Churchill’s Fine Teas evokes individuals on their tea journey, an method appreciated in Cincinnati the place the store was named Best Tea Shop/Selection in Cincinnati by City Beat Magazine’s readers 5 years in a row. This 12 months, Churchill’s was included within the Best of Cincinnati by Cincinnati Magazine for the primary time.
The house owners consider each facet of the shopper’s expertise, from the placement to the teas they order and the particular occasions they produce.
Kathleen Kern, co-founder of Churchill’s Fine Teas, grew up in England. “I could never get good tea here, it was always mass-produced tea bags,” she mentioned. Kern relied on her kinfolk to deliver good tea once they visited Ohio. In 2003, after working a 25-year profession in govt search, Kathleen determined to open a tea store together with her daughter, Katherine Kern.
The demand for the tea store’s Afternoon Tea service led the Kerns to maneuver to a bigger house in 2009 in Cincinnati’s Findlay Market—Ohio’s oldest surviving municipal market home, which has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1972.
“People were encouraged to try different teas and find different things that they liked,” Katherine mentioned. “Then they found tea that they loved and started buying it to make it at home.” Now, Churchill’s Fine Teas is extra targeted on being a tea retailer and Afternoon Tea is obtainable throughout particular occasions just like the upcoming Holiday Afternoon Tea and Tea Tasting in November.
They opened a second location, in November 2017 at Rookwood Commons, which is a way of life mall in suburban Cincinnati.
Both places have a pattern wall of teas the place prospects benefit from the sensory expertise of respiratory within the teas’ aromas. “It’s a very experiential environment that you don’t necessarily get in other retail stores,” Katherine mentioned. Tea samples are at all times out there to introduce first-time prospects to tea. The Kerns are keen to supply steering to those that want assist in discovering their most popular taste profile. The shops persistently carry about 265 teas, plus some restricted version and seasonal teas, bringing the full to round 280. They additionally do customized mixing.
One common tea is a Lemon Drop mix that received a Gold Medal within the 2017 Global Tea Championship within the Black Tea – Flavored class. It is a mixture of black tea, lemon myrtle, and lemon rind.
To supply nice teas, the Kerns work with importers and journey to Asia. “Part of the fun is to go for unique, limited-edition teas that we can bring back,” Kathleen mentioned. China, Taiwan, Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Japan, and Malaysia are acquainted locations. Katherine added, “You’re there to learn about something that is very central to most of those cultures so they’re excited to share it with you.” In-turn, the Kerns educate and share the world of specialty tea with prospects.
They additionally introduce prospects to teas via their tea golf equipment. Customers are despatched 4 to 5 new teas every month with accompanying info and typically recipes, too.
They host a number of on-site occasions every month, one in every of which is named “Around the World in 15 Cups of Tea,” which is a three-course collection with tea tastings. They additionally do off-site occasions on the Summit Hotel and in Findlay Market. Additionally, they work with native breweries to create tea-infused beer.
“For a 5,000-year-old product, tea has really just come into its own,” mentioned Kathleen.
A tea tasting on the Rookwood Commons location.