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Not your usual Texas tea being brewed up at Special Leaf | Made in SA

A start up becomes a thriving business centered around olive leaves.

SAN ANTONIO — This is not your traditional Texas tea. There's something unique going into every bottle of Special Leaf tea.

"We do ready to drink, bottled, local olive leaf ice tea," founder, Special Leaf, Chris Cook said. 

It was seven years ago owner, Chris Cook, realized his life dream while working as a chef on an olive orchard.

"I remember vividly having this aha moment where I'm tasting this tea, I'm just blown away by first the flavor, but how it's so close to green tea," Cook said.
"The color, the vibrancy, and then come to find out there's a lot of health benefits behind it."

The leaves are pruned from the trees, then dried out by hand before being brewed.

"These are kind of chef driven teas so... there's nothing in the teas where you're going to look in the ingredients list and not understand what it is," Cook said. "I don't care what you're drinking. This is going to be better."

But it's not just health benefits known to derive from the olive tree.

"We are also going to use our platform to give back to other people who are trying to make a difference also. This is much more than tea," Cook said. 

His four varieties of tea are now served and sold in 30 locations around San Antonio.

"It's a labor of love and it's really nice to see local folks appreciate it, and want to support it, and believe in it as much as you," Cook said. 

A project that started in his garage is now two years in the making and growing.

"It brings a tear to my eyes sometimes when you take a step back and realize where you were at and where you are. You've got to embrace it,"  Cook said. 

This chef and now small business owner has a message for others who are working to keep their dreams brewing.

"It'll all work out. It's God's plan," Cook said. "If you work hard enough, and you sacrifice, and you put your best foot forward, and you try to do things the right way then it will all work out. All in due time. It just takes time."

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