Teaspressa opens third location, aims to give back to Phoenix community

ASU alumna Allison DeVane opened the tea shop inspired by the way espresso is made

A door on Portland Street in downtown Phoenix opens to the smell of rose petals and tea leaves, and on the opposite wall, ivy crawls around a neon sign that reads in wispy cursive: "C'est la tea."

Teaspressa is a tea shop that's taken Instagram by storm for its signature bright and cheery aesthetic and punchy cup stickers. Their newest location held its grand opening on Aug. 17 near ASU's downtown Phoenix campus.

The concept is owned by Allison DeVane, a business marketing ASU alumna. DeVane said she's always wanted to open a coffee shop but was hesitant due to the large number of other local shops in the greater Phoenix area, so she started experimenting with tea.

"I don't really like tea," she said. "My drink of choice for espresso is a latte, and I really like the foam and the texture and the feeling."

So, DeVane found a way to make shots of tea with a process similar to that of espresso.

"You get this super concentrated tea shot, so it's really dark and has a lot of body, and then when you add milk to it, it looks like a normal latte," DeVane said.

She said drinking tea rather than coffee sustains the caffeine buzz for longer, and there isn't the "crash" that follows the energy spike of espresso or coffee in general.

DeVane said there is a culture behind Teaspressa that is summed up in the signature cup labels.

"'C'est la vie,' means 'That is life,'" she said. "So, 'C'est la tea,' our translation, is 'That's the life of tea,' that is our culture ... it's a lifestyle."

That lifestyle, DeVane said, includes a feeling that no Teaspressa employee does just one job and that no idea from any employee is overlooked.

"I honestly couldn't have done it without everyone's creative ideas and input getting this far," she said.

Holly Gallaway, the general manager of the newest location of Teaspressa is one of the employees who DeVane has trusted to further Teaspressa's vision.

Gallaway said that Teaspressa has pulled "a complete 180" since she began working at the company's Frank Lloyd Wright location in north Scottsdale three years ago.

"(Frank Lloyd Wright) is an 80-square-foot small kiosk that's just a walk-up, and downtown (Phoenix) has opened up opportunities for extreme growth," she said.

Gallaway said this growth also offers Teaspressa the opportunity to give back to the downtown Phoenix community. The shop has already hosted some workshops that give local vendors and businesses the chance to promote and sell their products, she said.

In an effort to keep up with the nightlife in the downtown Phoenix area, the shop will also host comedy nights, and the next is taking place on Sept. 6.

"We just want to always make sure to provide something that matters to our community," DeVane said.


Reach the reporter at japere38@asu.edu or follow @jsphprzz on Twitter.

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