Tea Tasting in Boulder
Is Boulder tea obsessed? Whether it’s earthy oolong, healthful herbal, or perfumed-to-perfection Earl Gray, it’s safe to say we do love a calming cup of tea.
In fact, Boulder was called The Republic of Tea by EnCompass magazine.
Teahouses and Tea Hot Spots
Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse
Unless you've been to Tajikistan, you've probably never seen a teahouse like this one. Handcrafted by artisans in Boulder's sister city of Dushanbe, the teahouse was shipped piece-by-piece from the Tajikistan city and assembled in Boulder. It is an inviting and peaceful place to enjoy one of nearly 100 types of teas and to nosh on locally sourced yet worldly cuisine (recommended by the MICHELIN Guide) — all while taking in the vibrant carvings and paintings that cover every inch of the interior. In the warmer months, nab a seat on the patio, surrounded by flourishing, fragrant rose bushes.
Get an up-close look at how the largest tea manufacturer in North America blends ingredients into some of the country's most beloved teas (Sleepytime tea, anyone?). Take a stroll through the production floor to see how teas are blended and packaged from start to finish. Make a stop at the famous Mint Room, taste any of the 90-plus teas and view the paintings that grace the front of the tea boxes in the art gallery. Celestial Seasonings was named one of the country's best food factory tours by USA TODAY's Readers' Choice. Tours are 45 minutes, $5 and take place Tuesday-Saturday.
Ku Cha House of Tea
This Chinese teahouse on Pearl Street might look like just a retail shop from the outside, but inside is also a peaceful spot to sit and sip. The owners source their loose-leaf tea from family-owned farms during trips to southwest China, taking part in the harvesting and learning about the processing techniques along the way. In addition to numerous varieties of Chinese tea, Ku Cha House of Tea also offers teas from around the world, such as chai from India and Yerba Mate from South America. Customers can also create their own tea blends at Ku Cha’s tea bar. Don't forget to try their new tea-based kombuchas from the refrigerated case inside.
Pekoe Sip House
Founder and owner Paul Cattin opened his first Pekoe Sip House in Boulder in 2003, explaining that he “wanted to create the kind of lifestyle that existed in the coffee shop industry using tea and making tea fun.” Now with three locations in boulder, tea remains the main attraction, from house-brewed chai to matcha lattes to boba (or bubble) teas made with tapioca pearls; but you can also find sipping chocolates, baked goods (including gluten-free treats), sandwiches, and, yes, a good old cup of joe. Cattin travels the globe to source the best tea and coffee from places like India and Brazil.
A Cup of Peace
If you’re looking for a twist on the traditional tea and pastry combo, this is the place. The unassuming storefront on Arapahoe Avenue opens into a serene sanctuary, and the menu features healing teas paired with natural and organic Korean food with plenty of vegan and gluten-free options. A Cup of Peace owner Ki Kim uses ancient Korean traditions, ingredients and recipes to craft health-focused teas for ailments ranging from indigestion to insomnia. Need a boost? Try Kim’s signature Organic Multi Grain Energy Shake, or order a steaming cup of local favorite Bhakti Chai.
Tonic Alchemy Lounge
This oxygen bar on 10th Street also serves raw foods and desserts, organic wine and sake, herbal elixirs, and of course, tea. If you like Kombucha, make sure to try the Jun elixir, a fermented tea drink brewed with green tea and honey that purportedly delivers a myriad of health benefits, from aiding digestion to detoxifying the blood. While you’re sipping, try an essential oil-scented oxygen session.
Old Barrel Tea Company
With little tins of loose-leaf teas in inventive flavors like apple empanada and American wildflower, Old Barrel Tea Company has a bright, sunny spot on East Pearl Street. Stop in to sample teas, get a cup of hot or iced tea to go, and shop from a broad selection of teas, spices, herbs and honeys.
The charming Hotel Boulderado nabbed a spot on the Top 25 Historic Hotels of America Afternoon Tea Experiences List by Yahoo!, largely for their Holiday Afternoon Tea and other seasonal tea events. However, you'll find a variety of teas, from herbal Strawberry Fields to the classic Earl Grey, sourced from local The Tea Spot all year round.
Trident Booksellers and Cafe
It's a little-known fact about Trident, a longtime favorite bookstore and coffee shop, that they have an extensive tea program, too. Their selection includes black, green, white, Pu'er and herbal teas imported directly from farmers in India, China and Taiwan. With an excellent collection of books for sale and a low-key vibe, this is an ideal place to settle in with a steaming cup of your favorite tea to read or write in your journal.
Alice and Rose
You can let your imagination run wild in this Alice in Wonderland-inspired coffee shop and full-service restaurant, Alice and Rose, located on The Hill. Tuesday through Sunday they offer a traditional afternoon high that features a premium tea selection paired with delicate snacks and pastries all made in-house.
Make like the Queen and treat yourself to high tea at these Boulder eateries:
Chautauqua Dining Hall: Daily from 2–4:00pm from November 21 to January 8; call 303-440-3776 for reservations.
Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse: Daily from 3–5pm; call 303-442-4993 for reservations (required 24 hours in advance).
Boulder Tea Map