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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Steeped Escape - Dobra Tea of Ashland

Steeped Escape

Dobrá Tea of Ashland

Story by Lindsay Dove 

Dobrá Tea is Ashland’s new, uniquely authentic tearoom, yielding loose-leaf teas of over 100 kinds from around the world, served in authentic tea ware that invokes age-old tea traditions originating in countries like India, China and Nepal. Served in a Moroccan-style tea room, Dobrá Teas are much more of a global and soulful experience than the average American thinks of sitting down to a cup of Earl Grey (though they have that too).

Owners Travis and Nicole Peterson, who just so happened to meet and fall in love over tea, have brought this escape from life’s chaos to Ashland, a town that’s a perfect fit for both spiritual insightfulness and tea-lovers alike.

The tea room was co-designed with the founders of Dobrá Tea, which has expanded over the last two decades into handfuls of locations across the U.S. and Europe. Scouting for a perfect space, Travis and Nicole found that the former sandwich shop on the downtown corner of Granite and North Main had an appealing shape that would allow them to have a separate kitchen, from which tea wares of many origins emerge from behind the Brew Master’s bar. Even if you’re not very knowledgeable about tea, Dobrá’s extensive tea menu, with descriptions that appeal to both the logical and poetic sides of the brain, guides tea drinkers through categories like caffeinated or non, hot or cold, and then by a tea’s country of origin. 

As owner Travis notes, “The tea room has a purpose that goes beyond me; to bring people together, with each other or within themselves, in a safe and harmonious environment—the tea room does not discriminate.” When you walk into Dobrá Tea, with the smell of Masala chai resonating throughout the room, you realize that it’s not just a gorgeous space to drink some tea, but a place where one can come in from the noise and experience a shift in consciousness. Travis mentions how he’s seen it happen all the time in just their first year of business: “People leave here feeling better than when they came in, and you can see it in the change of expression on their face, a more relaxed body language, and the positive comments from visitors and residents alike—it’s a place where the mind can flow.”

In fact, Dobrá is already known by its regular customers for its openness to relaxation, whether that means meditating over one’s tea with no technology whatsoever, using Wi-Fi to work on a laptop, or having a “real tea party” with children. Travis specifies that “there’s something here for everyone” and invites patrons to “come in and sit down in four different seating areas to read, write, compose in your journal, have a long conversation with a friend, or just commune with yourself to improve both body and mind.”

Teas that are most popular include: Darjeeling First Flush for its fresh delivery and flowery aroma, Matcha, which is a powdered green tea that becomes quite thick when hot water is added, rousing Chai in its many forms, Green Tea with its touted health benefits, Shakespeare Tea that is a recipe written by Shakespeare himself, and Staroborshov, an oolong tea that when mixed with a little bit of sugar, ends up looking like draft beer with a frothy head.

Tourists and locals alike will appreciate the cold, authentic bubble teas offered, especially with hot summer months coming soon. Dobrá’s authentic tea wares are always changing and are offered for sale, as are teas in bulk, so you can have your own country-specific, authentic tea experience at home.

Don’t forget to have a bite to eat while you’re drinking your tea, with the reassurance that all food is gluten-free and veggies are locally sourced. Dishes include dolmas, miso and hummus.

In the area of sweets, Dobrá is a true treat because they carry gluten-free yumminess like the flaky Fig Spiral, Superfood Tart, and a divine chocolate truffle called a Medicine Ball because of its blend of medicinal herbs inside a base of coconut oil and almond butter.

Take some time for yourself and relax at Dobrá.

 

Dobrá Tea

75 N. Main St., Ashland

541-708-0264

www.dobrateaashland.com

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