January 2009 Issue
The Tea Lady
PERSONAL: Originally from Cleveland, she now lives in Athens with her husband, photographer David Hooker. Her son, Zachary Powell, 19, builds and designs skate parks.
OCCUPATION: The founder of Herbal Sage Tea Company (www.herbalsage.com
) describes herself as a formulator: “My joy and expertise are in creating tea blends based on research and traditional uses.”
HOW IT STARTED: City life in Cleveland offered no room for an herb garden, but moving to Athens gave her the opportunity to grow her business. By 1992 she was mixing up unique brews for friends and family, and in 1995 she founded Herbal Sage.
HOW IT HAS GROWN: Her teas have been sold in stores and cafés throughout Ohio and as far away as Taiwan and Korea.
TO YOUR HEALTH: Herbal Sage teas are designed to offer specific health benefits. Blends like Calm Your Cough and Happy Belly are “nourishing the system, not just addressing the symptoms,” she says.
HEALTHY, BUT HOW DO THEY TASTE? Wonderful. “If it doesn’t taste good, people aren’t going to drink it,” she says.
CROWD FAVORITE: “Right now it’s Tea Lady’s Cold Care, a blend and tonic for the whole family that’s rich in Vitamin C and antioxidants.” But come summertime, Organic Zesty Green Tea takes the top spot. “It’s blended with organic spearmint and has a zingy taste.”
PERSONAL FAVORITE: “That’s like trying to pick a favorite child,” she says, but admits, “I like my WomynSpirit. It was my first blend. So,” she jokes, it’s “my firstborn.”