Tahoe Top 5: Chá Fine Teas in Truckee offers delicious teas, spices, essential oils, and gifts | SierraSun.com

Tahoe Top 5: Chá Fine Teas in Truckee offers delicious teas, spices, essential oils, and gifts

Local mother-daughter duo, Cindy Shippy and Tina Peek, are reminding locals and visitors just how good a cup of tea can be.

They welcome tea connoisseurs and newcomers to see what all the rage is about; straight from their Chá Fine Teas boutique located on Donner Pass Road in Truckee.

"We get that a lot of people consider themselves coffee drinkers, but it is our goal to have at least one tea that everyone will love," said Tina Peek, who runs the teashop with her mother.

"Just give it a try, it has a lot of flavor. People might not realize they love tea until they come try it, they've had Lipton or bag tea and haven't experienced the really great flavor that comes from these natural, loose-leaf teas," she said.

With more than 80, loose-leaf, hand-blended natural hot or iced tea blends to choose from as well as coffee, smoothies, pastries and frozen treats, the kindhearted pair certainly do cater to a wide array of taste buds.

Originally created by Shippy's niece in Washington, "Chá" is pronounced like "Shaw" and translates to "tea" in Portuguese, which is her husband's heritage.

Recommended Stories For You

The family run business is so deeply rooted in its family values, in fact, that they extend a warm welcome for guests to join their kin, over a nice cup of tea.

"Tea shops vary, but our mission is for everyone to feel welcome and to accommodate any kind of tea drinker," Peek said.

Her mother added, "We can customize your tea in any way you like because we make it from scratch, it's not something that is premade and poured out of a bottle. That way it has more flavor and is healthier; so you can create your own concoction that has more 'oomph' and is better for you."

A wonderful alternative to coffee for caffeine, and a healthful alternative to satisfy a sweet tooth, their hot and iced teas can be comforting at breakfast and in the evenings or a refreshing way to hydrate on a hot summer day.

The perks don't stop there. Below are the Sierra Sun's top five reasons to head over to Chá Fine Teas.

1. You might not know you love tea yet

The ladies of Chá feature more than 80, loose-leaf teas spanning herbals, white, green, oolong, black, and chai. Teas are available for purchase by the cup both in-house and to go, as well as by the ounce to take home for yourself or as a gift — they even take care of gift wrapping for you.

"There as many kinds of tea as there are people," Sippy said.

Chá offers two tea samples every day so you can taste flavors you might not have tried before. They offer all of their teas hot or iced, and are happy to craft your perfect latte.

2. Everything you need to make the loose-leaf life super easy

Chá has taken the guesswork out of the tea lifestyle and offers all kinds of mugs, thermos and tumblers for on-the-go sipping, as well as beautiful ceramic and stainless steel teapots for in-home use.

You can find pack-and-go infusers that are great for camping, electric teapots, individual infuser cups, iced tea pitchers, and virtually any accessory to fit any lifestyle.

Loose-leaf teas are great for resteeping, which allows for more tea time than with a tea bag; their tea press mugs and pitchers make for easy and quick brewing.

3. They don't stop at tea

Their downtown location makes Chá Fine Teas the perfect stop for an early morning or midday snack. They also pour local coffee made-to-order with a French press and offer smoothies, including their organic, non-dairy green tea option. Headed to the lake, then pick up a Früzie –—an individually packaged frozen smoothie eaten with a spoon.

To go baked goods and sandwiches are available every day, and in the cooler months they offer to-go soups.

4. The local flavor

Since the owners are locals, they appreciate other local businesses and feature artisan products crafted locally in their boutique shop. They have all the makings for a thoughtful gift.

The paintings on the walls are for sale, and feature photography from Tahoe Dog Photography, while Japanese braided jewelry is displayed on the countertops and even therapeutic bed warming pillows are available.

Aside from promoting local craftsmen and women, the owners say their goal is to invite people to connect in a space together, which is what tea is all about.

"As my grandmother would say, 'There's nothing that can't be solved over a cup of tea," Shippy said.

5. Who doesn't love a tea party?

Aside from stopping by for a personal pot of tea or a pot to share with a pal, the shop also offers their space for events and private parties.

They've hosted high tea parties, and welcome people to reserve in advance for customizable tea tastings.

Their cozy space has been decorated entirely by their own family members, bringing love to the entire shop, including each cup of tea they pour.

Cassandra Walker is a features and entertainment reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at cwalker@sierrasun.com, 530-550-2654 or @snow1cass.