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Kathleen Hippeli

Certified Tea Sommelier

Meet the Owner

In December 2009, Kathy and her husband purchased a wonderful Victorian home in Jamesburg, rich in history, charm and elegance to be the setting of their Tea Room. Owning and operating a Tea Room where friends gather & share time together was an experience she looked forward to bringing to others. The inner peace of time, reflection and companionship as we embarked on the journey of life has opened doors, warmed souls and nourished the spirit. Even in today’s economy, enjoying tea continues to be a luxury that is embraced and shared.

Kathy spent nearly 30 years in the pharmaceutical industry where she had the wonderful opportunity to travel globally as part of her leadership role.  The opportunity to follow another passion, that of being a tearoom owner has been an amazing journey.  Kathy shared her wealth of Tea Knowledge, History & Etiquette with her guests.  She studied with the Specialty Tea Institute, World Tea Academy, World Tea Expo and Elmwood Fine Teas & Tea Etiquette.  She completed various Advanced Tea Certification Programs including Tea Sommelier, Tea Health Expert & Tea Professional with the World Tea Academy.


One Steep at a Thyme began serving Afternoon Tea in April 2013.  A full service Afternoon Tea was offered and guests enjoyed a complete 7-course tea service during their 2-hour visit…where time to relax and experience their gracious Victorian home was their priority. Kathy carefully selected the over 125+ teas offered and guided her guests through the perfect tea choice.  Her menu reflected her passion for elegantly presented "comfort" food, carefully prepared and representing the tastes of the season.  In March 2020, COVID-19 resulted in the closure of in-person dining and the pivot to Curbside teas.  After careful considerations, the difficult decision to close permanently was effective December 2020.  2020 was definitely unprecedented, but an opportunity to reflect on 8 years of so many wonderful memories… for that she remains forever grateful. She truly enjoyed being a Tearoom owner, engaging with guests and sharing life's celebrations through Afternoon Tea.


In March 2021, Kathy joined the staff of World Tea Academy where she is the Assistant On-Line Education Manager.  She is excited to share her journey in Tea, including her Tearoom ownership experiences, as part of her tea perspective with the World Tea Academy student community. She earned the Advanced Certifications: Sommelier, Health Expert and Professional with World Tea Academy so coming back to WTA is just full circle...she can't wait to meet students in the "classrooms" and be part of their tea journey!

Kathy remains active in the tea community.  She is a member of the Mid-Atlantic Tea Business Association (MATBA) whose mission is to advance the knowledge of tea through networking and educational opportunities for the entrepreneur within the tea business.  Kathy currently serves as the MATBA Treasurer.  On occasion, you can also find her behind the counter of Tea-For-All at The Trenton Farmer's Market where she enjoys staying engaged with tea customers who share her passion for tea...and along the way, she is learning more about herbs, too!

She always said, she wouldn't stay "un-busy" for long.  Kathy and her  husband, Ray, will be relocating to Virginia in the near future.  But for now, she spoils her Weimaraner, Ruger, continues to be active in the tea community and grateful for the experiences she is taking with her.

Thank you to every one of you for the generosity you have shown over the years. Please continue to stay safe and well! May some of your fondest tea memories include One Steep at a Thyme! 

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