From Russia with Love

There's more than one tea party in the Mile High City.

December 2010

When it comes to beverages, Russia is known for its vodka. But thanks to Leonid and Anatoly Yuffa, two immigrant brothers from Saint Petersburg and co-founders of Dazbog Coffee, Russia is becoming synonymous—in Colorado at least—with tea.

The brothers are diversifying their business portfolio—the Denver company has 29 locations in five states—with a line of premium teas. “Tea is deeply rooted in Russian tradition,” Leonid says. “So it’s only fitting that our evolution as a business includes blending our own line of tea.” The product line launched in June and consists of 27 loose-leaf blends of black, green, white, and herbal teas such as Darjeeling—the “champagne” of teas—peppermint, jasmine, and Ceylon.

And while the tea market in Colorado is already saturated (tea behemoth Celestial Seasonings is based in Boulder), the Dazbog teas are selling well enough that the brothers already have several more blends in the works. The company hopes to offer more than 40 teas by year’s end, available in Dazbog locations and at local grocers such as Vitamin Cottage and King Soopers. And while the brothers don’t want you to give up your java addiction (they are coffee purveyors, after all), the company is betting that its Russian-style teas will diversify your caffeine habit.

    Tasting Notes: Five to try

  • Strawberry White Tea: Delicate, light, and refreshing; save this one for a summer morning or try it on ice.
  • Green Japanese Sencha: Bold and flavorful, yet lacks the typical green-tea bitterness.
  • Tropical Green: Infused with mango and pineapple for just a hint of a sweet- tart taste.
  • Chocolate Pu-erh: The rare black pu-erh leaf is blended with white chocolate pieces to create a slightly sweet—but not overly so—dessert tea.
  • Russian Caravan: A Lapsang Souchung tea that smells and tastes like campfire; Scotch-lovers should give it a try.