One of Cherokee Street’s tiniest storefronts has a new tenant. Teatopia opened on Mon., Jan. 30, filling the narrow 300-square-foot space previously occupied by the Little Dipper (which is now located down the street inside the Fortune Teller Bar). The shop features 40 different varieties of loose-leaf tea alongside smoothies, wraps, salads and more. The concept comes from first-time business owner Reginald Quarles.

“The tagline I go by here is ‘Brewing better lives one leaf at a time,’” Quarles says. “No matter what it is, I want to improve somebody’s daily life in a small way every day through one of my cups of tea. Everyone is welcome to come and have a seat here.”

While the petite space only has room for three tables and seven seats, there’s plenty of room in the kitchen to roll out big flavors. Wooden shelves and white walls come stacked high with glass jars full of organic and fair-trade blends and leaves.

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Each tray comes with a timer for precise steeping.

Mabel Suen

“It’s not your average tea shop. That’s for sure. It’s not the old-English setup or anything of that sort,” he says. “We have great quality teas for reasonable prices. My goal is to expose everyone to tea and educate people on the health benefits.”

According to Quarles, his tea is sourced from Africa, Sri Lanka, India and other parts of Asia. The hot drinks – each brewed with carefully tempered water and set steeping times – are served in 20-ounce pots with 10-ounce cups in house. Sixteen-ounce to-go cups are also available.

The elaborate menu features options organized into the following categories, further broken down by region and complete with tasting notes: green, white, oolong, black, tisanes (herbal), matcha and decaf. One of Quarles’ personal favorites is the Jasmine Pearls, a rich and smooth everyday green tea from China that is rolled into little pearls by hand and infused with jasmine flowers. Additional highlights include cherry hibiscus, cranberry orange and darjeeling.

To make the most of the bountiful supply, everything from Teatopia’s cream-cheese spreads to its smoothies feature fragrant infusions from the hand-selected teas. Tea-infused vinaigrettes, for instance, include cran-apple and balsamic black-tea options served with salads including chopped spinach, chicken Caesar and kale-based plates. Wraps are also available, including a vegetarian option with romaine, spinach, tomato, onion, cucumber, kale, carrot and Parmesan flakes in a honey-wheat wrap.

Almond-milk based smoothies include options such as Strawberry Colada with strawberries and Coconut Creme tea as well as the Green Dream with mango, pineapple, spinach and green tea. Quarles’ next step is to expand by offering tea products online. Stay tuned for a Teatopia website.

Teatopia is currently open Monday through Saturday from 8am to 4pm.

Teatopia, 2619 1/2 Cherokee St., St. Louis, Missouri, facebook.com/teatopiallc