Woodbury’s Joy Sorich Shares Her Passion for All Things Tea

Joy Sorich made it her mission to offer tea that's healthy, from leaf to cup.

For Joy Sorich, Woodbury resident and the owner of online tea business Cup of Joy, each day begins and ends with a cup of tea. “It's one of the ways I feed my soul and honor my body,” Sorich says.

Sorich began offering premium organic loose leaf tea and tisanes (herbal infusions) on Etsy at the start of this year. She carefully selects teas and botanicals from small organic and biodynamic farms. If a farm is not able to certify organic by U.S. standards, she tests it herself to make sure it’s free of heavy metals including cadmium, lead and mercury.

“As a breast cancer survivor, I find it particularly important to make sure tea is free from pesticides and heavy metals that bioaccumulate in our cells and suppress our immune systems,” Sorich says. She started Cup of Joy for that reason: “To provide delicious, clean and preferably organic tea to all people.”

Her background is based in food science, nutrition and culinary arts. Tea culture has always been a part of her life. “Tea has similar complexities to wine, so I love nothing more than talking about tea and its particular health benefits, where that particular tea comes from and its flavor profile,” she says.

After spending the last couple of years researching, Sorich sources her tea and rooibos from China, Taiwan, India, Africa and Japan. The United States is the country of origin for her botanicals, but she tries to get them locally, if possible. She says it’s essential to know information about where the tea and herbs are grown and corresponding farming practices.

“As with wine, the nuances of beautiful tea come from the soil, altitude, rainfall and temperatures,” she says. The 38 traditional and flavored teas she offers will soon be available on her own website and are available in-store at The Golden Fig on Grand Avenue in Saint Paul. With each online order, customers also receive a free tea sample.

“Since my husband's job requires occasional moving, I wanted to have a business that I love, could call my own and could take anywhere I go,” Sorich says. “For that reason, it will continue to be online.”

She has many favorite teas depending on her mood, but two notables for the end of the day include the lightly caffeinated white tea rose mint melange or the caffeine-free chamomile citrus mint. She goes for an orthodox green dragon well (longjing) or an oolong like Baozhong when she wants to get her immune system going or feel well-balanced. “If I wake up needing a kick in the pants, I go straight to an orthodox caffeinated black like Assam, English breakfast or Yunnan gold,” she says.

Sorich teaches culinary classes in Woodbury. She also offers tea tastings and “tea-torials” to organizations and for private events. Her website includes recipes, tea and food pairings, nutrition and health facts about tea and tisanes, and information about tea history.