“Tea is a religion of the art of life.” — Kakuzo Okakura
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues into 2021, many businesses have had to find ways to stay in business. In some cases, they have found success for the time being. In others, not so much. In the case of Townshend’s Teahouse, staying alive meant a rebrand as well as closing some of its locations throughout Utah, Oregon and Montana.
In late 2020, Brew Dr. Kombucha, the father company of Townshend’s, was forced to make a choice. They could continue to keep the tea houses open and risk the current lack of customers, or they could cut their losses and go a different route. In the end, Brew Dr. was forced to do the unthinkable and close all the teahouses, including the one in Bozeman, as well as the online store. Now the business has taken a new focus, beginning to turn their resources toward selling kombucha.
So what does this mean for the Bozeman teahouse? Well, luckily for all you tea lovers, Bozeman-based company Inspired Madness decided to take the reins and open their own store by the name of Steep Mountain Teahouse. And, as described on their website, “We carry the old favorites you knew and loved at Townshend’s Bozeman Teahouse, along with some new exciting teas and treats.”
As an avid tea lover, I was naturally curious when my editor mentioned there was a teahouse rebranding in town. So, when I took on the topic, the first thing on my mind was “I need to see this place for myself.” After having visited, I can safely and confidently say that Steep Mountain Teahouse will be seeing a lot of my disposable income.
The teahouse interior itself is very homey. Hardwood floors, great lighting and sturdy tables and chairs adorn the building. The decoration is simple yet eye-catching. Each drink is served in a glass teacup, and if you decide to take your tea to go, as I did, it will be served in a biodegradable container provided by Vegware. The service was equally as welcoming as the ambiance. The lady at the register was very polite and readily offered recommendations when I mentioned it being my first visit.
I decided to get the dragon pearl jasmine tea, since jasmine is a personal favorite and, to put the experience into one word, it was delightful. As expected of a jasmine tea, it was very delicate in its flavor: nothing too strong as you take your sip, with a light and calming aftertaste.
It is with great pride I say that even with the unfortunate closing of Townshend’s Bozeman Teahouse, the legacy and continuation of Bozeman’s local tea establishment is in safe hands. Boasting a vast selection of teas from classic chamomile to rarer jasmines and chai, Steep Mountain Teahouse will likely have something for any veteran tea enthusiast and emerging fan alike.