Local tea business lays its roots in Star PrairieAfter restoring his Cedar Lake property to a space of native vegetation, Nolen Chew became curious about his new plants.
By: By Jackie Grumish, New Richmond News
After restoring his Cedar Lake property to a space of native vegetation, Nolen Chew became curious about his new plants.
After extensive research, Chew began mixing some of his locally grown fruits and herbs with green tea.
What started as a fun experiment has exploded into a business with 35 different teas.
From black, green, white and red teas to herbal and gourmet teas, Cedar Lake Reflections Teas has something for everyone.
“We’re also excited about our upcoming line of wellness teas,” Chew said. Those teas can be used as remedies for stomach aches, colds and the flu.
“We’re really encouraged by the potential,” he said.
After perfecting a few blends, Chew started selling his tea from This Old Store, 301 N. Main, in Star Prairie.
“It was really popular during Ox Cart Days,” he said. “We just couldn’t keep up.”
Chew’s tea was also sold during the New Richmond Park Art Fair.
“We’re in the process of getting it into the co-ops too,” he said. “They like local stuff.”
It was through community input that the tea business’ 35 labels were created.
The teas became so popular that Chew moved his business into the annex building of This Old Store and hired three people - Liz Roberts, Antje Utgaard and Ali Utgaard - in June. Roberts is Chew’s manager and the Utgaard sisters are responsible for packaging and labeling the teas.
“Tea is drunk more in the world than all other beverages combined,” Chew said. “In this country iced tea is the most popular but that’s starting to change.”
All of Cedar Lake Reflections Teas’ teas feature fair trade tea and are totally organic, with no extracts.
“We don’t cut corners,” Chew said. “A lot of the time when things are mass produced they’ll use extracts. We don’t use any extracts. We know exactly what’s in every tea bag,” Chew said.
Teas are used in almost every culture and can be traced as far back as the 10th Century.
— In England, afternoon tea is an upper class social event.
— In Arab culture, tea is a focal point of social gatherings.
— In Persian culture, tea is generally the first thing offered to houseguests.
— Chinese and Japanese cultures both feature many tea ceremonies.
— In India and Pakistan, tea is consumed daily in almost all homes.
For Cedar Lakes Reflections Teas, one of the reasons it’s so popular is because of the local flavors.
“We grow, harvest and blend many of our own local herbs into our teas, such as mints, balms and blue violets,” Chew said.
He said it’s rewarding to grow the herbs, rinse them, dry them and put them in the tea.
“We really take pride in what we do,” Chew said.
For more information or to view and purchase any of the 35 Cedar Lake Reflections Teas, visit www.cedarlakere flections.com.