Nearly 200 oolong, green, white, black and pu-erh teas are being stocked this week at a new tea house in Cherry Creek.
Owners Rong Pan and Qin Liu, who met in Beijing but relocated together to Boulder to complete their MBAs, on Saturday will hold a grand opening of their third Ku Cha House of Tea.
The couple started the business in 2005 as an extension of Pan’s graduate thesis. Now, they have Chinese tea shops on Boulder’s Pearl Street, College Avenue in Fort Collins and, the latest, Third Avenue in Cherry Creek.
“I want to have (enough) tea so anybody at least can find a tea they like,” Pan said.
She carries varieties from China, Japan and South Africa — floral Jasmine Pearls and creamy Milk Oolong, warming Autumn Chai and a house-made Cloud Chaser that combines, among other ingredients, lavender, rose petal and lemon balm.
For now, customers can sniff and sample the existing teas and blends or make their own in-store to take home with them. By the end of May, Pan and Liu plan to open a cafe in the shop, serving hot and iced teas with tea-infused snacks, like lemon blossom cookies or matcha macarons.
Avid tea drinkers can also join the Ku Cha club, which, for $15 a year, gets them discounts and invitations to periodic tea parties. At those magical-sounding events, Pan herself or another tea master will put on a traditional Chinese (or Japanese) tea ceremony.
They’ll start with gaiwan bowls dating back to the Ming dynasty. They’ll wash, “wake up” and then steep the leaves precisely before the first pour. Then they’ll repeat the last part of the process in a ritual that’s both energizing and meditative.
“Tea is art rather than science,” Pan said, adding that the criteria for a good brew is “rich, hot, fill(s) up my cup!”
Ku Cha House of Tea is open 10 a.m to 6 p.m. daily at 2445 E. Third Ave. in Cherry Creek North. For the grand opening, from 1-3 p.m. on Saturday, May 4, Pan and Liu will serve snacks and taste six Chinese green teas.