Table Hopping – July 2013
“Time for Tea in KC”
t. Loft recently opened next door to the QuikTrip located at 80th and State Line in a charming little strip shopping center. Owner, Jill Minton dreamed of opening up a place close to her home, dedicated to serving the finest teas, fresh squeezed fruit and vegetable juices and what she calls "clean eats" but the rest of us know as "gluten free" foods. She orders all of her organic teas from California, but would love to find a resource closer to home. Her gluten free meals, cookies and snacks are all handmade in the back of her darling space and they do sell out quickly. ORDER: from Jill, who is usually behind the counter, a Coconut Almond Milk iced tea, made from almond milk she makes from scratch each day.
Located in the tony Crestwood Shops, the Tea Market, is your one stop shop for loose-leaf tea and many tea-related accessories. Owner, Stacie Robertson, has a deep appreciation and education around of all areas of tea and tea making, and she wants to share her knowledge of tea with you. Stacie proudly hosts a number of classes and events all centered on educating people about all facets of tea making and drinking. People rave about her teashop and her depth of tea knowledge and her gentle bedside manner when taking you through the process of how to make a great cup of tea. CHECK: out her Facebook page where all of her classes are listed to get yourself signed up.
Dedicated in 2006, the Japanese Tea Room and Garden, located inside of Loose Park, might be one of the best-kept tea secrets in the city. It was built as a point of cultural exchange between the sister cities of Kurashaki, Japan and Kansas City. Open 7 days a week by appointment only, there is a Japanese garden featuring a small ornamental fountain, large boulders, many shrubs and plants with a pathway leading to the ceremonial Tea Room. Anyone wishing to experience an authentic Japanese Tea Ceremony in the 4-person Tea Room must use a Tea Master to perform the ceremony. If you do not know a local Tea Master, one can be recommended. RENT: the room for 3 hours for around $30 dollars, and Tea Master fees are additional.
Kansas City is lucky enough to have a tea merchant and tea grower in Zehua Shang. As the owner of Shang Tea, Zehua sells his tea from his peaceful storefront located on the 3rd floor inside of Crown Center and online. He welcomes people into his shop to taste his family legacy. As Zehua prepares a cup of tea for you, he spins mesmerizing tales of the organic high quality white tea, which comes from his 20 acre family tea farm is located half a world away in the mountain-filled region of the Fujian Province in China. GO: to his shop at Crown Center for a chance to sample his tea for yourself, try the jasmine or orange blossom white tea.