Article Published: Aug. 9, 2012 | Modified: Aug. 9, 2012
Yosefa AntiquiTEA teahouse catches its name from a trinity of charm.
Yosefa is not only the female derivative of Appalachian State University’s mascot or the middle name of co-owner Amy Foote, but also a Hebrew expression meaning “The Lord’s addition (to the family).”
“Amy and I are very strong Christians,” Corrinne Loucks, co-owner of the shop, said. “Though we’re not incorporating any religious symbolism, we felt this was the given name to the place.”
The partners’ expected end of the teahouse will have vibes both venerable and of a comfortable family room.
Currently, the orange peel- and rose-colored walls are muffled by boxes of imported tea, baskets of room adornments and cleaning supplies.
The teahouse will have a sort of preview, what Loucks calls a “construction party,” on Wednesday, Aug. 15.
But by the official opening day, expected by the first of September, the room will hum, Mediterranean and warm.
To the left of the door will be a demo window in the same mosque-dome shape as the teahouse logo. Displayed will be a local organic bakery case with gluten-free and vegan varieties. Delicacies like Asheville chocolate, pita bread, hummus, fruits, baklava, scones and desserts will be available to complement the tea.
Intricate 80-year-old Moroccan teapots and silvery Chinese teacups will be displayed by wall shelving. The seating will be traditional Moroccan style – long couches and autumn chairs and low tables. Heavy sensuous curtains will wrap the room in ardor.
Loucks has been a self-employed Realtor in Boone since 2003, and Foote has been a dedicated mother. In the fall of 2011, the friends began sculpting business ideas to house Loucks’ growing consignment projects.
“I have this knack for buying things, fixing them up and re-selling them,” she said. “But the more we researched and the more people we talked to, the more we found out how much the tea and chocolate businesses are booming right now. And this town doesn’t have either.”
The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India predicts that as health benefit awareness rises, the tea industry will double over the next three years.
Since then, the two have been to several international tea expos and conferences. They have collected book sources, made note cards and taken tests to become certified as Level Two Cuppers.
“It’s similar to wine tasting,” Loucks said. “We tasted tea and had to know which country it was from and whether it was the first of second infusion.”
The partners will instill the same travel-learned accuracy and tradition in their tea preparation and serving.
White tea is brewed at 160 degrees, green tea at 180, oolong tea between 190 and 200, tisanes and pu-erh teas at 212.
The artistic serving of teas varies by origin, from Chinese Yixing teapots to Japanese cast iron teapots and from glass teacups to bone china.
A staff recommendation for the amount of time the served pot of tea should steep before pouring will be given upon presentation. Cream and sugar will be included in the tray, though, as George Orwell wrote, “It would be equally reasonable to put in pepper or salt,” than to destroy the flavor of tea with sugar.
Yosefa AntiquiTEA will carry 40 to 50 kinds of tea, like dong ding and imperial pearl oolongs and masala chai, all fair trade and organic.
Hot tea will be sold by the pot from $5 to $8 and iced tea from $1.50 to $3. Tea leaves are priced at an average $4 an ounce, and available in a sateen pouch as a gift.
Yoga classes will be held at Yosefa, local bands are being scheduled, and the walls will display local art and local made teapots.
“Everything that we display on the walls will be for sale,” Loucks said. “That’s where the original consignment idea still sticks around. Just ask.”
Yosefa AntiquiTEA will be closed on Sundays and Mondays and open Tuesday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. The teahouse will adjust its hours until much later on ASU exam and event evenings.
Located at 161 Howard St., Suite C, in Boone (next to Cha Da Thai), Yosefa AntiquiTEA will be the premier sanctuary of fine tea – “a legal euphorium.”