Tama Tea: A Tea Revolution

tama 11These days, it’s hard to throw a stone without hitting a coffee shop, whether it be a national chain or mom and pop café. Don’t get us wrong. We love (okay…need) our coffee, but now there’s another way to get your caffeine fix in Wilmington. Tama Tea, located in the Forum at 1127 Military Cutoff Rd, Suite C, is the place to be if you’re looking for a new favorite drink that still aligns with your healthy lifestyle.

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It all started with froyo. You’ve heard of Fuzzy Peach, right? The wildly successful frozen yogurt franchise? It was originally founded by Rocco Quaranto III and Kelly and Wells Struble, and now they’re at it again.

Rocco said that “while we were operating Fuzzy Peach, Kelly was getting her MBA and actually developed a business plan on a tea café concept as a project. After we sold Fuzzy Peach and all went our separate ways, Wells and I started getting antsy to start something else of our own. We looked at dozens of business ideas and decided that Kelly’s idea of a tea concept was actually perfect.”

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From that point, tasting tea was everyone’s job… literally. “We traveled as much as possible to taste tea and even just got back from the World Tea Expo in Las Vegas… Each tea and drink that we offer goes through a rigorous battery of tastings. “

Tama Tea currently offers over 50 types of loose teas from around the world, offering a range of flavors from bold Pu-erh Hearts to Spicy Argentinian Chai. You can choose to either pick up a bag to savor at home or have it steeped in the store, but trust us when we say that you’re missing out if you don’t try one of Tama Tea’s signature drinks.

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Thanks to Kelly, who Rocco says “has a true talent for developing a drink from an idea,” the variety of the drink menu can satisfy anyone from tea newbies to someone who dares to try something “delightfully different.” One of our favorites is the watermelon matcha, which tastes as beautiful as it looks.

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“Matcha is a pulverized green tea that is packed full of antioxidant and super good for you. Unlike other teas, you are actually ingesting the tea, and there are many health benefit that result. The only downside is that matcha is a very…unique taste by itself. To combat that, we have created a few that use fresh ceremonial grade matcha as the base. We then use a juicer to juice a watermelon and that’s the pink half of the drink. It is an amazing taste that will keep you coming back.”

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Another thing that will keep you coming back is the menu, which is unlike anything in Wilmington. Created around the concept of a light bite, their signature dish is the tartine. Small enough to leave you comfortable after lunch, but powerful enough to stave off the afternoon hunger, the tartine is completely customizable. You can choose from one of the delicious tried and true recipes or another healthy menu option like grilled grapefruit or apple stacks.

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Rocco mentioned that, when developing the Tama Tea concept, one of their main goals was to “create a truly unique experience focused on great tea and quick, tasty food.” After just one visit, we can firmly say this: mission accomplished. To try out Tama Tea for yourself, visit them any day of the week from 7am to 9pm. 



Written by: Becky Eades

Photography by: Jason Armond