Tea Maker: Laura Cepeda

 "It is my hope that we would connect and build community, and that we will come to appreciate Teatime as a celebratory ritual appropriate for every day of the week..

Laura Cepeda, Harlem resident and "ParTea" Queen, was exposed to the art of tea through her grandmother, Modestine, who taught Laura all about the art of tea and its associated rituals. 

What do you do? I create organic wellness tea blends.  As a Certified Tea Sommelier, I also provide wellness workshops geared towards helping individuals understand the foundation in the history, production, classification and health benefits of tea.

Why do you do what you do?  I would like to see our communities and society, as a whole, come back to our true nature, which is Connection.  Sharing a cup of tea with others helps to bridge the gap created through breakdown and disconnection within society.  

Ok. Earth, Wind and Fire vs. The Isley Brothers.  Who wins? Hands down, The Isley Brothers

What other creative outlets do you enjoy exploring and why? I love interior decorating.  When I was growing up, I saw how the craft transformed my mom’s energy.  There was an unexplained joy and contentment she exuded, while decorating our home.  

What inspired you to start your craft?  I was inspired by the loving community my grandmother , Modestine, built, through the art of tea.  Teatime meant healing, it commanded circles of women, coming together to celebrate themselves, their truth and each other.  

What do you want people to feel when they taste your teas? When people drink my teas, I want them to feel connected, nurtured and grounded.  I want them to experience the sense of peace that the beverage offers.

Do you have tea drinker pet peeve?  I do.  Someone drinking tea from a mug that has a handle on it but don’t use the handle.

What advice changed your life?  Do not take anything personally 

What’s the best Harlem spot for food?  Harlem is littered with delicious food establishments, so it’s very difficult to choose just one.  

What’s the one thing you can’t live without? Honestly, my cell phone.

What skill do you have that feels like your greatest superpower?  My coaching skills feel like my super power.  I’ve been able to help individuals move through pain and find themselves, again, through this level of communication.

When you feel creatively stuck or unmotivated, how do you get yourself out of this energy?  An escape to St.Nicholas or Central park.  Something about being among trees allows me to feel centered and helps me move through stuck energy.

What streaming/TV series are your binge watching now? Bridgerton, it’s the period costumes and dainty tea wares, for me.

Check Out Modestine Tea's Collection Here