Chocolate is a Valentine’s Day gift-giving staple but why not try chocolate with a twist? How about giving your special someone one of the chocolate teas offered at the Greenport Tea Company?
In December, the Greenport Tea Company moved from its Main Street location to the Front Street Garden complex on Front Street across from the Greenport Post Office. With the move came major changes. The tea company will no longer be serving high tea or other luncehon fare. Now, owner Jan Kirwan and her partner Jenette Holloway are focusing on the retail end of the business and expanding web sales.
“With the rising cost of food, it was the right time to make a change,” Kirwan said.
Kirwan said the old space was too large for their re-envisioned business and the new location is smaller and is a better fit for selling loose tea and accessories. She said they will offer some light fare, including baked goods using some of the teas, but they will not be selling full meals. In addition, the new spot has a courtyard outside the store, which allows customers to sit and enjoy a cup of tea.
New to the business is the tea tasting bar, which currently offers more than 60 loose teas for sampling. Kirwan expects to double her loose tea offerings in the coming months. With red teas, white teas, desert teas, caffeinated or decaffeinated teas, Kirwan said it is desert without the guilt or added calories.
For those not used to purchasing loose tea, the store has plenty of preparation options. Tea can be sold by the half pound or quarter pound. Kirwan said a quarter pound of loose tea can make about 35 to 40 cups of tea. She also sells tea sacks, and cups and small tea pots with infusers built in to help prepare loose tea. They also stock artisan teas and will make special orders by request.
Describing the products she carries as “collectible but functional,” Kirwan said she likes to carry items that are thoughtful in design and well made. She carries high quality German tea kettles and a line of products for people with disabilities.
Starting in March, the Greenport Tea Company will offer complimentary tea tasting from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday evenings. Kirwan said bring your own tea cup and you will be able to sample a variety of teas from their tasting menu and get a discount on in-store purchases.
Many of their regular customers have followed them and once the word gets out about the new location, Kirwan said more business will follow.
“Change is good,” Kirwan said.