Craft beer may be the beverage that’s put Asheville on the map, but a different brew has found a foothold in the region: tea. From traditional tea houses to regional blends to tea-centric events, here are all the ways to enjoy the leaf-based brew in Asheville.
Asheville Tea Company
This operation, started in 2015, sells a range of locally sourced brews online, at local tailgate markets, and in Asheville shops and cafes such as. Among the offerings are herbal, black, green, seasonal and yaupon (see below) blends. Flavors include such varied blends as Echinacea Elderflower, Hibiscus Mojito and Chocolate Habanero Chai. In addition, the company offers Tea CSA boxes, which include three monthly select loose leaf teas from its main or seasonal tea line and a tea infuser with the first box. http://www.ashevilleteacompany.com
Afternoon Tea at the Biltmore
Offered daily from 1-2:30 p.m., afternoon tea at The Inn on Biltmore Estate is inspired by the Vanderbilt tradition of sharing afternoon tea with guests. Along with a sampling of fine cheeses, artfully prepared sweet and savory canapés, a selection of Newby Teas is offered in an opulent setting. https://www.biltmore.com/events/detail/afternoon-tea
Tea Events at Ivory Café & Kitchen
This Arden café, housed in a 1930s stone cottage, offers a number of tea-centric events and tastings. Every Saturday at 2 p.m., there’s an afternoon tea, a laid-back approach to the traditional English-style service. One Sunday a month, the café holds a Sunday Afternoon Tea Tasting in partnership with Asheville Tea Company. The Sunday Tea includes live classical guitar music, as well as a seasonal tea tasting flight and a brief informative talk by Jessie Dean, owner of Asheville Tea Company. https://ivoryroadavl.com
Dobra Tea - Two Asheville Locations
This tea house, with locations in West Asheville and Downtown, goes to great distances to source all of its teas directly from their regions of origin. Dobra features an incredibly extensive tea menu, with teas arranged by country, and complements its teas with desserts, tea snacks and savory spreads (Downtown), as well as raw and macrobiotic dishes, salads and pho (West Asheville). The tea house also holds events throughout the year: Everything from The History of Tea to Oolong Tea Class and to Pu’er Tea Tasting are offered. http://dobrateanc.com
This tearoom, apothecary and acupuncture practice is committed to nourishing the individual and the community while supporting environmental well-being. It honors the practice of Chinese medicine by offering classical formulas and seasonal specialties. Flavors as varied as White Peony, Nettles, Holy Basil and Roasted Barley fill the menu, alongside mainstays like Earl Grey, Oolong and Chamomile. http://www.alchemyasheville.com
This wild, regional evergreen shrub – believed to be the only native North American plant to contain caffeine – is experiencing a resurgence in popularity. The dried leaves were once used by Native Americans to make a ceremonial tea; today, yaupon – a close cousin to the more popular yerba mate – is gaining a new generation of fans with its mellow flavor, energizing buzz, and high concentration of antioxidants and theobromine. Yaupon is on the menu at Green Sage Café and Asheville Tea Company.
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