Hours + Location
Open daily 3-5 PM
Located in the back of There’s No Place Like Home
820 Main Avenue
Durango Colorado 81301
970 385 7300
(Princess on the keypad) The beautiful mountains, particularly Dibe’ Nstaa the holy mountain of the North, the crisp air, and the cute little shops are all so intoxicatingly inviting, luring us to Durango, CO. The memories from college, seeing friends and the green chile croissants from Bread definitely help in reeling us in.
In July, we were wandering the streets of Durango checking out the downtown area while visiting with friends. We wandered past a little gallery and Klee stopped to look in the window. I turned around and saw his feet disappear into the store. When our friend and I followed inside the shop he wasn’t anywhere to be seen. It was a cute shop filled with bright colors and an assortment of trinkets. We figured that the only logical place Klee could have disappeared to was through a random doorway in the back.
As we walked through the doorway it was a whole different space! There was still the same sense of a similar building, but it was a little tea shop! The White Dragon Good Feelings Tea Room to be exact. We sat and looked at the tea menu for about 15 minutes but no one was around. Someone came from the front of the shop and informed us that the person operating the tea room wasn’t going to be there for another hour.
(Klee here…) What to do in Durango to pass the time? Well, anyone who has visited the western colonial steam train track bisected town knows of the Southwest Book Trader. Imagine a house so full of books that they seem to bulge out from every wooden egress. Thousands of books with no apparent cataloging system except for the trapped-behind-the-counter (which is also book laden) owner. “It should be down the hall under the western stack, or in the bedroom near the east wall of books.” Its a dangerous place. We always depart clutching armfuls of intriguing tomes.
We returned to the White Dragon and met tea aficionado and proprietor, Michael Thunder. We immediately were asked what kind of tea we liked, Princess stated that she recently has been growing more fond of Oolongs and I offered Pu-erh. His ears perked up and the conversation quickly spiraled into a wonderful moment of tea. Michael offered two Toucha Pu-erhs, a
Chrysanthemum and Camel’s Breath. I previously had Camel’s Breath at David Hoffmans, its one of my favorite Touchas. That note sent the discussion further into steaming spirals of tea adventures including remarks that we create a blog to share our tea adventures (here we are!). After about 3 hours (when you have great tea, who’s counting anyways?), we made our way out of White Dragon with “One Bush” oolong, some Camel’s Breath, and an interesting Celyon that Michael highly recommended. Our comrade of Durango expressed amazement that there was so much to tea…
In October we decided to set off once again to visit friends in Durango, this time the tea shop was definitely a destination. Michael Thunder had made a couple of changes to the place, added more teas and changed the lighting. It felt more comfy and inviting.
On this trip we decided to bring Michael a few teas that we had recently acquired and some that we had in our humble collection. The teas that we brought with us coupled with the new teas Michael wanted to share we had a most wonderful tea tasting!
Some of the teas we enjoyed:
Silver Needle (Silk Road), Yellow Flower (Silk Road), Virgin Angel (Vital Tea Leaf), Pouchong Oolong (ABC Tea), Tie Kuan Yin (Kopius), Jade Oolong (ABC Tea), Ben Shan Oolong (Phoenix Collection), Blue People (vital Tea Leaf), Uji Gyokuro.
After the tasting we left Michael with some tea that we acquired from the Phoenix Collection and purchased some of the favorites from our tasting; Yellow Flower, Jade Oolong and an Organic Ti Kuan Yin. (REVIEWS COMING SOON)
The White Dragon Good Feelings Tea Room has officially (as official we can be here at least) become a reason to go to Durango. That said, we journeyed to the cozy tea room to stock up on some tea, gather some for a friend who is new to tea, and enjoy the company of Michael Thunder.
Michael stated that his tea room now features more than 50 teas. We must have tasted barely a dozen of them so far. We always admire Michael’s choice of tea wares at his room especially locally crafted Japanese tea cups “yunomi”.
On this visit we sampled new teas such as “Water Sprite” a pleasent Oolong from Fujian province in China. (some good info about Water Sprite here). This Oolong was very fruity with a vegetal finish. The after taste grew a bit strong. Not really what we look for in an Oolong so we didn’t take any home.
Michael was excited to share a Ti Kuan Yin Oolong named, “Drunken Concubine” (Silk Road). The story is quite remarkable behind the tea…well, the name says it all, lets just say it has a sordid past. The dry leaves had a pleasant milky/floral aroma. The overall taste was sweet and milky. Easily a choice to bring home.
We tasted our way up to a “Gold Tip Pu-erh” (2004 Silk Road). This Pu-erh had a remarkable earthy essence that stands up to much older (and much more expensive) teas. At $4.50 an ounce is quite a steal. Since I drink Pu-erh every morning, this tea is a great find, both for value and taste. (TEA REVIEWS COMING SOON)
How could we not love a place who’s mission is, “To create community one cup of tea at a time.”
Till next time…