Tea shops are still scarce in a downtown that is very familiar with coffee shops. In March, Cha Cha’s Tea opened at 1325 Grand Avenue offering a new experience for people to work or simply hang out while sipping on a variety of quality hot or iced teas.

“We’re looking for people who are into trying new things and are into a different kind of experience. That’s exactly why we wanted to be down here,” said owner Ashley Hoekstra.

“Out of everywhere in Phoenix, this [Grand Ave.] was the place we wanted to do it.” Hoekstra said. “It just is so different and it really reflects who we are, which is a tea lounge—which is not a thing that exists here in Phoenix.”

The shop offers everyday teas with milk and biscuits and craft tea lattes like their chai tea latte, made from a concentrate of whole leaves and spices. Hoekstra also talked about their gaiwan of tea, a traditional take on tea drinking with a smaller amount of tea leaves in the pot.

From fresh Moroccan mint tea to matcha green tea, there are a variety organic and natural menu items to try, including their butterfly pea flour that is bright blue and turns purple with lemon juice.

“We’re going to start getting people used to tea,” said Hoekstra.“And then we’re going to start introducing classes that teach people about the different quality levels of tea.”

She says that the tea lounge is a new option for the community when they need a place to hang out and relax without the need to rush. Grand Avenue was viewed as a great opportunity to bring something different, where customers can stop by after attending local art galleries or come in and take a class.

“We wanted to be a part of that mix,” said Hoekstra.