BY JANA WILSON
In the spring, local artist and business owner Patricia Coleman likes to sit down with a cup of her Sagewell tea blend, a combination of Gingko biloba, yerba maté, red clover, elderberry, and (of course) sage. “We all want to enter this awakening time ready to embrace new beginnings,” Coleman, says.
Or, there is the one she named Delicious, which has among its many ingredients nettles, red raspberry leaves, alfalfa, and thyme. “Delicious tea promotes joy and beginnings,” Coleman, 63, explains.
These teas are among 35 blends that Coleman offers through her business, Quilter’s Comfort. She doesn’t offer all the teas at once, as many of the locally sourced ingredients are seasonal.
Coleman is a self-taught tea maker who is not afraid to experiment. “I don’t wait around for someone to make something I want,” Coleman says. “And, I think it’s okay to make mistakes.”
Coleman grew up in Washington, D.C., but became interested in gardening while attending college in Arizona. She moved to Bloomington in the mid-80s to be closer to her East Coast family, and continued to improve on her gardening knowledge and experience.
As her garden grew, Coleman began drying many of her homegrown herbs and spices. So began a love affair with creating tea mixtures. It seems to run in the family—Coleman’s two daughters, now adults, had each created their own tea blend before they were 6 years old.
Beyond teas, Quilter’s Comfort offers organic spice seasoning mixtures with names ranging from the traditional, like curry and garam masala, to the adventurous, like Burger Bliss and Everything Plus Popcorn. Coleman also makes hand-crafted mustards, as well as jellies from beer, wine, and herbs.
You can find Coleman’s teas at Flowing Colors Studio, 112 N. Walnut, Suite 600, where she is a working artist. They are also sold at The Runcible Spoon, The Players Pub, Bloomington Brewpub, Farmer House Museum, Butler Winery, and online at quilterscomfort.com.