Dig Local Asheville, NC

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Weekly Scoop (October 14-20) - The Urban Gastronome takes time for tea at Dobra 🍵 Plus lots to do this week!

Drink This...
with The Urban Gastronome


Tea Time and More at Dobra Tea

Photos by Jeremy Hood; on Instagram @theurbangastronome

Everyone deserves a communal space that opens its doors to people regardless of age, gender, race, or beliefs; a spiritual venue that presents a culture based on a sense of community and family. A local establishment where personal values are built on the same foundation as their business model.

Is there such a place that also has a tasty beverage?

It so happens you can find all this at Dobra Tea, where I recently met up with the owner Andrew Snavely at his westside location (their other location being downtown on North Lexington). Tea is not their only focus here. In fact, it features an organic cafe with healthy vegan and gluten-free options. Patrons can choose to sit at tables or on the floor. It offers you the opportunity to really relax from the daily stresses of the world.

The afternoon began with a delicious Beer Tea “Staroboshov.” This non-alcoholic beverage (served in a Pilsner glass) garners its name from a street in Prague. The taste mimics a Brown Ale, and the appearance, when mixed with a sweet sugar, gives it a frothy head. It was the perfect complement while conversing with Andrew. During drinks, I came to learn about his staff’s involvement with the Asheville community by hosting educational classes with local schools.

Sharing the culture and tradition of tea, as well as learning the different styles and those who produce it, lends for fascinating subject matter. Dobra Tea also provides tastings and workshops for patrons who want to immerse themselves in the world of tea and its soothing properties.

In a sense, Andrew considers Dobra Tea to be a cross between a church and a pub; a place for people to congregate and enjoy each other’s company.

I also sampled a hot tea made with Bai Hao “Oriental Beauty” Oolong Tea. It is lightly roasted, fragrant, and naturally sweet. The white tips of two leaves are used when producing this tea, and it originates from Xinzhu County, Taiwan. Andrew prides himself on sourcing seasonal teas that are current and fresh. Through his travels, he builds relationships with farmers all over Asia to provide a “Farm to Cup” experience. Turn around time from the farm to Andrew’s establishments is around 2 to 4 weeks, depending upon customs.

Currently, they are expanding the menu with other beverages made with fresh herbs, teas, and cider vinegar. One drink I tasted was phenomenal, and it had a burst of flavor. it. I can’t wait to try more on my next visit. The spicy concoction I drank is made with honey, apple cider vinegar, peppercorns, and a slew of other earthy ingredients. It was incredibly refreshing. The drink is the brainchild of Gus, the manager at the Westside location. It did not disappoint. Of course, everyone looked at my facial expressions to see if I liked it. Then someone said, “Knowing  Jeremy, he is thinking of a spirit to pair it with.” He was actually right! Gus’s recipe paired with a North Carolina-based libation would definitely be a future classic cocktail for Sunday brunch at my loft.

Speaking of brunch, let’s talk about the food. For those that know me, I am a carnivore. I love my meat and taters. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy fresh vegetables and a good salad. But, I would not go all out for a vegan option.

Until now.

Andrew brought out their Harvest Toast made with a rich date tahini spread and a healthy layer of sweet potatoes topped with cinnamon and maple walnuts. Good lord, you could wake up to this every morning and not have a bad day. For our next tasting, we chose The Westside Bowl. The dish is comprised of jasmine rice topped with organic kale, carrots, beets, daikon radish, cucumber, wakame salad, shiitake mushrooms, local kimchi, and toasted seeds. I used the house tahini dressing, and the rest was history. It was a sharing plate and, well, I did not share. After eating such rich and flavorful dishes, I couldn’t eat another bite. However, a second look at the menu gave me a ton of options for my next visit. I can’t wait!

My overall experience at Dobra is why I write a column for Dig Local. I am excited about the opportunity to experience all of Asheville’s craft beverage scene. The trip to Dobra Tea carries more substance. It means I’m expanding my palate when connecting with local entrepreneurs and sharing their passion.

Stop in at Dobra Tea and tell Andrew and Gus I sent you. Besides, you just may run into me sitting on the floor, relaxing with a Beer Tea!
Dig Local wishes our buddy 
Jeremy Hood
AKA The Urban Gastronome
a very Happy Birthday!

Below you will find one locally curated Scoop chosen for each day this week — but make sure to check out all the Scoops this week on our Dig Local Scoop Calendar.

Monday, October 14

Free Music Monday: Billy Litz
at Twin Leaf Brewery
Enjoy some brews and an evening of local music with Asheville favorite, Billy Litz!
More details.
More to do Monday
Tuesday, October 15
Early Tuesday Jam
at The One Stop at Asheville Music Hall
The 4-piece house band Trilateral Omission, and featured guests!
More details.
More to do Tuesday

Wednesday, October 16

October Garden Night
at Haiku I Do
Looking for a wedding venue or event space for your next party? Here's your spot! Garden Night is FREE and open to the public featuring wedding vendors for music, catering, dessert, wine, and hair and makeup for you and your bride tribe.
Tickets and more details.

More to do Wednesday

Thursday, October 17

Fall LEAF Festival
with LEAF Community Arts

Join Dig Local at the 49th LEAF festival at the majestic Lake Eden kicking off Thursday and going strong until Sunday evening. Experience the power music, art and culture has to transform lives, strengthen community, and foster unity. This year's lineup features The Wood Brothers, Angelique Kidjo's Remain In Light, Cory Henry & the Funk Apostles and much more.
Tickets and more details.

More to do Thursday

Friday, October 18

72nd Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands, Fall Edition
with Southern Highland Craft Guild

The Craft Fair returns to downtown Asheville for their 72nd year at the U.S. Cellular Center with over 180 exhibitors of traditional and contemporary fine craft.
Tickets and more details.
More to do Friday

Saturday, October 19

Bears, Bees + Brews
with 103.3 Asheville FM

Come celebrate wildlife conservation and engage with incredible environmental organizations, while enjoying lively, family-friendly entertainment, sweet and savory bites, and tasty brews all in one place, free!
More details.
More to do Saturday

Sunday, October 20

Pumpkin Carving Party and Contest
at The Regeneration Station
Bring your own pumpkin, or donate to the Black Mountain Home for Children, Youth & Families to get one at the event, and let's get spooky!
More details.
More to do Sunday

And the winners of the Fall LEAF Festival ticket Instagram giveaway are...

@jenegative & @fallenn2place


🍂  🐺  🌙
For all of this week’s Scoops and more, visit DigLocal.com or download the Dig Local AppKeep digging local!