If you’ve ordered teas online from Adagio, you have seen the handiwork of Ilya Kreymerman. Ilya is the Chief Technology Officer of Adagio Teas. After a tour of their facilities in Garfield, NJ, I sat down with Ilya to enjoy a more relaxed, personal chat with one of the founding family members of this online tea company.
1. Adagio started some 10 years ago. What were some of the more significant changes in the online tea market during that time? The biggest change was the increase in competition. We saw one or two dozen online tea retailers back in our early days. Now there are many more start-ups entering the online market along with traditional stores expanding online. With this growth, and the dominance of Google as a search platform, we’ve seen the evolution of advertizing and ad budgets transition from more cost-per-viewer to cost-per-click or cost-per-transaction. 2. New tea drinkers can sometimes find it difficult to get into tea drinking. What resources does Adagio offer to help initiates enter the tea community? Our IngenuiTea makes tea prep convenient. We were one of the first in the US to offer this innovative product. It continues to be popular because of its ease use and convenient cleanup. Also, it delivers a “wow” factor to many who haven’t seen it before. Adagio welcomes tea drinkers into our community via TeaChat. TeaChat has been in operation for 7 years, and recently reached 100,000 posts. This bullentin board community is a treasure for getting support from other tea drinkers. 3. What is your favorite word? Quorange. This is a word I created to describe a word that has no other words that rhyme with it. 4. What is your least favorite word? Myspace 5. What turns you on creatively, spiritually, or emotionally? New technology, especially Internet technology. I keep up with creative developments in online tools like Facebook, Twitter and Ruby on Rails. 6. What turns you off? Obsession with celebrity. I’m disturbed by the fact Ashton Kutcher has nearly 2 million Twitter followers. 7. What sound or noise do you love? The steady, gentle hum of the Fuso machine. 8. What sound or noise do you hate? An alarm sound that comes from my computer when our website goes down. It usually just means I need to reset the server. 9. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Video game developer- however, I may not enjoy it as much after having to delve into the nitty-gritty of the details. 10. What profession would you not like to attempt? Phone tech support. 11. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? “We’re all booked. Come back later.” 12. You find yourself on the streets of NYC and craving some good tea. Where do you head first?Kai Restaurant on Madison Ave. Great tea and food. The first floor hosts a museum-like collection of fine Japanese and tea items for sale.