The Den Tea Bar

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1932 Pacific Ave.
Tacoma, WA 98402
(253) 572-2280

Bakery, Coffeehouse
Kid-Friendly, Take-out
Avg. Meal:

The Review

Reviewed by: Jennifer Johnson

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Two Julies are better than one - just ask Julie Rex and Julie Bennett, who recently put their heads together to bring tea inside the existing all-ages music space, The Den, at the back of Bennett's buy-sell-trade shop, urbanXchange. At The Den Tea Bar the entire room is an eclectic visual mash-up, from the non-matched teacups to the shelves of bulk herbs and spices. Throw in a high ceiling, some massive round paper lanterns, Aaron Brown's vibrant, colorful art, a stage backdrop depicting a wooded nature scene (think: black and white paper mural) and a large white wall that could easily accommodate projected art or films - and you begin to get a handle on the possibilities and vibe this new tea drinking spot possesses.

Black, green, red, white, and herbal teas are from Eugene, Ore., New York, Market Spice in Seattle, and - of course - Tacoma's Mad Hat Tea. Rotating and affordable, the "tea on tap" is $1.75 for a refillable cup, while a pot of tea runs $3 to $4. In addition to packaged tea cakes and candies, The Den Tea Bar offers Mexican Coke, San Pellegrino, Bibi Caffee sparkling espresso ($2-$3), muffins, vegan pastries by Olympia's Blue Heron Bakery and peanut butter and chocolate chip spelt cookies.

The future holds rock shows at night, possible DJs and installation art, an entrance on Dolly Roberson Road and Quickie Too's delectable vegan sandwiches. As far as current entertainment goes, Alease Aubrey Frieson - the person in charge of that end of the operation - describes what she's gathering together as a "potluck of music."

What I heard at Sunday's grand opening - trumpet, spoken word, African singing and rock - was certainly an audible buffet. 

Hours: 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. Monday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Sunday


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