Award-Winning Tea Zaanti Says Communi-TEA Is Their Secret

3 min read
December 19, 2023

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Pictured: Tea Zaanti owner Scott Lyttle (right) and shop manager Zero Romrell (left).

If you haven’t heard of Tea Zaanti, it’s time we spilled the tea. Awarded the distinction of “Best Tea Service” in City Weekly’s Best of Utah 2023 issue, Tea Zaanti is a favorite among Sugar House locals and the only tea and wine café in Salt Lake City.

The tea shop, owned by husband-and-wife team Scott and Becky Lyttle, is one of over 230 member businesses in the Utah LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce. In partnership with the chamber, Cyprus Credit Union is honored this year to present 12 member businesses with grants of $1,000 each as we recognize their contributions to the community. Tea Zaanti was selected as a grant recipient.

“Both my wife and I spent over 15 years in nonprofit management, but I'd always wanted some sort of café or shop,” says Scott. “And then we found the tea shop.”

After buying Tea Zaanti in 2017, tea became the main focus for Scott, who ensures all of his staff are knowledgeable about tea and how it’s prepared.

“All tea comes from the same plant, and then the different varieties of tea—like green, black tea, and so on—are a result of being processed differently.”

Commonly known as the “tea plant,” Camellia sinensis is the evergreen shrub from which all true teas originate. Given tea’s long and rich history of being used as a stress reliever, the name of Scott’s tea shop makes all the more sense.

“Zaanti is a Sanskrit word that means ‘calmness of the mind’ or an ‘inner peace,’” he explains.

Along with more than 85 varieties of loose-leaf tea, Tea Zaanti also boasts espresso, food, and wine. By using the state of Utah’s special-order program, the shop is able to offer a dynamic variety of wines from around the globe. It’s worked for Tea Zaanti, earning them a place in Wine Enthusiast magazine’s list of best wine shops in the U.S.

“We’re focusing on natural wines, which are essentially organic or biodynamically grown grapes, and nothing has to be added to or taken away from the wine.”

The Lyttles and their team see tea and wine more as their passion than their products. Both are parts of what make Tea Zaanti a unique destination in the Salt Lake Valley.

“For us, tea and wine represent the same thing. They both have a social aspect to them, and they both kind of represent getting together and just enjoying the space.”

This idea of “communi-TEA,” as Scott and Becky call it, is the driving force behind the shop. From all their years working in nonprofits, they understand the importance of having a physical space where people can come together.

“We always wanted to be a gathering place. So, we thought, ‘How can we be a space where people can have conversations?’”

But it isn’t just good conversation you’ll find at Tea Zaanti. The tea shop frequently hosts live music year-round on Friday evenings, including outdoor music and other events on their dog-friendly front patio during the summer. The shop also hosts special-order wine nights every other Thursday and holds a natural wine party once a year.

Tea Zaanti is located at 1944 South 1100 East in Salt Lake City. Learn more and find their hours of business at, on Instagram (@teazaanti) or Facebook.