By Deborah M. Walker
Pacha Mama Tea is making a splash amongst tea drinkers. Known for its nutritional benefits as well as great taste, Pacha Mama Tea is the natural way to stay healthy and feel great.
Deborah L. Walker, who tried the tea for the first time, says Pacha Mama is perfect for someone like her. Diabetic and unable to consume sugar Walker drinks the tea at meal time instead of sugary juice and pop.
Walker smiled when she tried the tea for the first time. “It was good,” she said. “I thought it tasted like sun tea. Sun tea is when you take your tea out and put it out in the sun and let the sun heat it up and it gives a good flavor.”
Walker says she is a regular tea drinker and would add Pacha Mama at the top of her list.
William “Chef Nick” Nicklosovich, co-owner of Pacha Mama Tea, agrees with Walker. Nicklosovich says the delicious taste and nutritional value is the reason he began to market and sell the tea. He wanted people like Walker to get the unique health benefits known in Pacha Mama Tea delivered right to their door-step.
“It’s a very delicious tea. We started looking into the health benefits, the organic benefits and things like that. So we said let’s just go ahead and do it and offer it to the public,” said Nicklosovich.
Pacha Mama Tea is all natural and is made from only gauyusa (pronounced gwhy-you-suh) leaf, water and lime. Pacha Mama Tea is still prepared in the traditional Kichwa way. Nicklosovich said it was important for his tea drinkers to experience the tea the way it should be.
Nicklosovich says he was introduced to the tea by Anthony Stein a friend and soon-to-be business partner. Stein, who fell in love with the tea when he tried it for the first time, came across the gauyusa leaf when he was working in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Stein brought the tea back to his friends in America and the rest is history.
Nicklosovich says he loved the great taste but became interested in the gauyusa leaf when he learned of its numerous health benefits. Pacha Mama, which means mother earth, is all natural and packs a higher punch of caffeine than even coffee. According to Nicklosovich 1 cup of Pacha Mama Tea is equal to 5 cups of coffee. This is great for those who need to stay away for long periods of time such as the native Kichwa people who drank the tea to keep them awake at night during their hunts.
There are some who do not think this is good, but for those looking for a caffeine boost without the negative side effects Pacha Mama Tea is the perfect choice says Nicklosovich.
There are other benefits of drinking Pacha Mama Tea than just an energy blast. There is a belief that the gauyusa leaf is good for men’s prostrate and fertility in women. The gauyusa leaf is also high in antioxidants and stands up to even green tea. These antioxidants are used to help with the nervous system and cardio vascular health.
“It’s not just your standard brewed tea,” said Nicklosovich. “In comparison to green tea where green tea is 47mg of health benefits, the gauyusa tea is 90mg per drink of health benefits.”
Nicklosovich does not stop at just delivering healthy tea. He was a host of his own cooking show “Chef Nick” in 2009-2010 and took his message of healthy living to television. The show focused on the use of local farmers markets and sustainability.
“I enjoyed it. I met a lot of people. It started a lot of things in my life,” said Nicklosovich.
According to Nicklosovich sustainability is the new trend in cooking. Nicklosovich carried his message to the classroom and in 2011 he taught 6th, 7th and 8th graders at Dwight Rich Middle School, now Lansing K-8 Stem Magnet Academy, how to cook at home for survival and healthy living. Nicklosovich says he noticed a lot of young people entering college eating fast food and other innutritious meals because they did not know how to cook and he wanted to change that.
“What I realized some years ago in the college setting, community college and in the prior college where I was teaching is a lot of kids were coming in and they were eating more fast food and they were just surviving on whatever they could eat,” said Nicklosovich.
Nicklosovich said the reason for this is most adolescents have working parents and fast food simply becomes the norm. However this is starting to change. According to Nicklosovich, families are throwing away the fast food bag and spending more time at the dinner table.
“That trend has been a consistent trend over the last 5 or 6 years,” said Nicklosovich. “That the kids are more comfortable eating fast food because they just don’t know how to cook. What I’m noticing in the culinary world at this point in time, is the step back to sitting down at the table; having the family time again, having home cooked meals and it’s great. We’ve lost that over the last 10-15 years and it’s starting to turn around and come back.”
Unlike most teenagers Nicklosovich started cooking when he was just 14 years old. Landing a job at his family’s bowling alley, Nicklosovich started off cooking burgers and fries and worked his way up from there.
