As young adults return to colleges and universities across the country, tea is on the menu and teahouses among places to frequent for the atmosphere and the opportunity to connect with other students.
Tea’s broad array of flavors and formats, combined with the calm wakefulness it provides is the perfect beverage to attract students interested in drinking more and keep them alert for their studies.
Here’s how five towns and teahouses fill youthful drinkers’ cups.
In Claremont, California, home to the the Clarement Colleges consortium outside of Los Angelescolleges, boba teas dominate among many tea options. Boba World, Boba Tea Zone, Boba Tea Lounge and Boba Fiend Tea House are a few of the many places in the area where students and families flock for the cold milk tea with tapioca pearls. Think traditional boba and still-trending twists like Trix, Fruity Pebbles and other childhood-fave cereal toppings featured with boba in a shake. Boba Tea Lounge claims to be home to the “Original Cereal Boba Shake” as cereal toppings have spread coast to coast.
Cha for Tea, the Cal Poly Pomona area, gets high marks on Yelp for fresh boba and tea that shines through sweeteners.
Kombucha on tap emerged as a favorite in Eugene, Oregon, the location of the University of Oregon, where the fermented tea draws students to hip hangouts like the Bohemia Apothecary & Tea of Life and Townshend’s Eugene Teahouse. Bohemia Apothecary & Tea of Life is known for its pear fennel kombucha and its bi-monthly Chinese tea ceremonies. Don’t expect kombucha only though. True to its goal to be “a positive gathering space for the community,” Townshend’s Eugene Teahouse beckons students with ample couches, tables and outlets; eight Brew Dr. Kombucha flavors on tap; and more than 100 loose leaf teas. Bonus: It features a special tonic menu to ease what might ail any student suffering health and school stresses.
Nitro tea has been building on the nitro coffee trend. In college town Madison, Wisconsin, nitro tea on tap is well-liked among University of Wisconsin students. It first surfaced on campus, as “UW Health was the first place to have it” in the area, Cadence Cold Brew owner Jennifer Roth told The Cap Times. Nitro tea is made by brewing tea cold and then infusing it with nitrogen, resulting in a smooth taste. Cadence’s concoctions show up in cafes throughout the city.
Even among college students, nitro offers an alcohol alternative. (Yes, nitro teas—and kombuchas—are showing up on tap alongside microbrews and beers in pockets across the country.)
“Having non-alcoholic options as an afterthought is not really acceptable anymore,” Cadence co-owner Roy LaValley told the newspaper. “I am happy to pay for something fun, interesting and awesome. Maybe I’m not able to participate like everybody else for religious reasons or having a baby or something else.”
“But give me something awesome … that’s not soda from a gun from syrup in your basement.”
Setting the scene matters today as retailers differentiate themselves by offering unforgettable experiences. Appreciated for its ambience, Burlington, Vermont’s Dobra Tea is a favorite place for University of Vermont and Champlain College students to study for a test or decompress after completing one. The teahouse is decorated with miniature bamboo trees and floor pillows, features a vegetarian menu and has a staff that is knowledgeable about tea. This Trip Advisor review says it all: “This is not a tearoom—this is a tea experience. We have never been to a place where tea was presented with blessings—literal blessings. If you need to decompress and be still, this is the place to do it.”
The chain has outlets in other college towns and cities of various sizes including Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Black Mountain, North Carolina.
University of Arizona’s students can escape the heat and monsoon season in Tucson’s Scented Leaf Teahouse and Lounge. It offers specialty tea concoctions and a comfortable, laid-back atmosphere with muraled walls and bookshelves stocked with a selection of genres. Students gather to chat over campus happenings and weekend plans. Scented Leaf features teas on tap, making drinks like its fruit bomb quick and easy. While the fruity tap teas capture on-the-go students, loose leaf also calls for studying to students to sit awhile.