By Caroline McCauley

Special to The Denisonian

This year, Commit Grounds in Slayter Student Union is now serving tea. Apart from that white chocolate mocha and that jumbo chocolate chip cookie, you can order hot tea. And the new selection of teas at Commit Grounds is not your average Lipton.

The teas are from local provider Petali Teas. This artisan company specializes in loose-leaf teas that are a natural blend of fruits, barks, leaves, roots, sugars, candies, flower petals, nuts, chocolate and other flavorful ingredients. Granville is fortunate enough to house one of the two quaint teashops that Petali Teas has in Ohio.

The owner of Petali Teas, Joy Wujek, has had a passion for tea since she was a child. Wujek is very involved in the creation process of Petali Teas. Her interest in the crafting of teas began in the woods of Michigan outside her childhood home.  As an intelligent and curious child, she would spend hours in these woods gathering and drying leaves, barks and roots and turning these woodland plants into delicious herbal teas or natural dyes. Under the tutelage of her grandmother, who was an artist and wildflower photographer, Wujek went on various wildlife excursions and began to pave a career using nature as her muse.

Wujek is now helping people, including college students, live a healthier and happier lifestyle with her tasty, specialized teas. The Petali Teas that Commit Grounds offers are specifically catered to the desires and needs of Denison students.

Take, for example, the college blend, a black tea blend that is invigorating as well as energizing. Equally motivating, is the blood orange. This tea has the strength of coffee yet the health benefits of tea. Not only will this tea help with those late nights, it will strengthen your immune system. Along with keeping you healthy, this tea, with the euphoria of chocolate and with undercurrents of apple and orange flavorings, will satisfy your taste buds. The cranberry blend is also a rich, luxurious blend that will curb that sweet tooth. It is a black tea made with sour cranberries and apples with an earthy infusion of rose hips and hibiscus. Cupid’s blend is another tea that is sweet with hints of rose hips, but this rooibos tea also has the calming and mentally stimulating tastes of peppermint and spearmint. Another great choice for maximum focus is the traditional green tea of Morocco called Moroccan Mint. Lastly, if your looking for some sugar and spice and want the caffeine level of coffee, choose the roasted, almond chai rooibos. This tea is a glorious mix of ginger, cinnamon, star anise, licorice, apples, almonds, cloves, fennel, anise seed and cardamom.

Though it seems impossible that Ms. Wujek could invent more colorful and brilliant blends, there is always something new. Just last week, I discovered the delicious hazelnut pear blend. This green tea is sweetened with vanilla, cinnamon, roc sugar, hazelnuts, and apples.

Throughout the school year, Commit Grounds will be receiving new Petali Tea blends that will keep Denison students healthy, happy and craving more!