Briana Johnson wants to convert you – to tea. The certified herbalist and tea master co-owns Bahati Tea Co. in Nixa, Missouri, and she loves turning people onto tea.
“If you can change one aspect of your life, then it becomes easier to change other [aspects],” she says. “Let’s say, in the morning, you normally grab a [soda] from the fridge. What if that was a cup of warm tea instead? That one little thing can spiral into a lot of different things because now you have more energy throughout the day.”
According to Johnson, the caffeine in tea impacts the nervous system differently than the caffeine in soda or coffee: It releases more slowly, preventing jitters or a caffeine crash. However, she also believes in tea’s medicinal qualities – many of her blends serve a distinct health purpose.
The Eat-Then-Sip blend, for example, features ginger root and peppermint leaf, both of which aid digestion. The tea’s flavor and nutritive value are enhanced with dandelion root, elderflower, fennel and licorice root, resulting in a smooth herbal tea with a golden yellow hue.
Bahati Tea Co. sources its ingredients from a kosher-certified company based in California. “[The ingredients are] fresh, they’re flavorful, they’re robust, and I think that says a lot about the quality of our tea,” says Johnson.
Once the ingredients arrive, Johnson gets to work weighing and blending deep-burgundy dried hibiscus, delicate whole chamomile flowers and fragrant lemongrass stalks. When sampling the blends, she takes a similar approach to a wine sommelier’s, noting undertones and acidity levels.
Although the teas at Bahati Tea Co. are first-class, the prices are affordable. “We’re trying to get fabulous gourmet loose-leaf teas to the masses,” says Johnson. “It shouldn’t be something that only the elite can drink. It should be something that everyone has the right to have. I want to keep our costs as low as possible.”
Currently, Bahati Tea Co. offers a dozen tea blends to customers and wholesale clients, but Johnson loves creating custom blends upon request. Order online or pick up the loose-leaf tea at Springfield establishments, including Jamaican Patty Co., Mama Jean’s Natural Market and Well N Good Health Market.
Bahati Tea Co., bahatiteacompany.com