Nicklosovich says he landed his first real job as a bus boy at Big Boy Restaurant in Charlotte when he was 16 years old. He eventually started cooking. He said he loved cooking so much he went to culinary school at Johnson & Wales University Culinary School.
College was a breeze says Nicklosovich who finished high school by the tenth grade. After graduating from college Nicklosovich landed a job at Michigan State University and was the youngest chef hired at that university.
Today Nicklosovich works as a culinary professor at the Art Institute of Detroit/Novi; he is also a professor at Lansing Community College. In addition, he works as a substitute teacher for Professional Education Services Group (PESG) and writes a food column for MomsEveryday.com and Locale Magazine out of St. Johns.
Nicklosovich says he teaches the importance of education to his students. Today’s business world is tough states Nicklosovich. In the past an associate’s degree was enough to open doors now that has all changed.
“Education is the way out,” said Nicklosovich. “Rather it’s an accredited education or a self-taught education. You don’t have to be rich to educate yourself; you just have to be determined. Make sure that you learn as much as you can and get a mentor. Go to school.”
Nicklosovich is following his own advice and has gone back to school to get a Master’s degree from Siena Heights University in Business/Educational Leadership.
“I wish that when I was in college I had stayed in college,” said Nicklosovich. “I came to realize that all the students I’ve been teaching in my life to get their associate's, to get their bachelor’s, they’re now out there in the career field and I realized I practice and I preach about education. I followed my own suggestion and went back to school last year for my master’s.”
Nicklosovich credits the success in his life to the guidance of his mentors.
“I had some people that were really important in my life that mentored me and gave me the opportunity and it meant the world to me,” said Nicklosovich.
Nicklosovich says he enjoys giving back to the community. Nicklosovich got involved in charity work when he realized there was a need right here in Lansing. Nicklosovich came from modest beginnings and knows what it is like to go without.
“I grew up very poor and I stood in line with my mom for that government cheese,” said Nicklosovich. “I think that’s probably why I wanted to become a chef. I knew there was more food out there than just government cheese sandwiches.”
Nicklosovich says he grew up in a single parent house hold and understands the importance for direction. Nicklosovich says he believes everyone should have a fair chance to gain an education. Nicklosovich helps out by being a mentor for the The High School Diploma Completion Initiative (HSDCI) at Lansing Community College. HSDCI classes are LCC courses where students earn college credit concurrently while completing diploma requirements.
“As a child I didn’t have a father. I wished somebody would have guided me or mentored me or jumped in and helped,” said Nicklosovich.
Nicklosovich’s giving did not stop there. In 2008, Nicklosovich co-founded Traveling Stone Soup in Lansing, with his friend Jim “Peppermint Jim” Crosby. His idea was based on the book Stone Soup where a man started a soup with nothing but a stone. The man’s efforts caught the attention of the community and soon people began to pitch in.
“One person dropped off carrots, one person dropped off rice, one person dropped off potatoes and what happens is all of a sudden the community comes together as an effort to make something wonderful,” said Nicklosovich.
Nicklosovich took the idea of the Traveling Stone Soup to the local farmer’s market in Lansing. All of the proceeds from Stone Soup were donated to Volunteers of America, which is an organization that helps feed people.
Nicklosovich has worked with countless charity organization including the St. Mary’s Food Bank in Tuscan, Arizona. He has also worked with Big Brothers and Big Sisters. Nicklosovich co-founded the Feed a Million Champagne which has fed over 400,000 people. He is the spokesperson for the Michigan Apple Committee and works with inner city churches by cooking at inner city luncheons to name a few.
Nicklosovich also holds the world record for the largest slab of fudge ever made and all of the proceeds from the fudge sales was donated to charity.
“I hope that in the event I ever become hungry, I hope that somebody will give me a piece of bread,” said Nicklosovich.
Nicklosovich says to treat others fairly and do good for someone regardless of who they are.
“It doesn’t matter who they are. I don’t care if they are black, white, rich, poor or what your sexual preference is or what your political preference is. It doesn’t matter. We’re all the same, we’re all people that live and breathe and exist together as neighbors,” said Nicklosovich.
Nicklosovich says he will never forget his humble beginnings. For Nicklosovich remembering and embracing his past is what keeps him going.
“If you don’t forget where you come from you’ll never forget where you’re going,” said Nicklosovich.
To get your bottle of Pacha Mama Tea send an email inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org. Use the code NCP so every order is credited $1.00 to go towards the Community Matters Fund through The New Citizens Press.