Authenticity and convenience are the two key ingredients to Plantera’s business success, according to its founder, Curtis Estabrook, 22, who launched his company in January of this year.
Inspired by his part Japanese background, the Hugh Boyd alumnus decided to create an easy-to-use, healthy, high-quality alternative to North American-style instant matcha lattes.
“Matcha is such a great superfood, but no one wants to do a whole tea ceremony every day to prepare it,” said Estabrook.
The challenge is to simplify the process, while maintaining the quality. But striking that balance, Estabrook believes, will proved to be what sets his product apart from the competition.
“I take pride in making something that I truly believe in,” he says. “This winter, I will be going to meet my suppliers in Shizuoka, Japan. It definitely means a lot to me.”
It’s no coincidence that Estabrook’s entrepreneurial venture is inspired by his cultural heritage.
“My family definitely hasn’t lost touch with our ancestry, we like to embrace it and reflect on how being multicultural enriches our daily lives,” said Estabrook, whose mother is Japanese and father is Canadian.
But while Plantera harkens back to his ancestral traditions, Estabrook is also looking to create a product that is pure and simple.
Each packet of his instant matcha lattes includes only three ingredients: high-quality matcha, cane sugar and whole milk powder -- or coconut milk powder for a vegan alternative.
Estabrook recognises there is stiff competition in the field of instant matcha, with many big companies claim a superior standard, but he questions that claim.
“Even Costco, for example, will stick this label on their matcha that says, ‘ceremonial grade,’ but that doesn’t actually mean anything.”
Plantera is still in its early stages, but Estabrook is already thinking of new products to bring online – including ginseng and turmeric lattes.
Pantera matcha latte mixes are currently only available on Estabrook’s website: https://planteraorganics.com/ and Instagram page @planteraorganics.