I’m thrilled to finally begin this new monthly series here on The Cup of Life. When I first started to get into tea I instantly found a connection with other tea lovers out there and still do today. I love hearing about their tea journeys and how tea is in their lives. To continue this connection and expand our tea community I will be interviewing tea drinkers around the world and sharing what their passion for tea looks like. Let’s begin this fun series by meeting Shelby Kroach, owner of The Honest Leaf based in Toronto, Ontario.
Recently I reviewed an herbal tea blend that was handcrafted by Shelby Kroach and that instantly lead me to wanting to learn more about her tea passion and creativity. Shelby started her tea business because as a registered nutritionist she wanted to combine her passion for health and wellness with her love for tea. Offering a variety of tea and tisane blends, Shelby creates them using mostly local ingredients and their goal is to help to nourish and support a healthy mind and body.
The kettle is on and I can hear it about to sing. What tea are you going to steep for us today?
I’m such an Earl Grey fan. Even though I make such yummy blends, I always seem to go back to my favourite!
How would you describe the connection between your two professions, tea and health + wellness?
Tea means calm, soothing, quiet. I drink tea to relax but also to feel energized. I drink it to de-stress and to boost my immune system. All I have to do is listen to my body and that will dictate what type of tea I need at that time. It’s amazing how herbs, spices and tea leaves can have such a profound impact on your health and wellness.
Take us on a virtual tour of your tea blending space. What will we find there?
My tea blending space is not large. There is a wall full of teas, herbs and spices. We have all of our packaging on another shelving unit. Everything is mixed by hand and there is always a kettle nearby for tasting… Best part of the job!
The Honest Leaf has a great selection of teas infused with real ingredients. Do you have a particular one that you enjoy blending the most?
Nourish (organic green rooibos blend) is so pretty with amazing colour and texture. This is probably my favourite tea to blend!
I loved your other green rooibos blend so I’m going to have to try that one next time! Have you ever created a tea blend that you just didn’t like in the end?
Plenty of times! But that’s the beauty of creation. One time, I was making a tea for a customer who wanted their own blend using a very smoky black tea. When I took a sip of the blend I created it only tasted like I was drinking a camp fire! It took a while to perfect but after several tweaks, we got it right 🙂
Black, Green, Yellow, White, Oolong or Puerh?
Hot, Iced or Cold?
Teapot, Infuser or Gaiwan?
Straight, Sweetened or Latte?
Cheese or Chocolate pairing?
Oh that’s tough! I like both.
Choose one person, living or passed, celebrity or family, that you would like to have tea with.
It would be so cool to have tea with the Queen in the garden at Buckingham Palace. That would be the ultimate high tea experience!
Find Shelby Kroach:
P.S. This new tea interview series was also inspired by this quote from Emilie Barnes:
The very act of preparing and serving tea encourages conversation. The little spaces in time created by teatime rituals call out to be filled with conversation. Even the tea itself–warm and comforting–inspires a feeling of relaxation and trust that fosters shared confidences.