Hunter Strickland opened the doors of High Climate Tea Company last month and we couldn’t be more excited! Formerly an English teacher, Hunter’s life was changed forever when he started training under Uncle Gee and Ming Duong at Vital Tea Leaf in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Since then, tea has become Hunter’s passion and life’s work. He travels to China every year to source tea and carry on the tradition of teaching people how to balance their health naturally through tea. Lucky for us, he decided to open his tea shop and lounge right here in our favorite city!
“The Higher it Grows, the better the tea”
If you haven’t yet visited Hunter’s Instagram, go follow them now. You’ll instantly begin to understand just how much he loves tea and wants to share it with each and every one of you. In the shop, you will find white, green, red, oolong, Puerh and tisanes teas. From his daily favorite, Iron Goddess to the decedent Rose tea, whether you sit at the bar or rest in the lounge, you’ll likely feel a sense of calmness nearly immediately. Looking to try a new tea but are not sure what you will like, Hunter has a team of incredible tea lovers who will walk you through your options and what they will offer your mind, body, and soul.
During my first visit, one of Hunter’s tea experts Gus asked me a few questions about how I was feeling and suggested Blue People Ginseng Oolong because it improves circulation and pushes extra oxygen to the bloodstream, making it the perfect tea for long periods of focus and concentration or energizing for strenuous physical activity without the jitters of caffeine. Let me just say, the meeting I was there for was productive, focused and I left energized for the rest of my day.
Now, although this is a tea shop, it’s not just about tea! High Climate has a menu of handmade snacks by a local artisan and chef Hannah Kirschner. From seasonal mochi made daily with local ingredients to Szechuan-style Popcorn, your pallet will be pleased! Better yet, ask which snack will go best with your choice of tea for a truly magnificent experience. I highly recommend after ordering the mochi, be sure to ask for the “Moss Under the Cherry Tree”, matcha and rose naga chocolate fudge that will leave you speechless.
The Social Experience
Will you believe me when I say, it’s not just about the tea or the food. High Climate Tea Company is one of my favorite Asheville spots because of the social experience. It’s not a night club or a rooftop bar, yet you will find yourself bonding with the staff, laughing with Hunter and even getting to know your fellow tea lovers.
The lounge is perfect for meetings, friendly dates or solo time with a tea and snack. However, we highly encourage you to sit at the bar on one of your visits to learn what the folks next to you are trying, favorite ways to brew different teas and everyone’s unique path into the store that day. Before sitting at the bar, I had no idea what Puerh tea was, never mind how to say it. I simply asked and learned so much including why it is packaged in a flat package and how it is brewed a little bit differently than the other teas.
So what are you waiting for? Even if you are thinking, “I am not a tea drinker”, we highly encourage you to go visit Hunter and his team, taste Hannah’s amazing eats and experience the authentic and relaxing atmosphere. It will be worth it!