If you haven’t stopped by Saku Tea at the Tide Lines Gallery yet, then make your way to the cozy tea bar. Husband and wife team, Kuros Zahedi and Sandra Loeffelmann, ensure patrons can choose from a wide selection of tea lattes, blends, pots, cups, and everything in-between. The duo has spent years traveling and sipping tea all over the world. They’ve perfected the brewing methods and timing for all your favorites like black, oolong, and rooibos. Tea connoisseurs will appreciate the wide variety of Saku Tea’s brewing styles include guywan brewing: a Chinese method consisting of a lidded bowl, multiple pours of water over the leaves, a pouring vessel, and a long afternoon to enjoy cup after cup. As the leaves become more and more saturated with each brew, the flavor alters, something you can’t get from a large mug of tea leaves brewed at once.
Upon entering Saku Tea, you’re hit with a sweet, slightly herby scent. Grab a seat at the bar to watch various tea drinks being blended and brewed, or choose a seat at one of the tables to chat with friends or read a good book. Over the bar you’ll notice a string of paper rectangles painted with tea stain. Along the wall selves display packages of loose tea and pots for sale. A couple of glass jars display sweet baked goods, perfect for dunking into a warm cup of tea.
Peruse the menu. Unsure what kind of tea blend you’ll enjoy or what the difference between a white and black tea is? Just ask. Friendly and knowledgeable, Kuros and Sandra opened Saku Tea for the purpose of offering an education to the community in hopes of creating a special appreciation for the dried leaves. They often offer samples, urge customers to sniff coasters of loose tea leaves, and happily provide brewing knowledge. Incidentally, Saku in Japanese means “to bloom,” exactly what tea leaves do immediately when exposed to water. The word also happens to contain the first two letters of the owners’ first names. It’s a perfect coincidence that bloomed into a lovely place to enjoy a cup of tea.