Our story

3 leaf tea grand opening

3 Leaf Tea is a specialty online matcha shop and café based in Auburn, New York. In a small town of around 30,000 people at the heart of New York State, a trendy shop selling matcha is not something one would expect to find. The story of how this shop came into existence is as uncommon and interesting as the store itself.

The founder and owner, Luciana Torous, is an Auburn native and Auburn High School, graduate. As a child, she often ran little businesses; selling candy and crafts, making coupons and pretending to be a cashier. It was a phase she grew out of as she got older but remained in her memory as fond childhood memories. During and after high school, Luciana worked at local restaurants while thinking about what kind of work she would really like to do. At that time, the idea to open a tea business wasn't something she ever imagined doing. In fact, she didn't even care for tea.

One day, on a whim with some friends, she visited a local tea shop and drank properly brewed tea for the first time. It was love at first sip. Luciana had tried tea in the past but found them bitter and unpleasant. However, the aroma, the flavors, and the potential medicinal benefits spurred Luciana to begin researching various teas and brewing techniques.

It was at this time that a friend had just returned from a year-long exchange program in Japan. Her name was Julia. Julia and Luciana have been friends from middle school and remained close, regardless of where in the world they were located. Among the souvenirs that Julia brought back were a matcha bowl, bamboo whisk and a small tin of matcha. Upon hearing about Luciana’s interest in teas (and convinced of the superiority of Japanese teas) she whisked up a bowl of matcha and with a little encouragement, had Luciana try it. Like with the other teas, she was hooked instantly.

For Luciana, matcha didn't just become a daily beverage, it became an experience. Struggling with anxiety from a young age, drinking certain types of caffeine made her symptoms worse. Matcha, although containing caffeine, was different. After drinking a cup, Luciana felt calm, alert and mentally clear. She knew this beverage was something everyone should know about. It was around this time that she became more and more interested in the health benefits that matcha had to offer.

Luciana was inspired to share matcha with others in a fun way. She began experimenting by hand blending matcha with various flavors. After becoming more confident with the result, she also started blending hot chocolate and soon launched 3 Leaf Tea in January of 2015. Her experience working in restaurants and entrepreneurial interests naturally led Luciana to turn her passion for tea into a business. Seven months after the online business was launched, she was able to open a brick and mortar store and café located in downtown Auburn, NY.

Opening 3 Leaf was by no means an easy feat. Having no prior background, Luciana spent hundreds of hours reading about how to open a business. 3 Leaf Tea is a company that has been built on passion, friendship and dedication. Luciana’s commitment to quality products and service has made 3 Leaf Tea a thriving online store.