“the teahouse should feel like being inside a teapot.”
Along Fort Lowell Road, near the winter wonderland that Winterhaven becomes throughout the holiday season, a 1948 building that hasn’t been used in years has something new brewing inside.
Seven Cups Fine Chinese Teas has officially opened its doors at 2510 E. Fort Lowell Rd. It isn’t necessarily new to all of those fond of quality tea but they recently moved out of the original location on East Sixth Street.
The new spot made its grand debut on Wednesday, October 19.
The esthetics of the new space
With the help of local architect Vince Catalano and Dan Taylor’s team at TCM, owners Austin and Zhuping Hodge of Seven Cups have put a lot of work into the new space. It’s remarkable to see what they’ve done with the space after seeing the before and afters. They also had a lot of impressive material to work with — some of which is wood from trees found on Mount Lemmon.
“Those beams were cut at a time when the forest’s old saw mill still operated,” Seven Cups shared on Instagram. “This actually came to us as a surprise. When we bought the building, these wooden beams were hidden behind a drop ceiling. It wasn’t until Dan at TCM started removing the dusty old particle board that he saw through to the warm colors of old pine that was behind it. We immediately realized we had something special. To preserve it and keep the space energy efficient, the building got a new roof with a thick layer of exterior foam insulation.”
Aside from the new wood carvings near the entrance and the incredible atmosphere inside the shop, some say that selecting a tea from Seven Cups is like choosing a favorite line from a novel.
One of the latest addition to the shop is the Jin Mudan (Golden Peony). It’s described as a “rock wulong made for the early autumn” and is a new and rare cultivar “whose leaves were carefully processed over the span of four months to bring layers of florals and warm pastry sweetness.”
How it all began
After several trips to China in the late ’90s, Austin made connections with tea growers and makers, but in 2001 he met Zhuping was studying Chinese tea and tea history. In 2003, Austin and Zhuping married and opened Seven Cups a year later. The shop was then known to be the first traditional Chinese teahouse in the southwestern United States.
Seven Cups Fine Chinese Teas is located at 2510 E. Fort Lowell Rd. and the current hours of operation are 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily. For more information, visit sevencups.com or follow Seven Cups on Instagram.