Behind the Brand
Tenzo was founded by childhood friends and former UCLA classmates Steve O’Dell and Robbie Page. Steve had tried his first cup of coffee at the age of 20 and quickly developed a caffeine addition, drinking 4-5 cups of cold brew a day. After struggling with jitters and negative side effects, he decided to Google “healthiest form of energy” and stumbled upon matcha. Out of curiosity, Steve ordered some matcha from a supplier in Arizona and felt the effects instantly; his focus and productivity skyrocketed and he knew he had found something special. Discovering that “matcha” was an upward-trending search term and that there were no other competitors on the market, Steve set out to start a matcha company.
Enlisting Robbie’s help, Steve tracked down the Japanese farm that supplied matcha to his Arizona-based supplier, and the two friends flew to Japan to visit the farm. On their last day of their trip, Steve was looking up nearby tea farms when he found one just 30 minutes away. When they got to the farm, they met an elderly Japanese man that ended up giving them tours of several different farms in the area. After a few days, they received an email from the man’s boss, who they met up with in Las Vegas two months later. Steve and Robbie ultimately struck a deal with this man, agreeing to create a line of matcha products exclusive to Tenzo that would dominate the American matcha market. The rest is history — Tenzo is now among the top matcha brands in the country, providing focused and long-lasting energy through their clean green caffeine.