The place to be if you like tea - The Explorer: Business

The place to be if you like tea

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Posted: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 4:00 am

Along First Avenue, slightly south of Ft. Lowell on the east side of the road, sits a quaint little plaza, filled with shops. One of those shops, Tea and More, belongs to Oro Valley resident Petra Williams.

Williams, who has lived in Oro Valley for 11 years, grew up in Germany and wanted to bring a little flavor to those living in Tucson. And by flavor, she means 76 varieties to choose from, and that is just the tea.

Tea and More, 3054 N. First Ave., is a store that is modeled after all of the tea shops one would find while in every small village throughout Germany.

When she first moved to Tucson, she was unable to find any decent tea. Even back then, she had the idea to open a tea shop and sell the types of teas found in her home country, but, as she put it, she was too chicken.

“Last year, when I came back from Germany, said ‘ok, I am going to do it.’”

She found the Many Hands Courtyard off First Ave., which she feels extremely lucky for finding it, as she didn’t want to have her shop in a strip mall. She wanted to have it in a calm and quiet environment, much like that of the small villages throughout Europe.

Within the selection of more than 70 different teas imported from Germany, Williams has herbal and medicinal teas along with fruit teas. 

“The are 100 percent natural. No artificial additives and no artificial flavorings,” Williams said. “They are just the pure teas, which is very, very hard to find here. Almost impossible, I would say.”

With the natural fruit teas, she said some people even eat the fruit with their yogurt after having their tea, because it is simply natural and completely edible. 

The teas, which are from the Flora Farm, have won first place in tea competitions, Williams said.

But the shop does not simply have teas. She also sells all of the equipment necessary for brewing the tea. From small single use tools, to large multi-cup kettles, she has them.

In addition to the stuff for brewing tea, Williams also sells scented candles, and other all-natural stuff from placemats made from roots to notebooks in which the paper is made from rock – all with the notion of giving people in Tucson a place to buy things that they can’t buy anywhere else in Tucson.

The Many Hands Courtyard, which is home to a hair and nail salon, an art gallery and a handful of other stores, holds special events on the third Saturday of every month from 9 a.m., to 5 p.m. In addition to the events once a month, on Oct. 6, the courtyard will play host to Oktoberfest with original German food, beer, music and souvenirs from 3 to 10 p.m.

The tea is about $4.50 for 2 ounces, which is good for about 20 to 25 cups of tea. 

Tea and more is open Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., where Williams always has a sample of hot or cold tea, depending on the day, for people to sample.

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