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AUBURN | What started eight months ago as an online tea business now has a physical presence in downtown Auburn. 

3 Leaf Tea opened Tuesday at 25 E. Genesee St. in Auburn, next door to Angelo's Pizza. Owner Luciana Torous said the success of the online business made her want to try out a storefront.

The store will sell a lot of  the same the same items as the online shop, along with some light fare made in house. On the food side of the menu, there's waffles, parfaits, hummus, salads and a couple dessert items.

On the tea side, the specialty is matcha. It's a tea that is grounded by stone into a fine powder, imported from Japan. Drinkers consume the entire tea leaf, which Torous said makes it high in antioxidants. The tea contains between 25-35 milligrams of caffeine. Torous said it helps people to feel "alert, but calm."

Torous said she was introduced to matcha through a friend who lived in Japan. Through the store and website, she sells different mixtures with the matcha, including apple, coconut, banana and pomegranate.

"It's something that's hard to find around here," Torous said of matcha. "Especially if you want it fresh." 

The shop also offers a variety of loose teas and hot chocolate blends made with organic raw cocoa.

The store has only been open a couple days, but Torous said things have started well.

"I saw a lot of different people coming in," Torous said, "which is always good."

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Staff writer Ryan Deffenbaugh can be reached at (315) 282-2237 or ryan.deffenbaugh@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @Citizen_Deff.

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