The latest addition is Seven Cups, a Chinese teahouse in what was previously a yoga studio.
I first noted the place under construction back in May and took pictures through the window (you can click on them to see them larger).
The owner taught in China (in Hangzhou and Shanghai) and developed a love of Chinese tea there. He wasn't in on Saturday when I stopped by, but I'm sure I'll meet him one of these days.
The space is quite prettily done up, with tea displays at the front and about nine tables in the back half. It's a peaceful space, and not too chock-a-block with tchotchkes (easy to overdo with Chinese decorating). The Guan Yin sign seems a little silly, but serves as a gentle reminder not to eat the dried fruit and nuts at her feet.
Their tea list has 90 varieties! Green, yellow and black.
Some of the pu'er teas are sold as pressed cakes.
The gal who was there when I came in seemed a little scattered, but she got me settled at a table with a cup of Little Rose Tuocha. "Tuo cha" means "block tea." It's a smaller compressed pu'er, in this case with some rose leaves added.
At each table is a little bowl of rock sugar. I enjoyed savoring pieces of it between sips of tea.
The tea is served in steeping pots. The pu'er is in a little rice-paper ball that opens up as it steeps.
The tea was tasty, and I had a nice chat with the girl who started her shift just after I sat down. She had her hands full with a large party that came in for a tasting, but wasn't too harried to tell me about her interest in all things Chinese (she's studying Chinese medicine, and martial arts, and Mandarin). I'll go back and chat with her some more (she would like to practice her Chinese) and hopefully meet the owner, too.
Their website (which is a little wonky in Firefox) doesn't say what their hours are, but they do offer free tastings on Fridays at 3, and you can also schedule tasting parties for six or more people that feature multiple teas along with snacks of fruit, nuts and little cakes for $6-$8 per person. That would make for a fun gathering!
1882 S Pearl St
Denver, CO 80210