Monday, September 29, 2008

Soothing sips at Seven Cups teahouse

I'm fortunate to live in a neighborhood that is chock-full of interesting shops and restaurants within easy walking distance. When one business closes, what takes its place is usually not a disappointment (unlike the bank that replaced the mom-and-pop hardware store near my old house. Boooooo).

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).
Now it's all fixed up nicely and has been open about a month.
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.
I passed the time with my book, "Black Swan Green" by David Mitchell. It's a sweet memoir-style novel narrated by a 13-year-old boy in 1980s small-town England. A brilliant read, very engaging. It captures the era and the pangs of adolescence beautifully.

I highly recommend it.

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!

Seven Cups
1882 S Pearl St
Denver, CO 80210
303-777-2877

3 comments:

Mimi said...

Your descriptions are awesome, like always, but what I wanna know is how you do your photo layouts... WOW you are good. I know it's a trade secret, but you amaze me!

Kitt said...

Thanks, mimi! There's no secrets, though. If you know a little HTML it's easy enough to tweak the Blogger layout and make it do your bidding. Mostly it's just creative use of tables and changing the runaround on photos.

L Vanel said...

That looks like a nice place to have a great cup of Chinese tea.