Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tea Time in Boulder Rocks!

Ku Cha House of Tea on Boulder's Pearl Street Mall
In the last three months, we at BTS have made as many trips:  February, we visited Atlanta,  in March we were in Florida and last month, April, we were dividing our time between Boulder and Denver.  Although a little jet-lagged and airport weary, I never tire of traveling or taking tea. Our trip to Colorado provided the latter in spades. We hit four tea venues/events in two-and-a-half days beginning with a Chinese tea room and ending at an in-home afternoon tea. We experienced a broad spectrum of tea times and all were amazing.

Quick break in Boulder with sister-in-law Cara
We started our trip in Boulder; my husband was there for business and I tagged along to connect with tea friends and family. My sister-in-law, Cara, resides in Denver and we had such a great time last year visiting with her and her husband and two boys (as well as The Brown Palace and Celestial Seasonings!) that I knew we’d be in for more fun this time around.  Cara was my “tea wing-man” on all but one of this year's tea outings and we slurped and sconed our way through two days of afternoon teas.  I know, tough assignment (ha!), but we were up for the task.

Ku Cha employee, Nich Dipasquale brews us up a sample of teas

The first night in Boulder, it was unseasonably warm -  the region had been dumped with snow the week before (and the week after!) our visit - and when my husband and I decided to dine out in the city’s Pearl Street Mall, we were caught up in the spring fever of the locals. Open air dining was available at almost every restaurant in the upscale neighborhood and as we walked down the busy streets, we came across Ku Cha, a Chinese tea room and retail store.  Located right on Pearl Street, this inviting store grabbed our attention immediately with its bright, cherry interior lined with shelves of tea. The customer service was equally appealing as we were treated to tea samples and steeping demonstrations by Nich Dipasquale.

My brother brought this peeing baby back from China. I picked up one at Ku Cha in Boulder.
My favorite tea accessory at Ku Cha was the “peeing baby”.  I had never heard of such a thing until this winter when my brother, Ed, returned from his year-and-a-half residency in China as part of a work assignment. He brought back several artifacts from his journeys and showed me the miniature terra cotta baby he bought at a tea room. It’s used as a hot-water indicator. You pour the hot water over the baby and if he leaks, the water is the right temperature for tea.

It was amazing, but less than a month after Ed showed me the peeing baby he brought back, I ran into the same tea accouterments in Boulder at Ku Cha. Nich prepared a variety of teas and ran through the peeing  baby demonstration for us a few times, to our delight and, yes,  giggles. Of course, along with a shopping bag full of tea, I bought one hot water indicator for myself.

Nich D. prepares a sample of Ku Cha's teas
We also met the owner of Ku Cha, Qin Liu, as he stopped in briefly just before the store closed. We wrote about our adventure for The Detroit Tea Examiner’s column: Ku Cha House of Tea:  Where East meets West in Boulder.

At Ku Cha - nothing like sampling some tea after a long day of travel
And, that was just our first night! The next morning, we headed to the Dushanbe Tea Room in Boulder followed by our final day's visit to The Denver Tea Room and a trip to the author of “Tea on the Titantic” Penelope Carlevato’s home for afternoon tea. But more about that in the next few blogs.

We headed west for a taste of the East and enjoyed it all to the last drop!

1 comment:

Denver Tea Lady said...

I saw the "peeing baby" in the Cherry Creek Mall store and it was a hoot! Beautiful store!