I recently visited the Dashunbe Tea House in Boulder, an ornate and pristine Tea House located at the base of the Rocky Mountains and next to Boulder creek. The tea house is filled with authentic Asian sculptures, design, and art work and sells a wide variety of teas for any taste. The place has a substantial history behind it, having first been built in Dashubne, Tajikistan, Boulder’s sister city. It was constructed in Dashunbe in the 1990’s, then dissembled, crated up, and shipped to Boulder, where they rebuilt the building. This was performed as a symbol of friendship and cultural exploration, and as a proud sign of the diversity seen all the world over. On their website, the Dashunbe owners proceed into more detail about the history behind the construction, where some of the more amazing feats include how over forty artisans over a decade contributed to the art and sculptures which decorate the current tea house.

The story of Tea begins in China, where legend has it that around 2000 BC Emperor Shen Nung was sitting under a Camellia Sinensis Tree, drinking hot water, when some of the leaves dropped into his cup. He decided to try the resulting infusion and thus tea was born. China is indicated to have the earliest evidence of tea consumption and tea ceremonies continue to this day. In addition, the camellia senensis tree is still considered to be the ‘tree of origin’ for tea, where at first, the leaves were used for medicinal purposes, but eventually became a common household beverage and mental stimulant.

The process of turning the leaves of the camellia tree into consumable tea leaves occurs through the drying of leaves. There are different categories and methods for drying tea leaves, including different oxidation levels and smokiness, which will effect the flavor of the tea. After the drying process, the tea leaves are often blended with other leaves or mixed with different flavourants to alter the final taste.

On July 29th-30th, the 18th Annual Rocky Mountain Tea Festival will be held at the Dashunbe Tea House. Customers will learn more about premium teas, listen to seminars and panels, and attend workshops and tea tastings. And if you’re just after a little tea indulging, Afternoon Tea is held at the Dashunbe eery day from 3-5pm.


Theresa Duncan is primarily a student of writing and lover of literature, currently pursuing a Masters in Creative Writing at the University of Cambridge, England. She has previously worked for Ocean Magazine and the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula, and enjoys learning about the esoteric eccentricities of every town she visits. She loves books of all kinds, climbing and bouldering around Colorado, and drinking a jag of Pimms with her tutors when she’s in England. She has a BA from California Lutheran University in English and hopes to eventually pursue a Ph.D in Literature.