My Grandfather was a hydrogeologist. He would often travel to Africa for extended lengths of time when my Dad was young, and would come back with eclectic treasures like carved masks and wall ornaments made of shells. Living in Utah, he would take my Dad out on the high dessert mountains to search for fossils, unique rocks, and minerals. They made themselves a large collection, filling an old blue metal trunk. My grandfather grew older and passed the trunk of fossils down to my Dad. I have vivid memories of studying dinosaurs in elementary school and pouring over the ancient artifacts in that trunk. I can still smell the earthy mineral dust that would fill my nostrils after opening the lid.
Along with fossils and minerals, my Grandfather and Dad collected a variety of geodes. I found these to be some of the most interesting treasures in that blue metal trunk. They were plain and unassuming on the exterior, but crack them open and you found a lining of beautiful sparkly crystals. This is exactly what I thought of when I first visited Happy Lucky’s Teahouse. On the exterior, it seems to be a typical Old Town shop similar to The Cupboard. But, you walk inside and find an array of beautiful treasures from incredible tasting teas to handmade accessories from Cambodia.
Happy Lucky’s Teahouse is located in the historic Old Firehouse on Walnut, a building that was built in 1882. When you step inside, there is still a fireman’s pole near the register, leaving a little bit of Fort Collins history for us to enjoy. However, the Teahouse itself was founded in September 2009 by George and and Kari Grady Grossman. Offering over 150 loose-leaf teas, a selection of baked goods, and even mochi ice cream balls – this is a delightfully relaxing and delicious gem in Old Town.
Happy Lucky’s Teahouse supports fair-trade and education in Cambodia by donating 10% of their profits to Sustainable Schools International, which is why there are so many retail items made from the country. Kari Grady Grossman is the Executive Director of Sustainable Schools International, an organization that works with struggling communities in Cambodia to support and develop much needed school systems. Happy Lucky’s tagline proclaims, “Serving Up World Change,” and they really are working to do that with every pot of tea they pour.
On one particular visit with my trusty review companion, Jessica, we sat near the back enjoying the beautifully made Cambodian handbags and silk scarves. There was a rack of National Geographic magazines to enjoy as well as a Buddha Board to paint with. Near the front were the rows of tea pots and accessories, and a wall full of metal tins displaying their varieties of tea. Jessica had a hard time choosing a tea to drink, and she was quickly helped and guided through some choices.
She decided to try one of Happy Lucky’s own blends – the Peppermint Pat-Tea. It was a classic combination of chocolate and peppermint, with ginger, slippery elm bark, and marsh mallow root. Not only was this tea delicious, but as an herbal blend it had some medicinal qualities as well – calming sore throats and upset stomachs, aiding digestion, and combating nausea.
She ordered this as an iced tea. It was incredibly refreshing and flavorful with a bright, crisp finish. It’s no secret how much I love coffee, and I will almost always choose grounds over leaves. In fact, I rarely drink tea. I think I can count on one hand how many times a year I drink it. But after sipping on this, I can tell you that’s going to change in 2012.
I ordered the Macha Latte – a green tea latte. It was a warm mug filled with brilliant green, creamy goodness. Just like other Macha Latte’s I’ve had, it tasted sweet like melted mochi ice cream balls with just the slightest hint of umami. It was lovely!
Along with our teas, we shared a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie made by the Mixing Bowl. Happy Lucky’s has some of their baked goods brought in, and gluten-free goods from a bakery in Boulder as well. You can also find gellato from Sammy Q’s Gelatoland if you’re looking for something different. There is a great variety of sweet and savory things to eat to go along with the amazing tea selections.
I was pleasantly surprised during my visit at Happy Lucky’s Teahouse. Not being much of a tea drinker, I expected it to be an underwhelming experience. Boy, was I wrong. It was a wonderfully tasty, relaxing afternoon. It was just like delving into my Grandfather’s metal trunk of fossils, and coming across a secret geode with glittery treasures on the interior. I’ll be sure to come back and explore more of the vast selections of teas and treats.
Happy Lucky’s Teahouse and Treasures
236 Walnut Street
Kid-Friendly? Yes, they even have some steamed milk items on the menu for little ones.
Parking: Old Town street parking.
Healthy Options? Gluten-free baked goods are here! And a very large variety of herbal teas to calm physical discomforts.
Budget-Friendly? Very – most items are under $5.
Recent Health Inspection: Excellent