Women of the Food Industry: Abbi Siler of Abbi’s Tea and Things

At Abbi’s Teas and Things, it’s all about the atmosphere. Her tea house is one of the coziest spots in Little Rock with its comfy vintage furniture and calming ambiance. Owner Abbi Siler’s bubbly personality makes you feel like you’re walking into her home. Though you can find tea at other stores in Little Rock, Abbi is currently the only teamaker in central Arkansas who makes all of her own blends. She also creates custom blends for customers upon request.

Though she sells teas to go, her goal is to keep that cozy, unrushed feeling in the shop. She wants it to be a place where people can be themselves. If you want to meet someone in a quiet place, read a book, or just relax, Abbi’s is the place for you.

“I have designed the entire shop to be very much tea-focused in terms of taking time for tea,” she said. “The average tea drinker wants to come in and have a tea party-style experience or quiet conversation with a friend.”

She wants to help more Arkansans to step into the world of tea in a city full of coffee shops.

“I think a big part of that is mostly just because the south is so entrenched in the coffee trend, and we’re a little behind the west and east coast, and even other countries. Tea is actually the number one beverage over coffee.”

Tea parties have been a big hit at the shop, and she is currently booked up every Saturday in March. She hosts anything from children’s tea parties to baby showers and book clubs.

It’s hard for her to pick her favorite tea, but Abbi said you can usually find her drinking the Turmeric Sunrise, Basil Mint, or matcha.

“I enjoy the blending, but my heart really is in the natural tea leaves. I love a just classic Silver Needle, Sencha, things like that.”

Abbi spends most of her time at her beloved shop, but when she does have some moments to herself, she loves to spend time with her grandmother, garden, or take long walks. She grew up on a beach in North Carolina, so she loves walking down by the Arkansas River to be close to the water.

When Abbi was in college, she had a chance to go to China and experience a tea farm for the first time. Her father was also a lover of good loose-leaf tea blends, and he passed that on to her. Right out of college, she began writing for tea estates and companies overseas. She also had her own site that was up for about seven years. Companies would send her samples, so she got to taste many different teas and make contacts.

Since she was a little girl, she always had the dream of opening a restaurant. Though the tea shop isn’t technically a restaurant, she provides sandwiches and scones from local bakers like Old Mill Bread Bakery. She loves mixing her childhood passion with a new creative aspect to come up with new tea blends. She has also been working with bartenders to create herbal infusions.

Abbi grew up in North Carolina and moved to Cabot while she was in high school. She still lived at the beach during the summer.

During Girl Scout Entrepreneur Week, Abbi teamed up with a local girl scout that wanted to come up with tea blends that taste like Girl Scout cookies, so that people with dietary restrictions can still get a taste through tea. Some of the blends include Skinny Mint Cookie, inspired by Thin Mints, and Caramel Coconut Cookie, inspired by Samoas.

Abbi appears on Good Afternoon Arkansas once a month to share new blends and health benefits of different teas.

Abbi always wants to be behind her register as much as possible, and if she opens any location it would be important that the same cozy vibes remain intact. Be on the lookout for her teas showing up across the state at some of your favorite restaurants.

 

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Women of the Food Industry: Abbi Siler of Abbi’s Tea and Things