By Calie Brummer
Founded on partnerships with local farmers and proprietors, Asheville Tea Company offers unique tea blends that combine locally sourced organic herbs with fresh botanicals and small batch artisanal offerings. Asheville Tea Company has a blend for every preference and any time of day, with flavors ranging from a seasonal blend with hints of cinnamon and vanilla bean to an aromatic green tea with lime basil, rosemary, lime peel and juniper.
“We focus on sourcing as many herbs and botanicals from Western North Carolina as we possibly can,” says Jessie Dean, owner of Asheville Tea Company. “In fact, most of our blends have been developed based on what local farmers are growing and what we can sustainably source in our area. We love that the result is a selection of unique and fresh teas that highlight our area’s local flavor.”
Dean launched Asheville Tea Company in 2016, with a passion for offering delicious and healthy tea blends while supporting the region’s farms and businesses through locally based partnerships. She selects almost all of the herbs and botanicals from nearby farms for a truly homegrown experience.
Asheville Tea Company regularly partners with Ivory Road Café and Kitchen for afternoon tea services where guests can enjoy bottomless tea cups, warm scones, shortbread cookies, jams, traditional finger sandwiches and petit-four style desserts. Ivory Road Café offers rotating seasonal blends as well as favorites like Echinacea Elderflower, Wild Earl Grey, Chamomile Lavender and the G&T green tea.
“We love collaborating with Asheville Tea Company for our afternoon tea service,” says Jill Wasilewski, owner of Ivory Road Café and Kitchen. “The events naturally attract tea lovers or groups looking for a fun experience that’s a bit out of the ordinary.” On Sunday afternoons once a month, Ivory Road hosts a unique tea tasting with live classical guitar, a flight of Asheville Tea Company teas and a brief tea talk hosted by Dean. The talks shed light on Dean’s inspiration for creating new blends and inform guests about the health benefits behind the teas.
“No two events are ever the same,” says Wasilewski. “We are starting to bring new themes to our afternoon teas. Our first Mad Hatter-themed tea was an absolute blast. Guests arrive as customers and leave as friends.”
Beyond their unique seasonal rotations, Asheville Tea Company offers classic green and black teas, Mountain Mint and Echinacea flavors, as well as tea from Yaupon holly, North America’s only native tea plant. To celebrate one year in business, Dean crafted two seasonal blends in late 2017 that incorporated wintergreen, birch bark and locally grown shagbark hickory nuts.
Fresh botanicals sourced from farms across the region include ingredients from Pangaea Plants in Lake Lure and Rayburn Farm in Barnardsville. “Supporting our nearby farms and businesses not only gives us great tea, but also allows us to care for the environment and our area’s local commerce,” says Dean. “And it allows us to be creative! The most enjoyable part of this business is collaborating with other small business owners and farmers to develop craft blends that are new and different.”
Asheville Tea Company’s blends are available at select local retailers and can be purchased online at ashevilleteacompany.com. For more information about afternoon tea at Ivory Road Café and Kitchen, visit ivoryroadavl.com.