The #TeaChemist "Joi DeFrantz" General Manager of "Tea's Me Cafe" in Indianapolis, Indiana

Updated: Oct 4, 2019

Today we are super excited to share this first in a series of in depth interviews, learning about Joi DeFrantz, our network partner, loose leaf tea supplier, and fellow Xavier University of Louisiana alumni.


Sit back and enjoy this roundtable interview, as she shares her experience in the Tea industry, her passion for #Entrepreneurship, and her commutment to the revitalization of the Indianapolis community.




Jamin: “Is your last name French?”


Joi Defrantz: “Yes, my last name originates in the region between France and Germany”


Leonard: Comparing Tea & Coffee, in term of caffeine, which has more?


Joi: “Coffee.”


“Tea has 2 1⁄2 milligrams less per cup than coffee does.


"From the research I’ve done and the “Tea Tasting's w/ Joi” I have executed. Coffee usually has 220 milligrams per 16 ounces."


Chris: “How long does it take for tea to begin to lose its flavor/freshness?”


Joi: "Loose leaf tea technically never expires, but we recommend 1 year from purchase. Also it is very important to keep the teas leaves in a dry, dark environment."


Leonard: “What is your favorite tea?”


Joi: "My favorite one? Wow that is a hard question."


"I don't have one, depends on my mood, I typically like black teas for energy. Man that's a hard one, I can't commit to an answer on that one lolol.”


Chris: “Are there any health benefits to drinking tea? If so, what are they?”


Joi: “There are a lot of them. There are 6 different Tea categories that we carry in the cafe.”


“Health benefits are generally the same as Tea comes from the same plant, but there are some specific benefits to certain categories of Tea.”


“White Tea to Black Tea, you are going for freshly picked Tea leaves, lot of antioxidants, anti cancer and aging, very good for skin and teeth. Same thing for all the other Teas.”


“Green Teas are picked later in the season. They have that nice fresh taste, a bit grassy, kinda like drinking your veggies. Great for your metabolism, fighting against diabetes, increase in blood circulation, there are studies that have been done on the nitrous oxide in tea that shows it helps increase blood flow.”


"Oolong Tea picked b/t green and the black tea, some of them are oxidized a bit more, more bold and complex flavors to it. Black Teas goes through full oxidation process, the most popular in the US. There is an amino acid that helps with brain relaxation.


"The Earl Grey is really very good for anti anxiety, antidepressant, improving cognitive functions, There so many health benefits to tea, I can go on and on.”




Gino: “First off, how are you doing?”


Joi: “I'm doing great, and you?”


Gino: “I'm doing great as well. The question I have for you is, “How often do you use your chemistry background in your tea business?”


Joi: “All the time, looking at how much caffeine is in teas is very important. Longer steep times make for more caffeine, maximizing the tea infusions. Making sure temperatures are correct, extracting out the health benefits, makes a difference. Combinations of different types of Teas, figuring out which tea’s blend the best.”


“One of our customers works for the school board, and has students interested in STEM that he is interested in creating an internship with us, tying in the chemistry with our Tea.


“I’ve even helped on a Tea based science fair project.”



Chris: “What chemistry skills do you think give you an advantage within the tea industry?”


Joi: “Blending, once you get done with making a perfect cup of tea, you want to be sure that there is a uniform mixture. I think about it in chemistry terms all the time. You always want to make sure nothing gets contaminated. Keeping all our equipment clean and ready for use. I bring the lab to the tea shop.”