Expected to open in early March, the Scented Leaf downtown will have 16 teas on tap, as opposed to the 12 teas on tap offered at the University location. They’ll also have less loose leaf options to keep the focus on quick, yet quality service. “Let’s focus on what we’re really good at and get faster and better at it,” says Barela. The Scented Leaf offers premium loose leaf tea including green, white, rooibos, oolong, black, herbal and puerh varieties, as well as iced teas on tap, smoothies, and some small snack items. But Barela maintains that the central focus is and always will be serving top quality tea to Tucsonans.
He adds that the second location will have all the loose leaf favorites, “plus the seasonal ones people love like apple cinnamon in the fall and blueberry bliss and prickly pear in summer.”
“It’s really exciting for me to have a shop that’s designed for success, rather than my first location where I had to claw my way up,” Barela says.
Patrons and tea lovers can support the opening of the downtown shop by contributing to the Scented Leaf’s crowdfunding campaign. Barela says he wants to expand his business without investors. “If it ends up being an empire, I want it to be built brick by brick.”
Fors Architecture + Interiors, a Tucson based firm that worked on other city staples like HUB and Playground, is designing the new shop. With all of this in mind, Barela says he has high hopes for a tea house that is “fun, exciting and different.”