Today I'm so excited to introduce you to a brand new Ottawa business. In fact, it's so brand new that it doesn't officially launch til tomorrow! Lovely readers, meet Leaf & Petal, a new tea company launched by local entrepreneuse extraordinaire, Krista Leben.
You may already know Krista from her jewellery company (Urbanite) or from one of the many local shows she produces with her partner in life and in crime, Robin Sidhu (this duo is the brains behind Urban Craft, Wed By Hand, and more local collaborations than I can count). Full disclosure: Krista is one of my bestest buds and I love her to bits. How lucky am I to have such an impossibly talented pal? This is her. Isn't she a sweetie?
Photo courtesy of AMB Photography.
For as long as I've known her, Krista has been a major fan of tea. I still remember the first time I saw her impressive collection years ago: it filled a bookshelf taller than me yet she could describe each and every tea in detail. The country she was travelling in when she bought it, the friend who sent it to her from afar, the memories that crop up when she takes a sip.
She has such a nose for aromas and such a palette for tasting that to me it was just a matter of time til she'd begin creating her own blends. Enter Leaf & Petal!
AMYIN613: So Krista, what led you to create your own tea company?
KRISTA: Leaf & Petal grew out of my passion for tea and my love of gourmet flavours. Over the years I've collected over 150 teas from around the world and with every sip I'd fall in love. I couldn't get enough! There were so many flavours and combinations to explore. Experimenting with my own flavours felt like a natural next step.
AMYIN613: I'm insanely pumped that you're doing this! Now, I don't expect you to share all the secrets of blending, but how do you go about making your teas?
KRISTA: I create Leaf &Petal's signature blends from scratch and in small batches by combining organic tea, flowers, herbs and spices. The result is a line of fragrant and aromatic teas, each infused with a different flower, and each with its own distinct character. With signature flavours like Moroccan Spiced Rose, Midnight Garden, and Jasmine Grapefruit Green, each blend is a reflection of my love of a really good cup of tea.
And she knows from good tea. So far I've tried three of her blends and each one of them has been fragrant and distinctive. Here they are, up close and personal:
Think of a lavender spin on your favourite Earl Grey. This one's a black tea with creamy vanilla notes and a zip of lavender. It'll get you going in the morning!
Rooibos, rose, mint, cinnamon, and star anise. So fragrant and so beautiful. I'm head over heels for this one. Perfect to sip in the afternoon.
Lavender, chamomile, mint, honey, and vanilla. I'm not usually a big fan of chamomile, but this blend is incredible. It's balanced, comforting, and delicious; try a cup before bed and you'll drift right off.
So how can you get your hands on some of this tea?
Leaf & Petal is set to officially launch tomorrow at Handmade Harvest in Almonte. Handmade Harvest is one of the best maker shows in the Ottawa area and always offers up a fabulous variety, so you'll definitely want to check it out. You'll be able to meet Krista and taste these gorgeous teas for yourself, plus if you show up early enough you just might snag some samples in a Handmade Harvest swag bag! The show offers up 50 different vendors on Saturday (including Leaf & Petal) and another bunch of 50 vendors on Sunday. Here are all the deets:
But you know me, I love giveaways. And I've got another one for you! I'm giving away a Leaf & Petal tea collection featuring three of Krista's signature blends: Lavender Cream, Moroccan Rose, and Chamomile Lavender. Want to win the whole shebang? Here's what to do:
1. Like Leaf & Petal on Facebook.
2. Like Amy in 613 on Facebook.
3. Post a comment below telling me which tea intrigues you the most.
This is a one-day flash giveaway so get your entries in until 8:00pm tonight and I'll announce the winner shortly after!
All photos courtesy Leaf & Petal unless otherwise noted.
We have a winner! Congratulations to Stacey Ker, who's won a collection of Leaf & Petal's floral teas. Enjoy your prize, Stacey!