Color and Culture at Boulder's Dushanbe Tea House

Share |
Published Aug 20, 2011

One of the most delightful things about Boulder is its tendency to harbor eclectic and colorful locales around almost every corner. The Dushanbe Tea House is one such place, its bright blue doorway and intricate paneling standing conspicuously among the more standard buildings of downtown Boulder.

At the Teahouse, you can enjoy entrees inspired by traditional dishes of countries such as India, Persia, Japan, and Tajikistan as well as a variety of delicious teas. However, the highlight of the Teahouse may be that it has a history as rich as its food.

The Dushanbe Teahouse was given to Boulder as a gift by the mayor of Dushanbe, Tajikistan, Boulder's sister city (and, as it so happens, the point directly opposite from Boulder in the Northern Hemisphere). For three years beginning in 1987, Tajikistan artisans crafted the interior and exterior, hand-carving and hand-painting the patterns you see just about everywhere you look, including the ceiling, columns, and tables. The Teahouse symbolizes an ongoing dedication to peace, friendship, and respect between two very different cultures.

Recently, I brought a friend from out of state to visit the Teahouse, sample the teas, and enjoy the atmosphere. We sat at a table next to the Fountain of the Seven Beauties, a pond accented with real coy fish and the forms of seven women sculpted from copper, each different in character but similar in elegance. I later found out that the sculpture was inspired by an ancient poem detailing the adventures of a prince and his seven beautiful wives. At the time I only noticed that the sculptured added to the already remarkable scenery.

I ordered the Lily Jasmine Flower tea, described in the menu as "blooming." To my surprise, my drink was brought to me in a wine glass, and I watched a small green bundle unfurl to reveal a pale pink flower and a string of tiny jasmine blossoms like pearls. My friend enjoyed the Rooibos Chai, which, while less dramatic, still brimmed with flavor.

Boulder's Dushanbe Teahouse offers a change of pace from more mainstream restaurants as well as a taste of culture and tea that will highlight any afternoon or evening on the town.

View more articles from this columnist »
Erin Greenhalgh

Erin Greenhalgh brings you a smattering of news, events, fun facts, and exciting places to check out in Boulder. Find out what Boulder has got in store for you-be it green initiatives, social justice projects, sporting events, the latest trend in fitness, or eclectic locales.

A Colorado native and CU student, Erin loves exploring both the progressive and eccentric aspects of Boulder. With an eye for detail and a touch of artistry, Erin will help you find your way around Boulder, no matter your interests.