Up close and personal with founder of Kindred Teas: Madelene Poon

(photo courtesy of Madelene Poon)

1) Share with us the activities you took part in while studying in SMU.

I was active in the sports community back in SMU. I was part of the SMU Muay Thai fight team where I represented my school in Muay Thai tournaments. I was also part of SMU Fitnessworks, which is a club that promotes health and fitness within the school.

2) What is your greatest takeaway from your educational years?

Surround yourself with positive people who will motivate you to be your best. School life is better with friends who truly care for your wellbeing and keep you on track.

3) What was the inspiration behind Kindred Teas and the ideas behind the different flavours?

The inspiration behind most of the teas come from personal experiences and a lot of the time, they come from my travels. I used my travel experiences because so many of these places are so rich in culture and have introduced me to a world of flavours. I recreate moments; for example, one of the most memorable times was when I was on exchange in Graz, a town in Austria. I was introduced to a specialty drink at one of the nearby pubs called the Holunder Spritzer, which is a cocktail that consists of elderflower cordial. To pay homage to the place I called home for those few months, I created Elder & Cream Black Tea, using the flavours of the elderberry and elderflower.

4) Share with us the reason for your love for teas?

Personally, tea has been a big part of my family’s life. We often spend Sundays catching up over tea. On the flip side, tea is also a great drink for alone time in quiet contemplation. It slows you down, allowing you to appreciate the moment.

One weekend, I was drinking my daily tea and I got curious as to how tea was actually produced. I turned to Youtube and started watching a documentary about tea production and was truly amazed at how versatile the tea plant was. I found out that all types of true teas, whether they be white, green, oolong or black, all come from a single plant, and the final product was dependent on the extent of oxidation. I was intrigued by the array of flavours that a single plant could produce and so I started tasting all the teas I could get my hands on. I created Kindred Teas so that I could have a line of teas I could call my own, with my own formulas and my own stories.

5) We’re just curious! Are you able to sleep at night after drinking copious amounts of tea?

Yes, I sleep surprisingly well for someone that runs on caffeine! I believe my active lifestyle allows me to sleep well. Of course, there are herbal teas which are caffeine-free and even help to promote sleep.

6) What other products can we expect from you in the future?

We are planning on more flavours and a bigger range of tea ware too. We are always excited to work on new teas and to introduce them into the market.

This year, we are focusing a lot more on private events such as weddings. We are launching our tea bar in June which will allow our clients to create their own blend of teas.

7) Where do you see yourself five to ten years down the road?

In a couple of years, I would have completed my patisserie diploma at Le Cordon Bleu Paris. I plan to open a tea salon/bar that serves tea-infused desserts in the next 5 years in Singapore. In 10 years, Kindred Teas should be an internationally recognised tea brand.

Personally, I will be happily married by the end of June 2018 and will have our very own place in the next 3 years. We see ourselves with a beautiful dog!

8) Growing up, did you have a role model you looked up to?

My mum was my role model. She raised my brother and I as a single parent, working long hours to ensure that her children had all the necessities. She taught me to be prudent and also that if I wanted something, I had to work for it.

My mum then went on to become an entrepreneur, and as far as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be my own boss because of her.

9) What is one quote you live by?

Because my mother was such a great influence on me and such a strong female figure, one quote that has always stuck is one by Rupi Kaur:

“What is the greatest lesson a woman should learn?

That since day one she’s already had everything she needs within herself;

it’s the world that convinced her she did not.”

10) What advice do you have for young undergraduates who are still finding their footing in life? i.e. meaning and purpose or calling in life

  1. Do not be anxious about the future, only to miss out on the present. In an ideal world, we all know what we want to do from the time we are children. However, more often than not, that simply isn’t the case. I know so many people who only discovered or pursued their true passions in life after graduation. They also happen to be the most successful and satisfied people I know.

 

  1. Your career is important, but it should never be the most important thing in your life. Give your time and attention to your family, friends and health too, because when that job is gone, you’ll need these three strong pillars of support.

 

 

 

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