Let’s get honest…we simply can’t get enough of The Honest Leaf, a line of loose leaf wellness teas created by registered nutritionist, Shelby Kroach. Fresh (pictured below), a combination of organic green rooibos, organic ginger, organic lemon grass and lemon grass oil, is our go-to for when we’re starting to feel under the weather with its immunity boosting properties. We’ve also been reaching for Detox, a blend of milk thistle, organic peppermint, couch grass root, organic fennel seed, dandelion root, burdock root, organic lemon grass and lemon grass oil, a lot this summer to balance out the effect of, ahem, patio season. And don’t even get us started on Soothe (pictured below), a caffeine free blend of organic tulsi tea, organic turmeric, organic ginger, organic cinnamon, Canadian ginseng, organic stevia leaf and organic coconut extract, which we’ve been using the wind down at the end of the day…with our Lionel Richie mug…and our Lionel Richie album. Hello?! The Honest Leaf is definitely the tea we are looking for.
We recently had the chance to sit down with Shelby and talk The Honest Leaf, her love of tea and so much more:
Well TO Do: Please introduce yourself and your company to the Well TO Do readers.
Shelby Kroach: I’m so excited to be introduced to the Well To Do community. I am a nutritionist and owner of The Honest Leaf, a Toronto-based tea company. Our teas are organic and all natural, free of artificial flavors, preservatives and sugars. We have been around for the last 2 1/2 years and have our products in retail stores across Ontario as well as restaurants.
WTD: What were you doing before you started The Honest Leaf?
SK: Before starting The Honest Leaf I was working as a nutritionist seeing clients one on one as well as doing corporate health and wellness seminars.
WTD: When did you first have the idea for The Honest Leaf?
SK: In the winter of 2012 I decided to promote my nutrition business by creating gift baskets filled with tea. Soon after I decided I wanted to combine my love for tea and my passion for helping others with their health goals by making blends that targeted different systems in the body. After several months of development, The Honest Leaf was born.
WTD: Your company has achieved some fantastic growth since its inception! How do you get your tea blends to taste so good?
SK: A lot of taste testing! Every time I create a new blend the first person that tries it is my husband (poor guy- sometimes they aren’t so delicious in the beginning).
WTD: Could you tell us about the values that your brand stands for?
SK: The Honest Leaf is all about transparency simplicity and of course honesty. We want our customers to know exactly what they are getting with every sip.
WTD: Do you have any tips for brewing the perfect cup of tea?
SK: I always like to let my boiled water sit for about a minute before I start steeping my tea. It’s also very handy to have my temperature regulated kettle which helps to brew the perfect cup based on tea type.
WTD: There is so much talk these days about the health benefits of tea. Could you tell us a little bit about the health benefits of tea?
SK: This is definitely a topic that could go on for paragraphs. Tea leaves along with the herbs and spices we use are rich in antioxidants, offer digestive support (fennel, ginger, pu’erh tea), help to reduce inflammation (turmeric), boost energy (Yerba mate) and so much more. Herbal teas are also an excellent way to hydrate the body if you aren’t into sipping on plain old H2O.
WTD: Have you always been a tea lover? And what is your favourite tea?
SK: I remember when I was younger my favourite time of day was enjoying tea after dance classes with my mom. We would sit with a cup of earl grey (my favourite!) and chat for hours! And we still do this when we’re together :).
WTD: What’s next for The Honest Leaf?
SK: We have so many ideas for The Honest Leaf and can’t wait for what’s to come! Our goal is to have our products across Canada by the end of next summer. We also have some new products that we can’t wait to launch in the coming months!
WTD: What’s exciting you most right now about the Toronto wellness scene?
SK: I love how accessible health and wellness is in Toronto. From cafés offering healthy dessert options, restaurants offering more vegan and vegetarian menu items and all of the different fitness/health studios popping up, there’s really a big shift happening. I have to say, it’s pretty awesome to be a part of it.
For more information about The Honest Leaf, the complete line of products and to purchase, click here.