BY PAUL BICKLEY
Tea is hot, and Chris and Jenny Fredrickson know it. That’s why, after visiting a Towns-hend’s Tea Company shop in Oregon, they decided to bring that feeling to Bloomington.
“They were relaxed and casual,” Chris, 56, says of the Oregon shop. “So, when I saw the ‘for lease’ sign in front of this place, I went for it. It seemed like a good fit for Bloomington.” The place he’s talking about, at 615 W. Kirkwood, is now the home of BloomingTea, which he and Jenny co-own.
Furnished with couches, stuffed chairs, and dining tables, BloomingTea seats 50 inside the house Chris thinks is about a century old. “People come in and say, ‘Wow, I love this place!’” When the weather’s nice, front and back porches offer additional seating. And there’s free parking in the back.
BloomingTea sells tea by the cup and also by small or large pots. You can get tea hot or iced—to stay or to go. Coffee drinkers can grab a cup of Brown County Coffee, and there’s also kombucha on tap.
“We have more than 100 teas,” Jenny says. “And with all the flavorings, we could easily have a hundred more.” Besides the usual suspects—black, green, and white teas; herbals; reds; matés; and apothecary blends—BloomingTea also offers CBD Tea made from the Cannabis sativa plant but containing no THC. “It gets you about as high as broccoli, but it has reportedly relieved back pain and certain neurological conditions,” Chris says.
The food menu includes sweets from Piccoli Dolci and Pie First Bakery, hummus and avocado snacks, three kinds of quiche, and three soups.
The shop sells bulk tea by the ounce, tea pots and cups, and made-to-order gift baskets. It also hosts events during business hours and rents its space after hours. Live music Thursdays, hosted by the Fredricksons, start at 7:30 p.m.
Hours are Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m.–7 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. For more information, visit btowntea.com.