Noushin Ebrani drinks a cup of green tea a day. But for Ebrani, founder of Heavenly Tea Leaves, tea is more than a daily ritual. She’s used it to break down cultural barriers and regain a happy and healthy lifestyle after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003.
During her battle with cancer, Ebrani, a longtime tea enthusiast, got more immersed in the movement. She was introduced to the aromas, flavors and tastes of the tea industry and remembers trying dozens of blends, picking up interesting flavors from the grocery store and finding hidden teashops to visit on family vacations. She began to dream about starting her own business but cultural norms made it seem like more of a reach at first.
“I remember telling my husband ‘I would really love to open a tea business.’ He would tell me, ‘Why don’t you do it, try it?’ We’re Iranian Jewish so by nature women don’t typically work, they’re homemakers, but I think it’s so important to send this message to women that we can really do a lot with our time.”
Message sent. Ebrani’s company, Heavenly Tea Leaves was born in 2006.
“It’s been a long road. We personally taste every blend to make sure that it’s fresh and the flavor is not dead. We’ve developed a variety of samples that give our customers the ability to try different products without going broke.”
Since opening, the company has grown to offer more than 150 varieties of in-house teas and gourmet blends with a vibrant selection of leaves and herbal brews. Ebrani is most proud of the company’s samplers, especially the bestselling nine-flavor variety pack.
“I like my customers to get to know their own palate because I think that’s important and the samples give you the ability to try a variety. I definitely have my own favorites, but I still like to sample at least a couple of days a week to refresh my palate and confirm what I really like.”
For Ebrani, her favorites are some of the green tea blends with more mild flavors, like Genmaicha.
The abundance of antioxidants that organic teas offer allow for relaxation and calming. Although Ebrani described her tea as “a great addition to a very healthy lifestyle,” she said she “doesn’t want to mislead anyone into thinking that tea is the magic solution” to any health problems.
Ebrani found tea extremely helpful and healing during her battle with breast cancer, but “it was one factor,” of her treatment. Instead of looking for magic solutions, Ebrani says she hopes her teas will foster healthy lifestyles and bring people together in moments of happiness.