I first noticed the sign earlier this year, but it seemed I never had the time to stop in; some other errand was always more pressing. But when I was the one in charge of picking up a Jet’s pizza recently, I decided to stop in and see what it was all about.
First things first, I asked about the sign, which simply reads, “TEA SPICES BEADS.” Turns out, the store began as a bead store (and the sign just read, “BEADS”), which served the needs of people who make jewelry and crafts. Then the owners, Phillip and Mitzi McCartha, decided to expand the business to include loose-leaf teas, herbs, and spices for sale. The back rooms of the store still carry the beads and jewelry, but the front is devoted to edible gems.
On one side is a large selection (more than 60 types) of teas — black, green, white, rooibos, chai, yerba maté, herbal and so on — and on the other is a large selection of spices (more than 100!); a wall at the back has a selection of herbs. The spices include a variety of salts, peppers, cinnamon (including Vietnamese cinnamon) and spice blends (such as curries). And all are housed in easily opened sealed containers so you can sniff and test as you like. You can buy in bulk by the ounce or choose one ounce pre-packaged bags.
There are also whole vanilla beans, salt slabs, vinegars, oils, teapots and infusers, and a number of other nifty gifts such as novelty tea and coffee cups and other tea accessories.
I picked up a strong black tea and some chai blend, but I’ll be back for fleur de sel and probably some of the other flavored salts and dipping oil spice mixes.
Stardust Tea and Spices
850 Hillwood Blvd., Suite 7
11 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday
1-5 p.m. Sunday