Dr. Maria Geyman had tea on the brain long before it became her everyday.
The Brooklyn-based, board-certified naturopathic doctor, who specializes in skin health, mood and hormonal concerns, began conceiving logos before she was out of school. But it wasn’t until after she built a thriving practice that she made her herbal dreams a reality: In 2018, she founded Masha Tea, an organic line of healing and regenerative small batch teas and infusions designed with flavor, sustainability and beauty in mind. Found everywhere from the Noguchi Museum to Saraghina Bakery, each bag is compostable and hand-stamped with vegetable ink.
Here, she shares why simplicity is key:
LIVE THE PROCESS: Growing up, were you conscious of the concept of naturopathic medicine?
DR. MARIA GEYMAN: Growing up in a Russian Jewish family, many naturopathic principles were part of my upbringing. If we were sick, we had tea with lemon, soups and lots of liquids. My mom would go to the Russian banya regularly. Though we lived in Brooklyn and then New Jersey, we spent summers in nature upstate, so the pillars of natural medicine were there. However, I was not familiar with the profession of naturopathic medicine and my parents were pretty traditional in that way. I was in conventional medical school for over two years before transferring to a naturopathic medical school.
LTP: What has naturopathic medicine taught you about the power of herbs and plants?
MG: Simplicity is key and local is best.
LTP: When did you come to launch Masha Tea?
MG: It was somewhat of a slow process. I first had the idea and drew the logo and design while in graduate school in Portland, Oregon. I worked on the blends and packaging after moving to Brooklyn and starting my private naturopathic practice. I consider the launch date November 9, 2018, when I had an opening party at A Detacher in Nolita, the boutique of a designer who I looked up to and admired for a long time.
LTP: What was your first product and how have your offerings evolved since them?
MG: My first teas were a version of Calm, Rosy and Holy Basil. I still have them in a form. I started by writing on each bag by hand and stamping the logo. I've since streamlined the packaging, though we still hand stamp every single bag. I am always working on perfecting my sourcing.
LTP: This month, we’re talking about how making something can be an act of self-love. How has the process of creating and dreaming up new teas been important for you in this challenging year?
MG: I had a dream trip planned to Darjeeling and Assam, the major tea growing regions in India, for late March 2020, which obviously got canceled due to Covid. Because this trip got canceled, I had a chance to visit some farms in New York State and found lovely new sources of mint, mugwort and lavender. This was really special and true to my original vision of sourcing as locally as possible.
LTP: What does happiness look like to you?
MG: Slow days with the people I love, a hot bath, beautiful music, birds singing.
LTP: What does it means to you to “Live The Process” and how can we all do that more each day?
MG: Beauty is in the details!