Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Tearoom/store: Seven Cups

Today I thought I would review a tearoom / store that I recently had the chance to visit. The store is named Seven Cups. It is owned by a husband and wife, the husband who spent a good deal of time as a tea buyer, and his wife who is a certified Chinese tea master. The name of the store comes from a poem by Lu Tong, which is on their website. The store is divided into two main areas, the front area being the actual store where the back half is for lessons and as a tearoom. The front is filled with an assortment of jars with samples of each of their teas (and from where they get their teas for serving in the tea room) along with foil sealed airtight pouches for purchase. About a third of the front room is taken up by their selection of pu-erh cakes. I'm not versed at all in pu-erh, but from what I heard it was apparently a quite good selection of pu-erh. They also had a few sampler packs, individual samplers, and a good deal of teaware. They had a surprising selection of yixing teapots and assorted accessories. Their prices seemed to be quite reasonable, at least for those items that I had seen at other stores.

Their selection of tea is almost exclusively Chinese. I believe I spied some genmaicha sitting on a shelf somewhere. And of the teas that they had, most of them were teas that I had heard of or read about, but never saw before in a tea store. This included some yellow tea and some fancier oolongs, like Big Red Robe. These rarer teas do have a price to match though.

I had the opportunity to try out some Yellow tea, Meng Ding Huang Ya, and this was my first time trying it out. It was incredibly smooth and mellow, it was worth it's reputation. I of course had to get some. The review will be coming soon.

Another thing to note was the tea club that they have. It is a combination discount club and reward program in one. It's free to sign up for and you get a 10% discount. On top of that every dollar earns you a point toward a 10 dollar gift certificate, 100 points per 10 dollar cert. At the same time they are currently running a promotion with 20% off everything. This does not combine with the 10% discount though. You do accrue points though. I couldn't help but pick out a few items, including the wonderful yellow tea.

If you are ever in the Tucson area, I would suggest stopping in and looking around. Or if you are looking for something special and Chinese in the way of tea, check out their website. They also have a few videos and the like about tea and how to brew them.

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