On some evenings when Amy or Jesse Carst brewed a cup of tea, one or more of their three children used to clamor for one, too. Rather than enjoying what their parents drank, though, the kids tended to turn up their noses at the intense flavors.
“Sometimes I found excuses not to make it for them,” says Amy Carst, but she and her husband eventually realized they’d rather their kids drink tea than soda or hot chocolate. So the Warren couple began spending 10 minutes each night in their kitchen, finding blends their kids might like — a process that took more than a year. They also wove art and music into the new family tea-drinking ritual. “We wanted to incorporate all of these things to make it an interactive experience,” says Amy Carst.
The Carsts have decided to spin the fruits of those labors — “organic, caffeine-free, sugar-free, artificial sweetener-free, fair trade” teas — into the Groove Tea Project, a line of teas for kids. Since all the flavors are named for songs from collaborating musicians, a music album is forthcoming, as well. Two of the flavors — the intensely aromatic A Little Night Music, which smells like warm apple pie; and the vanilla-mint Le Boogie à Velo — launched last week. A third berry flavor, Barengeburi-Bubuland, will follow in a few weeks. All are sweetened with Stevia leaves and boast various health benefits: The rooibos in A Little Night Music aids digestion, for instance, as does the mint in Le Boogie à Velo.
The teas, with colorful labels illustrated by Vermont artist Cathy Stevens Pratt, sell for $12 per tin (with 16 tea sachets inside) on the company’s website, and Carst hopes they’ll soon be for sale in local shops. Ten percent of each sale benefits music and arts programs such as Children’s Art Village — which brings the arts to children in India and Ghana — and Little Kids Rock, which revitalizes school music programs in the U.S.
Groove Tea, Warren, 448-2789. groovetea.com