Liat is the founder of Tamim Teas, the nation’s first herbal tea company exclusively dedicated to the benefits of medicinal mushrooms. She'll be one of our vendors at the Herbstalk Marketplace
offering her array of wonderful mushroom-based tea blends.
I was just the average tea drinker - until I first heard about mushroom teas. My good friend contracted HIV and told me about how his herbalist recommended him to integrate medicinal mushrooms into his diet as a means to keep his immune system strong. It wasn’t long after that I, too, started making mushroom teas at home and learning more about all their amazing health benefits and long-time use in traditional medicine.
I found that the taste of some of these medicinal mushrooms was not as satisfying as my other herbal teas, though. Simply put, drinking these teas was more about reaping health benefits than actual enjoyment.
That’s when I had an epiphany, my spiritual ‘aha’ moment!
I realized that if I carefully paired each medicinal mushroom with herbs and spices, I could not only add to the health properties but also make delicious herbal tea blends that I’d actually looked forward to drinking at any point of the day. I began by first making these herbal tea blends for friends and family, and slowly it become something that both health enthusiasts and tea lovers in my community were asking me for.
That’s when I formed Tamim Teas and exclusively dedicated each one of my herbal tea blends to the benefits of organic mushrooms.
Did you come across any stumbling blocks or challenges along the way?
I believe that sourcing medicinal mushrooms from organic local farms ensures the best flavor and functionality. That being said, traveling to farms and getting to know my farmer is no easy feat. It takes time! Of course, it would be a lot easier to simply order mushroom powders or extracts online. But it’s disturbing to discover that most of what is being offered on the internet is from unknown sources, and in the same way that I wouldn't want to consume other foods from questionable sources, I would never want a mushroom tea without knowing that the actual mushroom came from a trustworthy New England family farmer.
The second challenge is always a fun one – talking with people who have never heard of mushroom tea. Many people jokingly (or not jokingly) ask if it’s a psychedelic tea, not knowing about other types of mushroom tea that have long traditions of therapeutic use in eastern cultures. Others assume that all mushrooms have the same savory taste as the ones they eat and don’t realize that some - like chaga and reishi - are actually inedible, taste completely different than culinary mushrooms, and have been exclusively brewed as a tea for generations. It brings me no greater joy than to have people first learn about medicinal mushrooms through their sips of Tamim.
I love dancing. I can’t go too long without closing my eyes and letting music transport me to another dimension. If going out to dance is not an option, I simply plug in my earphones and convert my living room into a silent disco. I'm a firm believer that 'to boogie is a life blessing'.
What has been your main focus as of recent?
Handcrafting a new blend! I love learning and working with new herbs, and when I found out that holy basil/tulsi was the herb of the year at Herbstalk, I knew I wanted to dedicate a blend to it!
I have to admit, it took time and patience to create this newest blend. In fact, I concocted different tulsi-based blends almost daily for nearly two months, even when traveling abroad to visit family on Curacao. I finally nailed the perfectly balanced blend with nourishing tulsi, refreshing ginger, and both revitalizing lion's mane and maitake mushrooms.
I am so excited to share this blend and release it to the public for the first time at this year's Herbstalk!