We Texans love our tea. We mostly drink it iced and in the summer. Some of us like it with lots of sugar; some of us like it plain. But let me fill you in on a little secret: those tea bags that you buy in the yellow box at the grocery store don’t even begin to scratch the surface of true tea.
Kyle Stewart of The Cultured Cup is passionate about revealing the mysteries of tea. He actually studied music at Northwestern University, but when a professor brought him a cup of oolong, he fell in love with tea and recognized his calling.
As he told D Magazine writer Eve Hill-Agnus, “‘I saw the world of tea in front of me’” while visiting the world-renowned gourmet tea shop Mariage Frères in Paris. ‘“And I thought, this is what I want to bring to Dallas.’”
And yes, he did bring it! He and partner Phil Krampetz have been operating The Cultured Cup in the Dallas area for over 23 years. They recently moved to their current location in Farmers Branch on Omega Road, where they offer a cozy tasting bar for their teas and coffees—they have about 150 teas and 50 coffees. General tastings are open to the public and are held each Saturday; private tastings, by appointment only, can be arranged during the week.
But don’t worry if you don’t know much about either tea or coffee, or even if you want to expand your horizons but don’t know what to try. Krampetz relates, “One of our missions is to educate people and broaden their tea and coffee experience. This is particularly true for our Saturday general tastings, where we attract people of all backgrounds and levels of knowledge of coffee and tea.”
Stewart’s most important rule, as he told The Dallas Morning News contributor Tina Danze, is to ‘“drink what you like.”’ Together they enjoy matching customers’ preferences with a tea or coffee that’s perfectly suited to their tastes.
So, how do you even begin to choose from their selection of beverages curated from around the world? Stewart advises to start with your reason for drinking said beverage. Is it for your health? To relax at the end of a long, crazy day? Or is it to harness energy and focus as you gear up for a new day? Whatever your desire, Stewart and Krampetz are certain that they can find your ideal brew.
And, oh—did I forget to mention the sweets offered at The Cultured Cup? After visiting the famous Paris tea house Angelina, the partners knew they needed to offer a drinking chocolate. If you’ve ever been to Angelina, then you know that just one sip will change the way you think about hot chocolate forever. The immense popularity of The Cultured Cup’s Signature Drinking Chocolate inspired them to offer two additional sweets, both of which pair well with either tea or coffee: the Texas Tortuga, which is a Texas pecan praline surrounded by sea salt caramel, covered with dark chocolate and dusted with cocoa powder; and three flavors of melt-in-your-mouth French Butter Caramels.
Discover what you never knew you were missing at The Cultured Cup in Farmers Branch located at 13731 Omega Road. Call 972-960-1521 or visit www.theculturedcup.com for more information.