Heather and Jake Kreilick own Lake Missoula Tea Company. After drinking a bag of loose leaf tea a friend left at their house (the friend owns a tea company in Tacoma) they were so impressed with the quality that they started their own tea company. Doors opened in 2012 in Missoula, Montana.
Lake Missoula Tea Company’s name is inspired from the last Ice Age. During this time, a vast glacial lake covered the Missoula Valley and a land bridge connected Asia to North America. Our name symbolizes the cultural connections that originated when humans migrated to new places and our tea provides a tangible connection to this history. Drink and enjoy our tea with these connections in mind.
Lake Missoula Tea Company seeks artisanal, premium tea
Strong ties to the tea farms we visited in Indonesia, China, Taiwan, Kenya and Colombia give us great confidence that we offer the world’s best tea. These trips allow us to build a sustainable, organic source of quality teas from farms working at the village scale. Despite being relatively inaccessible due to their remote, wildland settings, we’ve witnessed the establishment of a workforce – pickers, processors, and farmhands – helping drive local economic development.
Our leaf collection boasts every variety, from fine Taiwanese oolong to Yunnan black produced by ancient tea trees to Darjeeling District tea (that also has an elephant sanctuary). We are confident in the quality of our teas and our ability to continue to source new and innovative brews.View Our Teas
Heather is a native Montanan who grew up in the Bitterroot Valley before leaving to attend college in Arizona. She was a hotshot forest firefighter before teaching on the Navajo Reservation. She returned to Montana, completed a Geography masters, and worked in the GIS field before opening Lake Missoula Tea Company. Heather is an avid hiker, occasional climber, and full time adventurer and likes to spend time with family and close friends. Heather manages the LMTC website, selects and blends tea, and makes the hard decisions. Her favorite teas include Panda White, Willy Wonka, and Turmeric Twirl.
Listen to how Heather and Jake started Lake Missoula Tea Company in an interview with Mandela and the Trail Less Traveled.
Jake moved to Missoula in 1985 to attend graduate school. He has a long history of involvement in forest protection and restoration with Earth First!, Native Forest Network, National Forest Protection Alliance and currently with the WildWest Institute where he works part-time as the Restoration Coordinator. Jake is a hard core frisbee golf (folf) addict, a long-time player and coach for the Missoula All-Maggots Rugby Club, and is also involved in administering and coaching Missoula Youth Rugby. Jake manages the Missoula wholesale accounts, is responsible for new wholesale accounts, and serves tea behind the bar. High Mountain Oolong from Taiwan, and Panda Ruby Red from Nepal, are a few of his favorite teas.
Melissa joined our staff in December 2021 as the wholesale and warehouse manager. She is originally from Alabama, but has spent more than half of her life in Bozeman and Missoula, Montana. Her favorite activities include cross country skiing, gravel bike rides, road trips, concerts, and spending time with her teenage son.
Uriah grew up in Missoula and attends the University of Montana pursuing a geography degree while juggling tea cups on the side. He worked at Lake Missoula Tea Company since they opened their doors in 2012 and does a little bit of everything around the shop. Mostly you’ll see him behind the bar or delivering tea around town. He enjoys traveling around the world and wishes to keep exploring. Uriah enjoys drinking Lake Missoula Black Pearl oolong, the Willy Wonka black blend, and the Japanese Genmai Cha.
Nathan grew up in Missoula, and after studying English on the west coast, he was eager to get back into the mountains. He’s worked in downtown Missoula for the last 15 years, taking turns at rolling burritos, frying eggs, and selling shoes. When he’s not putting tea in the mail, he’s likely working in the garden or in the kitchen. If not, he might be hiking, riding his bike, playing music, reading a good book, writing a letter, doing a crossword puzzle, and/or drinking a cup of tea. His favorites include Stress Less, Golden Monkey, and Rainforest Fruit Green.
Born and raised in Bozeman, MT, Zac grew up practicing his love of art, music, skiing, and climbing. He moved to Missoula in the spring of 2013 where he attended the University of Montana to study art with a focus towards drawing and ceramics. He attended Colorado Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute in Basalt, Colorado, and he received his certification in permaculture design. He consults with individuals on community and agricultural resilience. Zac is an avid believer in health, and spiritual wellness which often includes crafting homemade kombucha, botanical infusions, and a frequent cup of a soothing tea. Zac is one of Lake Missoula Tea Company’s blenders and coordinates our tea supply between our tea shop and warehouse. You might also spy Zac behind the bar tending tea! He thoroughly enjoys Jasmine Puerh, Holy Basil, and Eastern Beauty.
