Nestled in half of the old firehouse on Walnut Street, Happy Lucky’s Teahouse is part gift shop, part café and part exotic excursion for the senses.
Featuring well over 180 variants, the largest selection in Colorado, Happy Lucky’s “Great Wall of Tea” is overwhelming at first. The friendly staff, clad in silk shirts, will aide you in conquering the wall. Their goal is to educate you so you’ll be confident in brewing a cup at home that’s just as good as what you would enjoy in their store.
The wall is an interactive experience with small metallic boxes that encourage smelling each tea. You can enjoy it hot, iced, with a freshly baked treat or you can take the loose-leaf tea home. This makes Happy Lucky’s a great destination, no matter the season or weather. Because it’s connected to Old Firehouse Books, you could also grab a new read while you sip on their numerous blends.
For my first tea, I tried their Madame Grey. This black tea had an unexpected floral and citrus aroma. Like most teas, my tongue picked up notes similar to what I smelled, but I also tasted a hint of lemon. Given the nature of black teas, I was surprised at how smooth and sweet it was. I’ve never had this type of tea before and I found it more welcoming than its male counterpart.
My second sample was the Bell Well herbal blend sweetened with honey. This yellow, cider-colored tea had a powerful honey and lemon aroma and taste. I also noticed a bit of smooth ginger as it went down the back of my throat. I was nursing the end of a cold and, like the name implies, the tea instantly opened my sinuses and made me feel better.
Mahatma Masala Chai, my third drink, was a disappointment. The normal chai flavors of cloves, cardamon and cinnamon were muted. I felt like I was drinking spicy, lukewarm chocolate milk. However, I blame the mediocre taste on the fact that it was probably sitting in the electric warmer for the majority of the day and therefore not as fresh as it could have been.
Since I have a tower of Celestial Seasonings Madagascar Vanilla Rooibos at home, I knew I had to try at least one of Happy Lucky’s red teas. I ordered a pot of Rooibos Chocolate Orange and paired it with a soft and chewy coconut macaroon. The tea could have used more chocolate, but it was excellent nonetheless. The welcoming amber color eventually turned a dark ruby red and the flavors became richer, bolder and more complex with each cup.
The one pot, easily shareable since it held about five glasses, and the afternoon snack totaled just over $5. This combination of delicious and cheap is giving both Celestial Seasonings and Starbucks a run for their money.
The relaxing nature and charm of the shop beckoned me to stay sedentary all day. I can tell frequent visits are in my future.
Collegian Reporter Jefferson Geiger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.