Hey Barista: Scented Leaf's Hanaã Obeidat talks tea making

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Carmen Valencia | The Daily Wildcat

Sophomore Hanaã Obeidat, an environmental science major, makes customers' tea orders at Scented Leaf on University Boulevard, Friday, Feb. 3.

Hanaã Obeidat is not your typical barista. She works at The Scented Leaf on University Boulevard, but she doesn’t serve coffee. She serves tea instead.

The Scented Leaf is a popular hangout for UA students, with its large variety of teas and plenty of seating. Customers can order tea on tap, or take their favorite tea home with them to make later. It’s basically a Starbucks for tea lovers, and since some of their tea is caffeinated, it can give you energy as well.

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Recently, the owners raised over $5,000 through a crowdfunding campaign to open a second location downtown.

Daily Wildcat: What’s your job at The Scented Leaf?

Hanaã Obeidat: I’m a barista. We call ourselves baristas, tea connoisseurs.

How long have you been working there?

HO: A year and a half.

What do you do?

HO: Basically, we do a little bit of everything. We run the register, make tea for people, work in the back kitchen doing stuff back there, we clean. We have a bunch of different duties, but it’s mostly making tea for people.

What’s your favorite tea to make?

HO: Wow, that’s a good question. I love the prickly pear tea, it’s super good. I like doing that with lemon and sweetener.

Is there a popular tea that lots of customers come in and order?

HO: Our fruit bomb is probably our most popular, especially if you’re not very into tea or it’s your first time coming in. It’s probably the most popular concoction that we have. It’s all the fruit teas on tap with sweetener and lemon. It’s really good.

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What’s the best part of your job?

HO: Probably my coworkers. I love them. They’re not even my coworkers, they’re my friends. Yeah it’s cheesy, but I love them.

How would you describe the atmosphere of The Scented Leaf? Why do people like coming here?

HO: It’s laid-back. Everyone’s really friendly. You can come here to study and get work done, but you could also come to hang out and chat.It’s fun. I like it. There’s a good community here. Everyone that comes in is really nice. It’s definitely the people that make the place. It’s really exciting and it’s a really fun place to be whether you’re working or just chilling.

Any other news about The Scented Leaf?

HO: We’re opening a new location and it’s really exciting. We’re actually opening our new shop in March on Congress Street, next to the Rialto Theatre. March 1 is the opening, hopefully.


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