Sunday, January 20, 2008

Excellence...In a Cup

Yesterday was superb. Clare and I made the trip to D.C. and a visit to my favorite tea shop in the world: Teaism.

As a tea-enthusiast, I'm very critical of high-end loose tea establishments, but as far as I'm concerned, Teaism--only to be compared with Dragonwell in San Francisco--sets the standard for excellence.

Teaism's R Street location is a trendy American tea-house that serves Asian-inspired cuisine paired with a refined selection of essential teas. The tea and other menu options work together harmoniously to create an unequalled, urban zen experience.

For me, what makes Teaism so completely stand out is their food menu and atmosphere. Their tea is quite good--very good--but anything I've ever sampled from their menu is wonderfully different and utterly divine. The air at teaism is chic and mellow. On weekends this location is packed, but during the work-week you can catch a table upstairs with a window view. In Spring and Fall, those windows open to let in a delectable breeze.

All that said, in my experience the folks who work the register are not great representatives of tea and often share no enthusiasm or appreciation for the place, which is a very big negative. Even still, I find I can overlook this flaw because the place is so good otherwise.

One last thing: be watchful of your tea. They use a ton of tea in the infusion and you don't want to overbrew. I think they may also overheat their greens, using water that is too hot. Maybe that's just me. The brews virtually always end up being supreme.

Try an apricot tea cake and Jasmine Pearls for extreme bliss.

Thank you, Teaism, for ending the corruption of least in one corner of the world.

Over and Out,


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