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Feature Stories

A New Leaf: Pour A Cup Of Serenity

Kimberly Orlic is on a mission to turn this coffee-drinking populace into tea drinkers, one cup at a time, at A New Leaf, her teashop in Garden City. The shop has been open for less than a year, but the idea started 15 years ago when Orlic was a business student at Hofstra University. She needed to create a business plan and decided on a teashop based on the many places she and her family had enjoyed in their travels through Europe and Croatia, her husband’s homeland.

“Tea brings people together,” she says. “They sit down and engage in conversation.” It gives her pleasure when people make the switch, or at least bring tea drinking into their lives. To help with the transition, she sells a blend called Awaken which combines green tea, oolong tea, coconut, white chocolate and coffee beans. People tend to want an added flavor, she says, and the Awaken blend fools the senses.

The shop is spare and clean — no frou-frou and ruffles here. Walls are painted in a soothing light sage green; there are waterfront paintings of Croatia done by her brother-in-law, a light wood floor, two comfortable easy chairs, a few tables and chairs, and pleasant, non-obtrusive music.

A New Leaf carries 60 teas (17 of which are herbal), sold by weight, and Orlic is happy to brew any of them to drink in the shop. Scones and biscotti from Riesterer’s Bakery are also available for purchase. The most popular tea, says Oric, is Earl Grey de la Crème, and the most popular tisane (a non-caffeinated blend of herbs, spices and other plants) is Serenity, combining anise, hops and chamomile. One customer said she had stopped taking Ambien after drinking Serenity. The shop also sells teapots and other tea paraphernalia.

Oric has jumped right into the Garden City community, helping with community endeavors such as donating 350 tea bags — prepared in the shop — for the high school’s annual tea for senior citizens. Although this is not a restaurant, she plans occasional gatherings such as tea tastings.

As much as she loves tea, Orlic has not abandoned coffee, which she drinks in the morning. The rest of the day it is tea. Her current favorites are a smoky lapsang souchong and hojicha, a roasted green Japanese tea. Try it straight, she suggests, “and enjoy the purity of a perfect cup of tea.”

A New Leaf is at 152 Seventh St. in Garden City. The phone number is 516-506-7575, and the website is www.anewleafteaco.com