Cindi Neiswonger has always had an affinity for tea. After working a corporate job for 22 years, she decided that a career change was necessary. "I had a 3-year-old daughter, and I wanted to spend more time with her," she explained. "So I started holding children's tea parties. I was able to play around with my own blends, and we had some co-packed to sell at the parties. When the recession hit, the tea party business literally stopped overnight."
- Courtesy of Inspired Leaf Teas
- Hand-blended teas made right here in Bend.
Realizing that tea-making was her true passion, Neiswonger launched Inspired Leaf Teas. "We worked with a local marketing company on the name and the logo, and we got off the ground 10 years ago. Since then we've continuously evolved and adapted. It's important to me that we exclusively offer whole leaf teas and use all natural ingredients, nothing artificial. If you look into the bag you'll see whole ingredients, like cardamom pods and real chocolate."
Neiswonger detailed the art of blending fresh ingredients in a way that would produce robust, honest flavors. "We try to come up with unique flavor combinations while offering the classics, like Earl Grey and English Breakfast. One popular dessert tea is our Toffee Chocolate Hazelnut, made with local toffee [from Holm Made Toffee Co.], dark chocolate, cacao nibs and black tea. Our Cardamom Vanilla tea is made with hand-ground cardamom pods, giving it a super fresh flavor."
The tea is packaged in plant-based pyramid tea bags, making it safer for consumption. "People don't realize this, but most of those cute little pyramid tea bags are made from polyester, and chemicals and toxins are released directly into the water. We ensure there's nothing in the teacup that could be harmful to our customers."