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Shaw’s Cult Tea Shop Expands to Brookland

Calabash’s teaching-friendly second location arrives this May

Calabash’s future location is under way in Brookland.
Calabash [Official Photo]

Shaw tea room Calabash is adding a second location this spring in Northeast, carving out room for a garden full of medicinal plants and culinary herbs expected to make their way into over 50 organic tea blends.

The new 900-square-foot site (2701 12th Street NE) was specifically chosen because of its outdoor patio, which will be used to educate consumers about the health benefits of ingesting plants from around the area.

“Our brand is rooted in medicinal herbalism and the idea of having a beautiful seating area that is also a learning garden is really the way to go,” says founder Dr. Sunyatta Amen, a fifth-generation master herbalist and naturopathic physician.

Her Cuban-Jamaican great-grandmother’s recipes inspired the shop’s in-house drink offerings, which aim to ease ailments including headaches and cramps.

“The moment guests enter the first thing our staff asks is, ‘How can we heal you today?’” she says.

Additional offerings at the new location include direct trade pour-over coffees, two soups of the day, vegetarian sandwiches, gluten-free desserts, pies, and kombucha on tap.

Amen hopes to open the new community-centric spot on Tuesday, May 8, the day the Shaw location turns three — and also her birthday. The new location is projected to operate from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily; regular programming will include neighborhood meetings and wellness events.

Amen says the second location will help the brand build upon its existing wholesale business, which currently serves Shop Made In DC, Baked & Wired, WeWork D.C., Cove, and Culture Coffee, among others.

A rendering of the new Calabash coming to Brookland.
Calabash [Official rendering]

A mural of a native Jamaican hummingbird with a red hibiscus to be painted on the building is especially meaningful to Amen.

“It’s called a Doctor Bird because it makes quick house calls to medicinal plants and is the number one pollinator of herbals on the island,” says Amen, who currently lives in Brookland.

The neighborhood has seen a surge of restaurant activity as of late, with recent openings from pop-up host District Space, whimsical wine bar Primrose, casual Indian outpost Masala Story, and the Tastemakers incubator food hall.

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