With Thanksgiving weeks away, it’s time to huddle some place warm and thankfully, I’ve discovered Atlanta’s Cozee Tea. The first time I walked into the Decatur shop, I felt like I’d stepped into a safe haven full of calm and balanced energy; the perfect space for a writer seeking refuge from outside nuances. Owner, Leigh Canada has created an environment that is more than a tearoom and workspace, it is noticeably therapeutic. Besides her hospitable and personable demeanor, Canada is a knowledgeable mistress of tea and is ever mindful of each customer’s particular likes and needs. Her desire, she says, is to “turn people into real tea drinkers” and that is exactly what she’s doing, one cup at a time.
Parlour had the chance to sit down with Canada over a freshly brewed cup of my favorite custom blend, Her Majestea’s Blueberry Lemongrass. The combination is a mixture of blueberry, green and lemongrass herbal teas which she made and named special just for me, now that’s one sure way to start a conversation.
Parlour: How did you get started in the tea business?
Leigh Canada: I grew up on teas, I have a lot of allergies to medications so my grandfather made me drinks using roots from the backyard. I just always liked drinking tea instead of taking medicine. After I left the corporate world, I wanted to do and share something I was passionate about. I’m very aware of what tea can do, I’m a living witness.
What makes Cozee tea different?
We give back by showing people what tea has to offer instead of just selling our drinks. It’s not just a business, we love this space. There’s an energy here that makes people feel good and welcome. You can order your tea, have a seat, enjoy a conversation or work and we’ll take care of you like you’re in a restaurant. By the time you leave Cozee, you feel refreshed.
What do you recommend to non-tea drinkers who are looking to make a switch from caffeine?
First I ask them questions, like ‘How are you feeling today?’ and ‘What flavors and scents do you like?’ These answers help me to narrow down their tastes. For coffee drinkers, I’d offer up a café latte without the cream [or milk], it’s tea with actual coffee beans in it, or I’d offer up a chai. Those two are the boldest teas in the black tea realm, the stronger the black tea the better because it’s got more caffeine.
What are the benefits of drinking tea versus coffee?
When drinking green tea, particularly, you’ll notice changes in your skin, your energy will be less jittery and you’ll have internal clarity, allowing you to focus better. Also, green tea cleanses and gets rid of impurities without dehydrating you like coffee. One of the benefits of drinking tea for people who may not like drinking water is that when you drink green tea, it’s still water, just flavored with more health benefits. White tea is another option that tastes so mild that it just adds a hint of flavor.
Leigh’s four rules of thumb for brewing tea
- Water temperature is very important when steeping tea. You don’t want the tea to taste bitter, keep it hot.
- When you’re at home never reuse boiled water. Reusing takes away from the purity of the water and taste of the tea.
- No white sugar, ever. Pure raw sugar is best and allows the natural flavor of the tea to come through.
- Though honey has its own healing properties, it tends to change the taste of tea because of its own flavor characteristics. However, when you combine it with certain teas, like ginger, it will help aid its healing properties.
Check out Cozee Tea’s calendar of events for more information on their tea parties, high tea and community gatherings, including the Tea Pairings classes, Tea Therapy sessions, the Inside Writer’s Muse writing circle plus local musical guests.
225 East Ponce De Leon Ave Suite 130
Decatur, Ga. 30030
Phone number: 404-373-2110
*10% discount with student ID card.
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