GUNILLA PRINTZ GILLETTE
Gunilla is from Permelille, a small town on the Danish island of Samsø, in the Kattegat Strait between the Baltic and the North Seas. She moved to Missoula in 2009 and quickly fell in love with the mountains and nature. She loves the eclectic vibe in Missoula and is drawn to its bohemian lifestyle and its community that harbors the ability for small, local shops to thrive. Gunilla enjoys helping people find the right tea when they come in and creating new concoctions. Her favorite piece of teaware right now is the Fellow Carter Move Mug, especially when filled with the 2012 Wedding Cake, Afternoon in Paris, or Mammoth Matcha.
GRETA DE LA MONTAGNE
Greta de la Montagne, RH(AHG) is a third-generation Montanan and a professional member and mentor with the American Herbalists Guild. With 30 years experience, she specializes in herbal first aid for environmental and social justice movements. She treats a wide range of injuries and ailments in children, livestock, and large groups of people. She operates a private clinical practice; Gentle Strength Botanicals and Massage Therapy in Bozeman, MT and near Arcata, California, where she blends Ayurveda and Bodywork with Clinical Herbalism. Greta cultivates or wildcrafts nearly all the medicines for her apothecary. She founded the MASHH Clinic Collective in 1997, Cascadia Health Educators in 2002, was a member of Black Cross Health Collective in Portland, Oregon, and is a Wilderness First Responder and EMT trained. She testified in federal court in defense of the herbalists’ generic term “fire cider” in 2019. Greta is LMTC’s herbalist consultant and blogger.
Adam has lived in Missoula on and off for a decade, returning from New Hampshire and Arizona. During that time of indecision, he entertained several areas of study, including, Physics and Audio Engineering. Currently, Adam is set to become a Data Analyst. Adam is a certified personal trainer and heads the majority of LMTC’s blending. Although, you won’t see him behind the counter at the tea shop, you can certainly think of him as you enjoy the tea he helped make. His favorite teas are Milky Black, Go-Go Calypso, and Pleistocene Peach.
Evan was born and raised in Missoula. He has been at LMTC for slightly over a year, and it opened his eyes to the world of tea. When he’s not at school or work he enjoys skiing Snowbowl, hiking on nature trails with the dog, floating and fishing, and of course social events with his friends or family. He loves going out to eat with his dad and finding new places in Missoula to try out. Enjoy the free samples you get with a tea purchase? Evan was more than likely the guy behind that sample. You’ll find Evan bagging tea at our downtown location as well as at our warehouse. His favorite tea to drink is High Mountain Oolong and Golden Milk.
Emma completed a modified trade wind circumnavigation around the world in 5.5 years with her husband and two children aboard their 45’ Ketch Rigged SailBoat Blue Sky. After returning to civilization, she obtained her USCG 50-ton captain’s license. The experience helped improve her awareness and learn the importance of being resilient, patient, tolerant, and kind by setting goals, having fun, staying calm in stressful situations, and having a sense of adventure and awe. Knowledge gained on her adventure directly transfers to her work ethic, and the ability to communicate with all levels of staff and customers. During her career, she’s worn many “hats”. All are required to be a value-adding part of the team. Emma sees her role as a partner, vital to the success of the tea company. She works diligently to ensure that goals are met and operations run smoothly. Emma manages our flavor program and social media, blends, and is a teatender at the tea bar. She enjoys the Blood Orange, Puerh Earl Grey, Wonder Woman, and Rift Valley Currant.
Bianca joined our staff in late Summer of 2022 as the wholesale fulfillment assistant in our warehouse. Now, you can also spot her tea-tending on the weekends and making deliveries around town. Bianca is an alumna of the University of Montana’s Environmental Studies program, and a current graduate student in the field of Environmental Writing. Her other roles around Missoula include working with Garden City Harvest, the Missoula and Clark Fork Farmers Markets, and representing her student group 1000 New Gardens. Bianca comes from a big family of tea-drinkers, and her personal favorites are Honey Bush, Rugger’s Rooibos, and Truffle Nut.
Ian was born and raised outside of Helena, Montana. He joined our staff in the summer of 2022. He is in his final year completing a bachelor’s degree in Marketing, at the University of Montana. He is currently on our marketing team, and he also helps with bagging at our warehouse. When Ian is not at work, he is either traveling, hiking, or rock climbing. Ian’s favorite tea is Russian Caravan.
Violet was born and raised in Missoula. She currently attends high school and is the youngest member of our team. Violet‘s favorite activity is skiing and plans to make a career out of it some day. At school she enjoys playing soccer, running track, and completing her IB diploma. You can see her at the tea shop bagging samples, backstock, and decorating the window display. Her favorite tea is Creamy Coconut Oolong.