Since founding EvyTea in 2012, Evy Chen has been providing Boston and beyond with cold brew tea, made using a method that results in a more delicate, less bitter beverage than tea steeped in hot water. From limited edition varieties in elegant bottles to wholesale classics, the EvyTea product line — now certified 100% USDA organic — has been spreading throughout the area, particularly at Whole Foods. Now, EvyTea will put down roots with a tea bar at 253 Amory St. in Jamaica Plain, right by the Sam Adams Brewery and Ula Cafe.
"When the company first started off, we were just in glass bottles, so having a brick-and-mortar wasn't something we really entertained," said Chen. But she vended at a few farmers' markets last year, selling drinks like a white tea mojito with lime, honey, and mint leaves in it, which proved popular. "That's sort of how the idea took place — oh, wouldn't it be nice if we had a brick-and-mortar. When the space came about, we went to look at it and right away thought that it was perfect."
A former car shop, the 1000-square-foot space has an industrial look, but it also has a 500-square-foot yard that Chen is converting into an herb garden. She doesn't want to go against the core of the space, so it'll still have wood beams, concrete floors, and other existing details, but she's bringing in bamboo and wood furniture, along with lots of plants and herbs, to give the space a warm feel. "It's not going to be one of those places where you come in and you're kind of intimidated," she said. "Have you ever been to a cafe where the moment you step in the door, you're like, there are so many choices, and I have no idea what I'm talking about, and the barista starts to ask you all these questions, and you're like, I just want a coffee! I'm trying to avoid that, so through a simple menu and warm decor, I'm hoping this is somewhere people will feel comfortable coming in, drinking tea, asking questions, and talking about things."
That simple menu will just focus on beverages, for the time being — no food. In addition to cold brew tea (including black, green, white, oolong, herbal, chai, and matcha), there will be cold brew coffee, as well as cold brew coffee and tea lattes. There will also be seasonal blends like that white tea mojito from the farmers' markets, and there will be a roasting station for tea, so customers will smell tea as soon as they walk in the door.
The tea bar, tentatively called Tea Bar By EvyTea, might have around 14 seats inside and 10-15 outside. Chen is hoping to open softly by May, with the official opening in mid- to late May. She'll hold small events and classes in the space as well.
"The tea bar will introduce people to tea and cold brew, making it perfect for people who seek awesome teas," says Chen.
An exhausting but exciting day. We emptied out the warehouse and are now ready to pour concrete flooring tomorrow. In two day, everything will be nice and smooth, we'd ready to paint the walls and stage all the fixtures! #entrepreneur #teabar #tea #coldbrew #boston #progress #jamaciaplain #spring
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