The new Wichita tea house has a patio perfect for sipping
Wichita went through a teahouse phase about ten years ago and several small shops have sprung up all over the city.
With names like Aunt Hattie’s Tea Room and Victoria’s Tea Room, they were charming, but had more of a lace and porcelain feel your grandma would love. The last one closed in 2011.
Now the tea has returned to Wichita in the form of The tea room, a chic new College Hill business that opened a week ago in Clifton Square, 3700 E. Douglas.
It is similar to teahouses of the past in that it sells hot tea and tea bags and will eventually offer formal high teas on Sundays.
But inside, the tearoom has a more modern feel between spa and cafe, and it’s filled with not only small spaces to sit and sip, but also plenty of fun boutique items for sale.
And outside, the owners just created what could become one of Wichita’s most desirable outdoor hangouts – a patio facing the Douglas Fair with movable fireplaces, a glowing tree shrouded in light, and a view of the College Hill homes owned by Wichita-born celebrity Kirstie Alley, which sits just across the street.
Tea to go, to stay
Owned by Haley Heter and Cat Lonc, The Teahouse has taken over the ground floor of an old two-story house converted into retail space on the east side of the plaza which was occupied by the Clifton Collective until ‘he moved to a space at the back of the plaza earlier this year.
The tea room opened on August 28, but it will celebrate its grand opening all day Saturday with an event that will include a free outdoor yoga class on the terrace in the morning, free tea samples all day long. , discounts on purchases and live music in the evening.
The Teahouse, which offers different types of tea from countries around the world, sells hot and cold tea-based drinks. The menu includes pastries like scones and muffins. Customers can also buy loose tea to take out and make it at home, and while they’re at it, they can shop for shelves full of tea sets, mugs, cooking utensils, gift items. – even cigars.
The company will be offering small tea classes on Tuesdays, which will give tea lovers information on how their favorite teas are grown, harvested and best enjoyed. Over the next month or so, the owners will begin offering a Sunday afternoon snack – a more formal event that includes finger sandwiches.
Those who stop for a drink order them at the counter, and they can get them hot or iced. Those who wish to linger can order a teapot, beautifully presented on a white tray with the tea leaves on the side and a stick of local honey to mix. People can steep their leaves up to three times, and they can continue to get free hot water refills during their visit.
The tearoom also sells trendy tea-based drinks like bubble tea (he makes his own boba) and matcha tea, and the owners are partnering with several local tea suppliers, including Leaf Logic Wellness Tea. and Golden Monarch, whose owners not only sell their products in the store, but also help with classes and education.
Those looking to enjoy their tea at the store can choose from two small indoor seating areas – one at the back of the store and one facing Douglas. Outside, there’s more room, and the new patio – furnished with white wicker chairs, portable fireplaces, and large blue umbrellas – attracts a lot of attention.
Both Heter and Lonc are tea enthusiasts who have traveled extensively and have long dreamed of opening their own tearoom. They were visiting Papa’s general store owner Derek Sorrells earlier this year when he opened his new Clifton Square ice cream and coffee shop.
Heter mentioned that she always wanted to have a business in Clifton Square, and Sorrels pointed out the store next door.
They looked out the windows.
“I said, ‘Oh my God, I think this place is empty,’ Heter said. “Then I said, ‘This is our tea house.’ “
The Teahouse hours of operation are 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Sunday. It is closed on Mondays.