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Sam F.   

User's reviews

  • The Tea Grotto


    'The Tea Grotto' can be thought of as a Starbucks for the tea crowd; which in its own right is a rarity inside of Utah. I decided to try the place out one afternoon after seeing it listed on Adagio’s Tea Map. The decor was very loft-like and open, maybe even a little trendy with a couple of IKEA sofas adorning a large Buddha statue in the main room. Before my party and I ordered, we browsed through the other half of the store which contains additional seating and the bulk of the teaware and teas offered. I could recognize many of the wholesale teaware pieces I’ve seen offered by online vendors, some that were priced quite fair, and others that were an obvious pull at a foolish wallet. Being a newcomer to the world of tea, I was hoping to add a new gaiwan or decorative canister to my collection, but the variety of teawares offered isn’t very large, and you’d be better off ordering online. There is however a good variety of loose leaf teas being carried. You’ll find a lot of the classics and a few interesting ones offered in labeled and resealable pouches. The prices are good though I will say that I would have preferred to have samples of the tea be visible alongside to smell and judge the quality of the leaves. True tea aficionados may be disappointed by the lack of rarer teas or the lack of apparent detailed information about the teas. Back in the main room we stood dazed at the giant chalkboard with a list of teas being offered brewed to order scrawled across it. While I decided what to try, the rest of my party freely sampled a cherry and rose flavored sencha. The young man taking our order (I don’t have names because I don’t recall nametags being worn) seemed genuinely helpful as he offered to tell us about the teas or suggest a tea to match our tastes. Others in my party liked the sencha so we decided to get a pot of that and a pot of gunpowder green tea to share. I also ordered a veggie humus sandwich since I had skipped breakfast. The tea came out in nice little pots that you are free to pour from at your table. This is awesome for parties who are ordering and sharing numerous teas. A nitpick was that the cups were dark stone, meaning that you really couldn’t appreciate the color of the tea. One smell of the cherry rose sencha and I could tell it was flavored with the very ambiguously listed “…and natural flavors.” Definitely not an issue for some, but I tend to shy away from this sort of thing. My party thoroughly enjoyed the tea regardless so it really is just a preference thing. Having tasted other gunpowder teas, the one I tasted here was average. It could have been just brewed poorly, but it lacked a tangible smokiness that you’d expect in good gunpowder. I have no ill words for the sandwich, it was fresh and delicious. Our overall experience was a good one, and I’d definitely consider returning with friends, maybe even for an event night. It’s great to see a place like this in Utah, introducing people to the art of tea. The Tea Grotto is a nice place to exit the busy world, empty your mind, and fill it with tea.