STRATFORD, Conn. — Kasia Lindeberg has a passion for tea.
But the Polish-born Fairfield resident didn’t know what to do with it until she was advising a customer on herbal remedies at Nature’s Way Health Foods of Stratford, where she’d worked for 19 years.
Seeing Lindeberg’s excitement and energy, the customer, Margi Montanero, suggested she open a tea shop.
“I didn’t even realize I had the dream in me because it was small, but she said, ‘Why not, honey?’” said Lindeberg with a big grin.
Thus was born Open Door Tea, which will open its doors on Paradise Green on Tuesday, Sept. 6.
Lindeberg said she’s still floored that her dream of creating a space where people can meet over a cup of steaming brew is a reality. She credits many friends and members of Covenant Church of Easton with helping her develop the business.
“All of a sudden all the doors started to open,” she said.
Open Door Tea will specialize in a wide variety of green, black and herbal teas, including Calypso Green, Masala Chai, Spearmint Leaf and Throat Therapy. The shop will not adhere to a single tradition, such as Japanese tea ceremony or English high tea, instead focusing on bringing people together.
Each pot of tea will be served with a tiny hourglass offering the perfect brewing time for that variety, from three minutes for green tea to seven or more for herbal selections.
In addition, Lindeberg will offer a range of salads, sandwiches and sweet and savory quiches and pastries made by her cousin Tammy Galt. She’s hoping her customers will be intrigued by cardamom-spiced delicacies and specialty scones not available at chain doughnut and coffee shops.
Montenero, a photographer, has jumped on board and will coordinate frequent, small art exhibitions along the shop’s north wall, including Meet the Artist nights, Lindeberg said. The opposite wall features a mural of scenes from Lindeberg’s childhood home, the 12th-century village of Kazinierz, Poland.
“I was married in that church,” she said, pointing to one of the buildings.
Lindeberg, who holds a master’s degree in nutrition, will invite local nutritionists and chefs to monthly herbal meetings, offering her clients tips on using teas and different herbs in recipes and medicinal remedies. She will also sell loose tea for home use.
“This is a beautiful drink,” she said of tea. “It has so many flavors and it can be very healing.”
Open Door Tea, 3552 Main St,, will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays beginning Sept. 6.
For more information, visit opendoortea.com .