I think I’m in love with tea. Last week my friend Ruta took me to Tealoha at 131 East McBee Ave in Greenville
to meet owner, Jun Li who introduced me to the exciting world of tea. What an experience! I grabbed a booth against the wall and we sipped our way through an incredible selection of offerings.
First of all, I’d like to say that if you are looking for the perfect place for a meeting downtown, this is it! There’s a parking garage a few steps around the corner (that I didn’t know existed) and the interior of Tealoha is magnificent. It’s reminiscent of a Starbucks, actually, with extra attention paid to texture and fabrics and light. It really is absolutely beautiful. And enough seating to never be too crowded! You can’t miss it! Look for the yarnbombed posts out front, a mark of approval from the folks at Indie Craft Parade!
Jun disappeared into the kitchen and brought out a lovely tea service for us. She demonstrated the proper way to make tea. All of this boiling water and pouring it over our tea bags is destroying the flavor, people! 175 degrees and a few minutes will do it for a nice, smooth cup of white or green tea. No bitter bite. I absolutely love the beautiful Tisane (“tea-san”) selections. Tisanes are a blend of herbs, flowers and/or fruit and are naturally caffeine free. A good option for nighttime sipping. If you just have to have that super boost of caffeine, go for the yerba matte, a caffeine packed energy drink without the bitterness of coffee that turns some people off to my favorite of all beverages.
Tealoha not only serves straight up tea, they have a really cool menu of SpecialTEAS, Iced FruiTeas, and SmooTEAS. Did you know you can get a Tea Latte? No coffee in this drink, folks, but enough caffeine to keep you running. You must try the Snow Flake Latte, coconut flavored black tea with steamed milk (or soy milk) and organic sugar cane syrup (additional sweetener options available). You’ve got to try the Jasmine Mango SmooTEA, as well. A perfect icy fruit smoothie for a hot day in downtown Greenville.
Let’s talk food. They have waffles topped with fruit and whipped cream, protein packed paninis or steel-cut oatmeal for breakfast. And for lunch, a delicious selection of sandwiches and salads.
This isn’t just a stop for the early part of your day, check out the nightlife at Tealoha! On Thursday nights from 7-9pm, MC Gray Lee hosts open mic night. And on Saturday nights from 7-8pm, check out comedy night.
Though I won’t be giving up my coffee anytime soon, you’re gonna find me going back again and again for the delicious teas at Tealoha!