Green Grind Organic Coffee & Tea Co.: Healthy and unique

The Green Grind Organic Coffee & Tea Co. opened earlier this month on the upper level of Redmond Town Center.

Kristi Dilts

Kristi Dilts

The Green Grind Organic Coffee & Tea Co. opened earlier this month on the upper level of Redmond Town Center.

Co-owners Scott Morris and Kristi Dilts have closed their former “test market” store in downtown Bellevue and were attracted to this location because they live within walking distance and because Morris had a history with Redmond Town Center, where he had worked at Cucina Cucina.

The Green Grind’s specialties are more than 60 varieties of organic, loose-leaf teas from around the world and coffees that are organic, fair-trade, shade-grown and Kosher. In addition, Morris and Dilts have a mission to “partner with people and companies who are taking action to protect our environment, as well as the economic viability of the communities in which they live and operate.”

Having also worked at Joey’s Restaurant, Morris knew that people were sometimes stumped by a long wine list — and the same can be true if people don’t know the difference between one tea and another. Folks are sometimes embarrassed to ask questions.

Said Morris, “There’s gotta be a way to bring high quality tea to people in an atmosphere where they don’t feel silly, and also have a little fun with it. We’ve got stuff you won’t find in stores, including dessert teas like blueberry cheesecake. We’re also working on a wholesale program, hoping to see if Matt’s and Spazzo can move away from using tea bags.”

He described that practice, in upscale restaurants, as a little like “putting ketchup on a steak.”

Everything in The Green Grind is created in-house, handcrafted and high in antioxidants, Dilts added.

They also want to “help remind people there’s a better, cleaner way to live, so we use compostable cups,” she said.

Better yet, they have a Reuse and Reduce program that’s a win-win situation for customers and the environment. During their opening day, their first 100 customers received free, reusable Green Grind mugs. They’re now selling the mugs for $8.95. But whether you bring in a Green Grind mug or your own reusable container, you’ll get a 15 percent discount on your beverage.

And though they’re currently selling Athena bottled water, which benefits breast cancer research, they plan to phase out disposable water bottles later.

We asked Dilts and Morris if recent closures of many Starbuck’s and Tully’s stores made them nervous about opening a new tea and coffee shop. Brewing coffee and tea from home is usually cheaper.

“You can buy our coffees and teas in bulk,” Dilts replied.

And people are not giving up little treats like coffee or chocolate, Morris noted. If anything, he believes that “people are looking for anyplace other than Starbucks,” in this depressing economic climate.

“Americans now feel burned by big corporations. There’s a move to support local businesses and develop more personal relationships. We’ll try to stay fair with our products and pricing,” he said.

To promote neighborhood good will, The Green Grind will sell baked goods from Redmond’s Blazing Bagels, display art from local artists and will encourage the use of a green resource board where local, eco-friendly businesses can post their cards and flyers.

For more information about The Green Grind, call (425) 894-4053 or e-mail thegreengrind@gmail.com.


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