furniture to be the ultimate example of design and fabrication would you?
What is your favorite thing about your job?
Being able to tell stories that would otherwise go unheard.
What are your aspirations for the future?
To gain a better appreciation for and to make a documentary of the unseen. Like a film version of the 99% Invisible podcast.
What is your favorite beverage?
Currently the Eight-Treasure Tea, loose leaf.
If you ever see Jeff around at our Tempe Maple-Ash location, don't hesitate to say hello, and ask him about tea, coffee, motorcycles, design, or space travel.