Wasatch Tea Company offers custom blends
Ryan Summerlin July 11, 2014
Twelve years ago, Marcie Gorsch had a nearly two-year-old son and expecting a baby girl. She said she needed all the calming she could get. Despite a bad experience with her mother’s "Russian tea" concoction growing up, a mix of instant tea, Tang and cloves, she decided to try drinking loose-leaf teas. She has been a fan ever since.
When Gorsch and her family moved to Park City from Iowa three years ago, she practiced massage therapy at Canyons Resort and Montage Deer Valley. Gorsch said she needed a change and decided to do something with her love of tea.
After taking International Tea Masters Association courses in master blending and tasting, she opened the Wasatch Tea Company shop on Snow Creek Drive in December 2013. The warm teal and brown walls invite customers to walk in, sit at the wooden, dark brown tables with white leather cushioned bench seats and enjoy one of many custom blends Gorsch has created using tea leaves from places like India, Sri Lanka and Japan.
"You start with an idea, a concept, of what flavor profile you want and then figure out what you want to put in it and balance it," she said. "When I went through the master blending course, we talked about the energetics of tea and how all ingredients have their own energy levels. So you have to balance that when you’re blending."
For example, her Indulgence blend is a pu-erh blend with cacao nips and wild snow chrysanthemums. While most of her teas are full-leaf blends, she said she crushes the cacao nips in her Indulgence blend so the flavor will disperse more efficiently.
The high C tisane, on the other hand, mixes hibiscus, rose hips, elderberry, lemongrass, cinnamon and ginger. It is not a loose-leaf tea but rather an herbal drink. Gorsch said she tries to keep her inventory 95 percent organic. "My pu-erh blends throw off my balance, because they are fermented," she said.
That includes the iced and hot coffee served in the shop, as well. Gorsch said she cold-brews the coffee by steeping it for 12 to 16 hours to make a concentrate. From that, she makes either hot or cold coffee.
The simple syrups, which take the place of sugar, are also organic. There are five different flavors offered in the shop to stir into tea or coffee: cinnamon, lavender, chamomile, citrus and vanilla bean.
Gorsch also does all of her own baking. She serves matcha macaroons, scones, baked donut holes and several other pastries. To minimize waste, pastries eaten in the shop are served on glass plates. The teas and coffees to go are served in recyclable containers and straws.
"I want to start offering classes, like a ‘Tea 101’ course where I can teach people the basics on how to brew their tea," she said. "Most people don’t know this, but your temperature and time varies depending on the kind of tea you’re brewing."
Gorsch sells brewing equipment in the store, from tea pots to electric tea kettles to single-serve brewing cups. The tea pots heat up on the stove while the electric kettle simply warms the water up to the temperatures different brews need with just the push of a button. However, Gorsch’s favorite item is the brewing cup, a double-walled glass cup with a screen to push down when the tea is ready to drink.
She just returned from a trip to several tea leaf farms in Hawaii and brought some back to experiment with. Once she has tried the blends herself, Gorsch said she wants to add a class on Hawaiian teas to the schedule. She hopes to begin offering the classes in September.
Until then, Gorsch will continue mastering the craft of tea blending and learning everything she can about her favorite drink.
"I just thought, if I’m going to start a business, I should know everything there is to know about what I’m making or selling," she said. "I love tea, and being able to offer the tea that I make to this town is a lot of fun."
Wasatch Tea Company:
- 1400 Snow Creek Dr., Suite L
- 435-615-TEAS (8327)
- Monday Saturday: 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.
- Closed Sunday