As a lifelong resident of a large metro area, the early parts of my transition to this small mountain town weren’t particularly easy. While I loved the culture and the vibe of Durango, I found myself wishing I had easy access to the things I thought were important.
Things I took for granted in a large city. Things like restaurants and clothing stores on every corner, or a wide array of specialty items in the aisles of the grocery store. Things you become spoiled with when there are 7 million people crammed into one confined area.
I don’t miss most of those things anymore — not after living life for the last few years in this small town. I know it’s part of the trade-off of living at a more leisurely pace.
I no longer panic when I can’t find the right type of masala sauce or some random loaf of bread at the grocery store up the street. If I can’t find it, I go without it, or figure out how to make it from scratch instead.
But while I’ve made huge strides, I haven’t quite gotten over the loss of a few things that the city offers. In particular, I have found myself missing the vibrant array of ethnic food that was at my fingertips in a more populous area.
One of my favorite Houston haunts was a little tea shop called Kim’s Teahouse, which was conveniently located right down the road from my home. That vibrant teahouse had a menu miles long, with Thai milk teas and green teas and boba, jelly, and taro as far as the eye could see. It’s still one of my first stops in Houston when I find the time to head back home. I get the same passion fruit slushie and vegan banh-mi every time.
Unfortunately, those times of teahouse indulgence are few and far between these days. As it is wont to do, work, life, and now the pandemic have gotten in the way. It’s been years since I’ve had Kim’s Teahouse, and I miss it even now.
That longing for decent tea is why I was stoked to see that Tea Tok, a new teahouse, opened its doors just down the road in Farmington.
Situated right on the edge of the old downtown area, Tea Tok offers just a smattering of what I would have expected from a larger shop. There are eight types of milk teas, including Thai milk taro teas, along with a smattering of jellies, bobas, and other toppings.
There are a few other items, too, like a handful of fruit slushies and milk tea slushies, added in for good measure.
Don’t let that limited menu fool you, though. What Tea Tok lacks in scope, it makes up for in teahouse expertise.
I stopped by this little shop with a friend on a recent trip to Farmington and was surprised to see how busy it was for a Sunday afternoon. This part of Farmington isn’t nearly as busy as the more commercial areas, but there was a steady stream of customers trailing in and out of the shop, holding frosty fruit beverages in bright colors.
We didn’t have to wait long to put in an order, despite the line customers lined up to place an order. I opted for a passion fruit Aurora Galaxy Tea with lychee jelly, while my impromptu tea partner went for a classic favorite, the passion fruit and guava Tea Slush with honey boba.
I was surprised at how efficient the two tea experts behind the counter were. It only took a couple of minutes for our bright drinks to be served up. Before I knew it, we were headed out the door, drinks in hand.
All it took was one sip of that layered galaxy tea for me to be sold on this little shop. I couldn’t believe all of the flavors Tea Tok packed into that plastic tea cup. The tangy passion fruit and tea swirled perfectly with the lychee jelly, and the explosion of colors and fruity flavors was almost too much to handle. I slurped the entire cup down in one sitting, brain freeze be damned.
My tea partner was equally enamored with his drink. The honey boba added a sweet — and almost musky — touch to the tropical flavors of passion fruit and guava, making it the perfect drink for a warm New Mexico day.
I’m not sure what prompted the owners of Tea Tok to take a chance on Farmington, but I’m sure hoping that steady stream of customers sticks. This is some of the best teahouse tea I’ve ever had.
If you haven’t found your way to Tea Tok, please make sure you do. Sure, it’s a drive from Durango or Farmington, but this little shop is a gem — and it’s worth every minute in the car to get that Aurora Galaxy Tea in your hand. Trust me. You won’t regret it.
Tea Tok is located at 531 E. Main St. in Farmington. Visit teatokfarmington.com for more information.