"We couldn't eat 70 percent of what we had been eating, and we were miserable," Minton says of her gluten intolerance. "I kept going back to juicing and tea and how much better it made us feel. There was nothing out there, and I thought it's time for a space like this."
The menu at T Loft features hot and iced tea made with loose-leaf tea, the fusion drinks, and fresh-squeezed juices. I had a glass of iced Black Lavender tea that I enjoyed more the longer I let the bags steep. And for coffee drinkers, Minton recommends her tea lattes, the Coconut Almond Latte has been a popular early choice.
"We've always mixed milk and tea and sugar together because it tasted great," Minton says. "When you add a little milk and sugar, it just accentuates the flavor in the tea blends."
The food menu is a mix of gluten-free baked goods (get a chocolate cocoa crinkle cookie) and plastic containers (meant to be grab-and-go or eaten at the tables) filled with vegetables and hummus, fruit and salad mixes, or lettuce wraps (pineapple, jicama, walnuts and mint).
"If people can have fresh food readily available and see how much better they feel when they eat it, they're going to realize we need to eat this way," Minton says.
"I wanted it to be a place for a community of people to have a cool place to get fresh food," Minton says. "I want it to be a landing point. I want it to feel like you're walking in your best friend's house. I don't want it to feel plastic."
The result is an eclectic decor with two main seating areas. There's a set of couches beneath a massive wood-framed mirror built by Minton's husband and a banquet that runs the length of the right wall with a series of simple wooden tables beneath gleaming metal light fixtures. Awash in cool grays and blues, the transformation from a doctor's office (the space's previous tenant) to a loft is impressive.
Minton is in the process of creating more signature drinks, playing around with different milk and sweetener blends. She plans to roll out additional fusion teas - like a fresh-fruit peach tea when the weather warms. In the future, Minton would also like to hold workshops featuring raw chefs or wellness gurus to talk about tea and juicing.
T Loft is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.