Southwest Tea Co. began selling tea this spring after owner Dana Thompson decided it was time to share her high-quality blends with those beyond friends and family.
Her loose leaf tea is locally sourced and organic. Thompson grows chamomile, tulsi, lemon balm, mint and other ingredients for her tea at her farm in Mancos. Almost all other ingredients are sourced from farms nearby. Ingredients that can’t be sourced locally are bought from small organic farms elsewhere.
Thompson started Southwest Tea Co. because she saw a need for loose leaf tea in Durango markets. In loose leaf blends, consumers can see the ingredients and avoid harmful substances like plastic, for instance, that could come with the tea bag itself, she said.
Thompson has lived in Southwest Colorado for 15 years. She has worked in restaurant and farming industries and has “been in the world of local, organic food for a long time.” She is also a functional nutritionist and lactation consultant.
“Really focusing on holistic health is my passion,” she said.
Thompson has 12 blends available at Southwest Tea Co.’s booth at the Durango Farmers Market. The “Oh Be Joyful” blend is made with local lemon balm, hawthorn berries, hibiscus and mint and is one of Thompson’s favorites. She named it after its ability to “lift the spirits and bring more joy.”
The “Super C” blend will also be available Saturday. Thompson made the blend for her son. It has milky oat tops, cinnamon, elderberry and hibiscus and is supposed to function as a healthy sports drink.
Most of the available blends are non-caffeinated, but Thompson will be selling chai tea.
“I’ve spent a lot of time traveling around India and drinking a lot of chai, so I’m pretty particular about my chai and I’m proud of this one,” she said.
Southwest Tea Co. will be at the Durango Farmers Market all season. Thompson also plans to begin selling her tea online this month and she eventually wants to sell her product in local stores.
Southwest Tea Co.’s slogan is, “Loose leaf blends to nourish your soul,” and Thompson’s goal is to serve the community with high-quality tea and promote overall health and well-being, she said.