Debbie Woodroof, owner of Sweet Violets Tea & Antiques, shares some tips for people looking to brew their own tea.
•Green tea should be steeped in water no hotter than 190 degrees (it will boil at 221 degrees) for two to four minutes.
•Black tea should be steeped in boiling water for three to five minutes. It requires a hotter water and a longer steep because though black and green teas come from the same leaf, black tea is more processed, Woodroof says, so more is required to extract the oils that provide the flavor.
•Herbal teas should be steeped in boiling water for seven to 10 minutes because herbal teas are not true “teas” at all. Instead, they contain things such as berries, flower petals or dried fruit, and it requires the hotter temperature and longer steep time to extract the most flavor from the “tea.”
Debbie Woodroof used to enjoy going to the Peony Tea House and other tea houses so much so that she thought, “Wouldn’t it be fun to open one, too?
Back in February, a colleague phoned her to say that Peony, the downtown Fort Wayne tea house, would be closing.
“I took a couple minutes to catch my breath, and I picked up the phone,” she says.
Today, Woodroof opens Sweet Violets Tea & Antiques in the former Peony Tea House (503 W. Wayne St.). In lieu of the local art that had been sold at Peony, Sweet Violets will be selling antiques – both Woodroof’s own and on consignment. The two just seem to go well together, she says, and it makes sense – you can’t go to an antique store without seeing some vintage china or tea cups ready for a new home.
Much of the décor hasn’t changed, Woodroof says, but she has expanded the lunch menu to include more items, such as a quiche and soup of the week.
And, of course, there are the tea options, served in the same tea pots and cups as they were with the previous owner – the pieces were part of the deal when Woodroof bought the teahouse, much to her happiness; scouting for new glassware can be fun, but finding enough to serve the 36 to 40 Sweet Violets can accommodate would be exhausting.
•Kim Vu Vietnamese Cuisine (433 E. Dupont Road) opened Saturday. According to the restaurant’s online menu, there are 14 items to choose from, including dishes such as Vietnamese dumplings (tapioca flour with pork and shrimp wrapped with banana leaf) and Hue traditional noodle (spicy rice vermicelli soup with beef, sliced pork cake, onion, green onion, salad, green cabbage mint and bean sprout).
The location previously housed a satellite location for Richard’s Bakery, which was open from 2005 through 2010. Before that, the space was a Daylight Donuts.
•A Wings Etc. Restaurant and Pub is scheduled to open July 11 at 497 E. Dupont Road. The menu as listed for the first Fort Wayne location, on Maysville Road, has much more than wings, including salads, flatbread pizzas and wraps.
Dicky’s Wild Hare (2910 Maplecrest Road) has made some changes to its summertime schedules to give customers more of a weekday option, owner Katie Webb says. Tuesday nights at Dicky’s is bike night, where bikers (read: people on anything with two wheels) get 10 percent off their meal. Wednesdays have 7 p.m. cornhole tournaments; the entry fee is $5 a person, and the winner gets the pot. Thursdays will feature a beer or wine tasting from 8 to 10 p.m.
These events will continue until it becomes too cold to have them, Webb says.