Blooming with Joy Tea owner Michelle Pohl has something to celebrate: five years of creating tasty loose-leaf teas in O’Fallon, Missouri, that radiate positivity.

“I was a speaker and writer encouraging women to find joy in difficult times,” says Pohl. “In my signature talk I would give out practical tips on how to destress in stressful moments and one of them was always tea. Tea just kind of became what I pushed as far as promoting health and wellness and mental clarity. I got an education and learned more about tea and then went in that direction but kept the name.”

Now, through Blooming with Joy Tea, she offers more than 60 loose-leaf tea blends including black, green, white, herbal an even cold-brew iced teas.

“About 60 percent of my blends come from listening to what my customers want and taking care of them and taking the time to really listen to their story,” says Pohl. “So I take that and jot things down and wait for inspiration.”

Fan favorites include Hot Sassy Cinnamon – a black Chai Pohl says tastes like Red Hots or Big Red gum – Sweet Peaches and Berry Blast cold-brews, Mint Chocolate Chip (a green tea, naturally) and Vanilla Bean Chai (rooibos). “I love when people buy that one because I can teach them how to make a really quick chai latte or iced tea latte,” says Pohl.

And those intimidated by loose-leaf tea should also rest assured that there isn’t a steep learning curve. “People think, ‘Oh loose tea, that’s so hard,’ but if you can make a pot of coffee, you can make a cup of tea,” says Pohl. “It’s not really that much harder.”

With that in mind, Blooming with Joy Tea also sells disposable biodegradable tea filters as well as reusable stainless steel infusers.

“You put your tea in either one of those – it’s an either/or system – put it in your cup, add your water and then let it steep,” she says. “You can get water from a tea kettle on the stove. You can get your water from a beautiful tea pot, but we are an American tea brand. We are one cup at a time, push the button and go. So I often tell my customers, ‘Stick your cup of tea with the infuser under your Keurig, make sure there is no coffee pod, then it’s at the perfect temperature in most cases.”

Blooming with Joy Tea teas are available online, as well as through the Elderberry Place in O’Fallon and approximately 30 other stores. Pohl also offers subscription boxes – the latest, the aptly named New Blend Box, always includes her newest tea blend.

“Our reviews are pretty good on it,” she says. “Everyone says it feels like Christmas when the box arrives, and they always love what they are getting. We always put a lot of extra time and care into our products so when you order from us online it doesn’t just show up in some envelope. It shows up wrapped in tissue paper with a note and a sample and a little piece of candy and a nice sticker so you feel like you've ordered a gift for yourself. That really comes through in our subscription box, and our customers feel like they can send themselves a beautiful, really affordable gift every single month.” 

Blooming with Joy Tea, bloomingwithjoy.com