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Destined to Make a Tea
The Tower District's newest hangout opened its doors last week. Teazer World Tea Market meets all your tea needs: loose tea, bottled tea, iced tea, tea bends, pots, cups, and accessories.
Owned by partners Ann McAtee and Ferry Santoso, Teazer has been a dream in the making for the two trained bartenders for more than three years.
Located on Olive Avenue in the heart of the Tower, Teazer offers an alternative to the area's coffee outposts.
"Basically the way we run it is kinda like a coffee shop but with tea," explains McAtee.
McAtee met her partner while bartending at a local Japanese restaurant. While she is good at mixing drinks, she wanted to make concoctions that made people feel healthy, not drunk.
"I'm a bartender to support Teaser, but I had no good feelings. We are like a mirror, whatever we see it reflects to us. And I appreciate the money and resources from bartending but I really don't feel like I'm doing something good, because my father is a Chinese herb doctor. I grew up in an herb shop, so it's really contradictory to my roots."
Originally from Taiwan, McAtee has lived in Fresno for eight years.
"My husband's Irish American. I say I'm destined to make tea because the name is McAtee, sounds like "make-a-tea," jokes Ann.
Teazer's creation has less to do with destiny than hard work and self-determination.
"I learned a valuable lesson. Whatever your heart desires it will be a long way, but if you do it every day, you will get there."
From identifying products to the interior design of the shop, McAtee and Santoso did it on their own.
"I bought like interior design books and I choose whatever I like and I try to put it together and make a harmony. The ceilings were inspired by the island Bali, the beams were inspired by Japanese temples. And the roof is like [the movie] "Last Samurai," explained McAtee.
The shop is small, with barely a half dozen tables and some comfortable, overstuffed chairs. There's limited outdoor seating, and a few stools at the bar.
In addition to tea served on the premises, Teazer sells all manner of loose teas, from Chinese green to Thai fruit infusions. There is a wide selection of pots, loose tea bags, and single-serve loose teacups.
McAtee worked in a tea shop in Taiwan for years and can answer all your questions about tea, such as the difference between Chinese and Japanese green tea (Japanese green tea is more "raw") or the best tea for a hangover ("Irish Breakfast tea").
"I'm more fighting the self-doubt and just go for it. If I don't do it now, a year later I'm the same. If I do it now, do it every day don't give up, maybe it will be different."
This Sunday, Teazer will have its grand opening. You'll be able to sample a wide variety of iced and hot teas while picking up some helpful tea facts. Plus you can enjoy the creative energy of McAtee herself:
"I was thinking if you dance, you're a dancer. There are other words, plus 'E-R'. And then Teazer. It's such a cute name I love it! Because I don't want to be like, 'Tea House' or 'Oriental Express Tea Garden' or that kinda stuff. I want something with a 'hip' to it. More contemporary."
Teazer World Tea Market is located at 645 E. Olive in the Tower District. Hours: Sunday-Thursday 9am to 11pm, Friday-Saturday 9am to 5pm.