Columbus Woman Wants To Take Her Teas Across Columbus, Then The Globe

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In the place called the “Food Fort” local business owners build their eat and drink brands.

There, you will find a woman who hopes that good fortune is in the tea leaves, literally.

Aisha Echols admits that some people may call her the Tea Lady behind her back, but she doesn’t mind.

After her first child arrived five years ago, Echols was drinking flavored coffees and decided that the really wanted was to mix it up with tea.

“I started experimenting apple pie, all different kinds of teas and here we are – voila, a business,” said Echols.

She named it Sweet Simpliciteas.

On the packaging, you can see desserts, like lemon scones and caramel cake. They have been some of her biggest flavor inspirations.

Echols uses trial-and-error to find perfect blends that use no artificial flavors.

“I'll come up with an idea and have to figure out what flower, herb, what spice I can use to create that flavor,” she said.

She says it’s not easy but fun. She talks about tea like some people can chat about fine wine, discussion taste and layers.

The Black Pepper is her personal favorite.

“That's part of the spiciness in the chai. I like to feel my chai,” she said. “I made the perfect chai blend and made it better by adding chocolate to it.”

She has fans, including the owner of the Angry Baker in Olde Town East.

“In fact, now I drink more tea than coffee. It's her tea. It's her tea. It's really good,” said Vicki Hink.

Echols sells it by the cup. That’s part of the big picture plan that she has been dreaming up with the resource help from the Women’s Business Center.

“I want to be in coffee shops, restaurants, cafes, around the country, around the world,” she said.

And all the people that support her can drink to that.

Aisha Echols was a finalist in the 2013 Kick-Start Columbus Project, part of the Economic and Community Development Institute.

If she wins, she’ll get free store space for a year.