Siouxland Stories: Tea company helps trafficking victims, one cup at a time

Siouxland Stories

LAWTON, Iowa (KCAU) – Once human trafficking victims are rescued, there isn’t always a place for them to go or a way for them to make it on their own. That’s where a Siouxland tea company is stepping in.

They might look like ordinary coffee beans, but they’re anything but. These beans were harvested in Asia by former victims of the sex trade victims a man living in Lawton helped rescue.

“The farm that they’re harvesting on is owned by a former brothel owner that my partner led to the lord. This guy became a Christian and set his girls free,” said Bradley Hopp.

In fact, 22 of the 63 girls and women, Hopp and his partners helped rescue are the ones harvesting those coffee beans in Asia today.

“Typical mobster. He needed a place to hide his money. So he bought some really expensive tea and coffee farms. So we’re buying it from the girls. So they are harvesting it, processing it, and we buy it from them direct,” said Hopp.

The profits from the coffee and the tea sold nationwide by Teshuah Tea are helping give these women a new life, one cup at a time.

But let’s back up to where it all started for Bradley Hopp. He nearly lost his life a few years back when a tractor flipped over and caught fire, pinning him underneath.

He said his accident put his life into perspective and was looking for a way to continue helping recovering victims who were starting a new chapter in Siouxland.

“You know, I want to do more with this. I really feel like there is more I can do with it. It became let’s see what we can do with this in other countries, let’s see how far we can push this thing,” Hopp said.

That thing became Teshuah Tea and Coffee. Hopp said he thought about naming the company Freedom Tea or Deliverance Tea, but was drawn to the name Teshuah.

“So in Hebrew it means deliverance but in this Asian language, it means “special tree” with an exclamation point. And I was like, that is perfect. It encapsulates what Teshuah Tea is all about,” said Hopp.

“We’ve rescued 63 girls. Now we 41 girls and two female staff. Actually, two of the girls have actually stepped up into assistant house moms’ positions, which I think is really awesome,” Hopp said.

“We make sure the girls are prepared for life in the real world. And so we teach them how to run a tea shop, how to harvest and process tea and coffee, how to make bracelets and coasters, it’s not so much what they’re learning about that skill per se, it’s learning about having a work ethic, how to be prepared, how to budget,” Bradley said.

If you’d like to support Teshuah Tea’s mission, Bradley said it’s easy as placing an order online.

“We have a pour coffee that comes from a large Asian country and we have a Thai coffee that comes out of Thailand. And I do several different roasts on those and I do them all fresh and on-demand. So whenever someone orders coffee from us, it’s literally roasted, goes in the bag, and goes out the door. So somebody ordering from California gets it in three days,” said Hopp.

And of course, they sell their namesake tea.

“We really try to specialize in single-source varietals. So we don’t do a lot of blends. We really want to feature the tea, because this is such high-grade, high-quality tea, so we’re able to bring in stuff that people can’t just find anywhere,” Hopp said.

If you are interested in supporting Teshuah Tea and would like to try one of their products, click here.

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