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Out of the Shark Tank

Teaspressa comes to Main St.

by Sabine Bickford

From the August, 2018 issue

New at S. Main and William is Teaspressa, an Arizona-based cafe whose claim to fame is making coffee-style drinks with extra strong tea.

Founder Allison DeVane staked that claim in a 2016 appearance on the ABC business-pitch show Shark Tank. Though DeVane didn't walk away with a deal, she says the publicity helped her expand the business. She says she decided to open her first location outside of Arizona in Ann Arbor after a college friend introduced her to the city. "I was like 'Oh, this is a great opportunity!' I thought it would be a great fit."

A simple menu allows patrons to choose between Teaspressa's signature drinks and a variety of traditional espresso-based drinks like the mocha, latte, shot, or Americano. All are available with the tea of your choice or with actual espresso.

DeVane is emphatic that her tea lattes are "absolutely not" similar to the chai lattes you can order in coffee shops. "Chai lattes you would get in most places are just sugar, and it's like a powder mix or a liquid," she says. "That's not really tea."

She says her method of brewing teas provides a robust flavor. "I've heard customers say they thought it tastes like coffee, but it's weird, because it feels the same and everything, but it tastes different," she says.

Other customers tell her they can't taste a difference at all. "Especially [with] the black tea. The green tea and the red tea not so much, but once you put flavor like caramel or stuff like that, or vanilla, it's very coffee-esque. It just tastes like a flavored coffee."

The cafe is next door from Marnee Thai on the ground floor of DTE's 414 S. Main office tower. Floor-to-ceiling windows combined with the bright white decor and dark green plants create an instantly Instagram-able environment.

DeVane knows that Teaspressa's signature drinks aren't for everyone, but she hopes everyone can find something there: "If you don't like the tea, we're more than happy to give you a coffee!"

Teaspressa, 414 S. Main. (734) 224-8934. Mon.-Thurs. 7 a.m.-6 p.m., Fri. 7 a.m.-4 p.m., Sat. & Sun. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. teaspressa.com     (end of article)

[Originally published in August, 2018.]

 



 
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