Dobra Tea Asheville Turns Nine
By: Miles Cramer
On November 21st, Dobra Tea Asheville celebrates its nine year anniversary. We are eternally grateful for our community and all the people that have supported us over the years. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you! On this anniversary, I wanted to take a moment and reflect on what Dobra has meant to me.
Dobra Tea has been a very special place for me. I am honored to have been part of the original staff for Dobra Tea Asheville. Now, I am the General Manager of the downtown location. During my time working in the tearoom over the last nine years, many great things have come into my life. I met my wife in the tearoom and any day now we are expecting our first child.
Dobra Tea first originated in Prague in the Czech Republic in 1993. Since then, it has spread across Eastern Europe and over the last 15 years has opened in select cites in the US. Some look at this as a franchise chain, but I look at it as a global community of tea lovers. I have become friends with owners and employees from Dobra Teas all over the world. We have adventured together on remote tea mountains, sang together at late night karaoke bars in China and shared pots of tea at each other’s tearooms. When I travel to a city that has a Dobra, I know that I will find dear friends at the tearoom, even if we’ve never met before or if we’ve known each other for many years. The binding thread of the Dobra Tea community is a love of tea and our work is to create a warm space with an open door to people of all walks of life.
I also attribute Dobra to major personal growth and self discovery in my life. The tearoom has ignited in me a passion for tea that has pushed me to travel to the tea gardens of Asia. It has grown an interest in me to study the long history of tea culture so I can share this knowledge with people through my new found passion for teaching about tea. In addition to being a catalyst for intellectual growth, I have experienced spiritual growth as well.
Throughout history, tea and spirituality have always been intertwined. I often wonder which influences which. Is this spiritual association because eastern religions have helped write the narrative of tea culture or is there something to tea that evokes a spirituality in people? All I can say is that I have seen in myself and in countless people I have met at Dobra a softening of the heart through the cultivation of a tea practice. By deepening their ritual of preparing tea, they learn to connect more deeply with others and themselves.
So as we approach this nine year anniversary later this month, I want to thank my dear friend and boss, Andrew Snavely. We have been through a lot together. We have been through ups and downs but above it all, he has been a great friend to myself and my family.
I want to thank the main owners back in Prague, Jirka and Ales for building such an amazing company. I lift my cup of tea to all my friends in the Dobra community across the world (that includes you reading this) and look forward to many more years and many more pots of tea.