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Find the Brew to Fit You at Tea Time

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2012

Updated: Thursday, March 22, 2012 15:03

Tea Time

Ryan A. Ruiz

Tea Time manager and self-proclaimed tea addict Kristen Harper.

Aside from being a tasty drink to sip on, tea is known to optimize skin complexion, regulate blood sugar levels, support weight loss and fill the body with powerful antioxidants.

Tea Time in Old Town Scottsdale caters to old-time tea lovers and newbies now discovering the beautifying qualities of a good brew.

While the wall filled with more than 100 full-leaf tea varieties may appear intimidating, the knowledgeable staff is eager to help you choose a hot or cold tea to go or a blend to bring home. And inquiring minds can be prepared to learn all about the Camilla sinesnsis plant or which tea will help fight that nagging cold you just caught.

A popular social pastime for cultures around the world, Arizonans are now jumping on the tea train and starting to replace their toxic booze with replenishing brews.

“Tea is catching on,” said manager and self-proclaimed tea addict Kristen Harper. “I get a new customer every day. It’s really addicting, and it’s really good for you.”

Skeptical of the benefits? Ask Harper, who drinks black tea in the morning, green tea during the day and Roobois or herbal tea in the evening, when she was last sick. (Hint: It’s been over a year.)

In addition to full-leaf teas, the shop sells local products like honey and chocolate and tea accessories for brewing and serving tea.

Breaking away from electric kettle tea, drinkers can browse products that offer nifty ways to brew full-leaf tea like a pot that dispenses tea from the bottom as it rests on top of a mug or pitcher and travel-sized diffusers. Teapots inspired by Japanese, Chinese and British tea culture also line the shop walls.

“We want to entertain all of the cultures that enjoy tea,” Harper said.

On Thursday night Artwalks, Tea Time stays open late to hand out samples to art walkers.

“It’s an opportunity to show people that tea drinking really is an art,” said Harper who likens the study of tea to the study of wine.

To spread the art of tea tasting, Tea Time host events where attendees learn how the region affects taste, what common practice kills its antioxidant capacity and which herb can help you lose those extra pounds.

Events include advanced tea tastings, tea and chocolate tastings and information sessions about medicinal herbs typically take place in the spring and fall. The shop also arranges free, hour-long introductory tea tasting for groups of 10 or more.

“I was a tea drinker all my life, but I never really fully understood the world of tea until I started working here,” Harper said. “You think you know about tea and then you learn about new things all the time.”

 

Tea Time Scottsdale, 7051 E. Fifth Avenue, Suite C, Scottsdale 480.686.8503, Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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