Second only to a fabulous Victorian teahouse opening around the corner from us, we’ve just had the best turn of luck. Down the street from Destination Tea headquarters in Dunwoody, Georgia, sister and brother Priscilla Wells and John Yacoub opened Ark Coffeehaus this fall, where they are serving loose leaf teas blended on premises by Priscilla, a lifelong tea enthusiast.
3 Reasons We Love Ark Coffeehaus
- They care about sustainable, eco-conscious, whole food living. Priscilla and her husband Jeremy are local farmers, which is why Ark Coffeehaus promotes nutrient-dense food and regenerative practices. For example, they compost their coffee grounds and food scraps on the Wells’ farm. And there are no artificial flavors in Ark Coffeehaus teas, only organic dehydrated fruits, herbs and spices. To steep their teas, they use tea sachets with no plastic, because they want to compost them afterwards.
- Their teas are delicious (more below) and their treats (like Mediterranean egg bakes, soft-inside seasonally flavored scones, and caramel sauce french toast served with house-made sweet vanilla cream) are scratchmade and yummy.
- Family runs the whole operation. Siblings, spouses and in-laws are all chipping in (John’s wife and her sister do excellent work in the baking department).
Tasting Ark Coffeehaus Teas
First off, do not be dissuaded by the name. Ark Coffeehaus is blending and brewing legit loose leaf teas that are turning some of our friends into instantly obsessed fans. Awesomely, to help us find our favorites, Priscilla recently hosted a free tea tasting featuring 8 teas.
As we went around the long table in the shop’s Study Hall introducing ourselves, we were especially touched to learn that a young serviceman on leave had found this event and added it to his Atlanta itinerary.
For each tea, Priscilla provided a description of the ingredients, caffeine level and steeping temperature. She was happy to answer questions as she steeped and poured. The back of our Tea Tasting sheet was lined so that we could jot down our tasting notes.
We appreciated that this tasting included a diverse array of herbal, green, oolong, pu erh, maté and black teas. Priscilla will switch up their tea offerings seasonally, and we took note that the current Wintermunitea is what she calls a “Coughbuster.” When we asked about steeping times, Priscilla invited us to taste the difference between a less and longer brewed black tea (see the bottom middle pic of two cups of The Earl).
We brought home some of the maté-rooibos blend Matévanna as a gift for a friend who is now considering switching from coffee to this yummy blend with chocolate and hazelnut flavor. Priscilla would be very happy to hear this, since she says it took her 20 years of experimenting to recreate the taste of a tea she discovered at an Atlanta Teavana tea store in the late ’90s.
Before pouring each tea, Priscilla passed around an aroma tin for us to see and smell the tea we’d be sipping. Tea drinkers know that sharing tea together often creates community, and so it was no surprise to see that happening around this table, as we met other tea lovers from the neighborhood and chatted about our reactions to the different teas.
There’s one final bit of exciting news that we learned as we were ordering scones to take home: Ark Coffeehaus plans to offer afternoon teas on select dates in the new year!! We’ll be on the lookout for those details to update the Atlanta and Georgia Afternoon Tea Directories as soon as possible. In the meantime, we have so much gratitude to Ark Coffeehaus for being a great tea shop we can walk to. Early Merry Christmas to us!