Sipping Gourmet Tea at Sweet Simpliciteas

Beth Stallings
Sweet Simpliciteas

Aisha Echols has the classic cottage-industry entrepreneur story. She stumbled upon a love for tea while working as a marketing specialist. Soon, her passion became an obsession that eventually led to a new career. She blends her sweet and herbaceous dessert-inspired teas ("Desserts are my weakness," she says. "I wanted to make my teas a fun dessert you could drink.") under the label Sweet Simpliciteas. You can buy her loose-leaf teas, like Lemon Scone, Apple Pie and Cookies and Cream, at stores around town. Or you can stop by her new Downtown shop, where Echols creates tea drinks with a choice of milk and sweeteners. Whether you're an Anglophile or just want something sweet to sip, here are a few styles and blends we recommend. 259 S. Third St., Downtown, 614-372-5970,

Echols' version of an Earl Grey layers a black tea base with vanilla, citrus and bergamot.

Drink it: Hot, with steamed milk

This is the first tea Echols created. It's a calming blend of dried berries, hibiscus and chamomile that'll soothe you during a stressful day at work without putting you to sleep.

Drink it: Hot or cold, straight up

Made with ginger root and candied, crystalized ginger pieces, this tea is a little sweet and a little umami.

Drink it: Hot, with honey

This naturally sweet tea that drinks like dessert gets a boost (and golden color) from bits of caramel.

Drink it: Iced, with steamed milk