Yao Xiao believes in the art of tea preparation. And as the co-owner and partner of a new teahouse in East Lansing, he wants to show his customers how to get the most from a cup of tea.
"A lot of people don't know how to prepare tea and boil the tea leaves," says Xiao, also known as "Angus." "We'll show you the instruments to use and how to make tea the right way."
Angus is steeped in preparations to open HiTea, a 1,064 square foot teashop in the East Lansing Marriott at University Place
. The shop, Angus says, will bring a contemporary edge to a traditional teashop, and feature 26 bubble tea
flavors, Asian drinks, and a selection of breads, croissants, European style sandwiches, brownies, muffins, cheesecake and salads.
"The raw materials for our teas is directly imported from China," Angus says. "Our taste is much more traditional, and we will have toppings like bubbles and jellies to add into the cup."
Since January, Angus has been building a relaxing teashop by installing comfortable seating, decorative wood structures, and storage and preparation areas. He's also brought in more than 13 different pieces of equipment deemed essential for preparing high-end teas, including a water heater, boiler, icemaker, water filtration system, and a filling and shaking machine. When completed, the shop will seat 34 customers inside and six to eight outside.
The East Lansing HiTea, Angus says, is part of a growing chain of teashops that originated in China, and is the fourth U.S. location behind Ohio, Illinois and Pennsylvania.
Angus plans to open HiTea March 10 and to have a grand opening toward the end of the month. HiTea will employ eight people, with more staff added in the coming year.
Source: Yao Xiao ("Angus"), co-owner and partner, HiTea
Writer: Ann Kammerer, Development News Editor