We enjoy Turtle Mountain Tea and love their different kombucha flavors, so naturally we were dying to learn more! The owner, Natalie Disanto was kind enough to give us the scoop!
Q: What started your love for kombucha and fermenting?
Natalie: I fell in love with Kombucha when I was nineteen years old. That winter, I caught the flu twice, had strep throat once, and bronchitis three times. I kept going to a doctor asking him to help me and no matter what sort of medications they gave me the sickness kept coming back and getting worse. Finally, I got fed up with listening to a stranger who wasn’t making any positive changes in my health. I conducted my own research and learned a lot. I began practicing herbalism and tea treatments. Through my love of tea, I learned about Kombucha- the miracle fermented tea! I started fermenting my own Kombucha and drinking it every day. After a month of my new holistic lifestyle, I was healed. I haven’t been sick since! The effects of Kombucha were so pronounced on my body that I decided to try making sauerkraut and kimchi as well. The triad of these these live, probiotic foods have changed my life in the most amazing way. I am so lucky to be able to share my passion and healthy lifestyle with others!
Q: Where can you find your products?
Scrumpy's Cider House
Patero's Creek Brewery
Mugs Coffee House on Laurel
Mugs Coffee House on Olive & College
Beaver's Grocery Store
The Welsh Rabbit Cheese Shoppe
The Welsh Rabbit Cheese Bistro
Momo Lolo Coffeehouse
The Bean Cycle
The Fort Collins Food Co-Op
The Fort Collins Coffeeshop
The Downtown Artery
Wolverine Farm Publishing House
At Farmer’s Markets:
Saturday @ The Winter Farmer’s Markets from 9AM-1PM
Saturday @ Drake Road Farmer’s Market from 9AM-2PM
Saturday @ Old Town Farmer’s Market from 9AM-2PM
Sunday @ Harmony & Lemay Farmer’s Market from 9AM-3PM
Q: What is your favorite flavor you have made so far?
Natalie: No matter how many times people ask me this question, I will never have an answer! I have created each of my flavors out of my own experimentation and trust of my pallet. I LOVE the “original” flavor, which is our Yerba Mate. Hawaiian Infusion is the first flavor I ever made, so I have a special love for that one as well. Apple Pie is amazing and compliments liquors very well if you choose to use it as a mixer (which I highly recommend). BasilBerry is probably my most unique flavor as it uses blackberries, blueberries, and opal basil. Ginger Green has the most health benefits with its’ heavy dosage of spirulina, cucumbers, eucalyptus, lime, and ginger. See what I mean? I love them all differently but equally! I am too proud a parent to pick favorites.
Q: Can you share your plans for the future?
Natalie: I plan to continue to do what I love as long as I have the support of my wonderful customers. This year, I am expanding into Loveland as well as some other neighboring cities in the Northern Colorado area. I am hiring a staff to run some farmer’s markets so Turtle Mountain can participate in multiple markets at once. I grow with my business and learn to manage and produce more as the need arises. It is my dream to build a brick and mortar Fermentation Station here in Fort Collins. We would serve Kombucha on tap and offer a variety of live, raw, and probiotic meals and snacks! I have a long way to go before that happens, but it is what I am working toward!
Q: What are the benefits of kombucha?
Natalie: Kombucha is a fermented tea. The drink begins as a simple mixture of organic (in our case, yerba maté) tea and sugar, then we add a S.C.O.B.Y. to the mix! S.C.O.B.Y. is an acronymn for Symbitoic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast. The SCOBY kickstarts the fermentation. We let this process continue for about two weeks, which creates original kombucha. We call this our "Yerba Maté" flavor.
Kombucha originates from Ancient China, where is was regarded as the, "Elixer of Life." Even back then kombucha was recognized as the beneficial tea that it is.
Kombucha contains many active probiotics, which are beneficial to your digestive tract. Lactobacillus is the most popular of the probiotics. Lactobacillus helps your gut break down food more easily. While your body saves energy in digestion, it is able to concentrate fully upon other important systems such as your blood system, nervous system, and immune system.
Due to the acidity acheived during fermentation, kombucha helps to pull toxins from your body while replacing it with healthy probiotcs. It also helps to oxygenate your blood. As your blood is able to flow more efficently through your veins, nerve synapses happen at a quicker pace. With less toxins in your blood system, you are able to stay healthy. As kombucha rips toxins from your body, it purges them from your system, so it is important to drink plenty of water while consuming fermented teas and foods!
Kombucha is also PACKED FULL of Vitamin B, which has been proven to reduce stress while promoting happiness inside of your brain! It doesn't get better than a catalyst for both healthiness and happiness!
Q: Describe in three words your Farmers' Market experience.
Natalie: Inspiring. Humbling. Powerful.
Q: What is your favorite hangout in town? Why?
Natalie: Patero’s Creek! I love Patero’s because they make amazing beer and are always really creative with their “Outlaw” flavors. On Valentines Day this past year, they made a Chocolate Strawberry beer that is one of the best beers that I have ever tasted. They are very locally focused and were one of my first wholesale customers. The owner and employees are always friendly and funny and make me smile whenever I manage to carve time out of my hectic schedule for one of their rockin’ beers!
Interested in being a part of the Turtle Mountain Tea team? Natalie is looking for salespeople for Farmers' Markets in both Fort Collins and Loveland. E-mail her your resume at firstname.lastname@example.org