Having gotten a chance to skip on down to our nation's capital to visit a good friend of mine, I was sure to take in the sites, lots of art and of course a few spots of tea.
SPOTLIGHT: Washington D.C.
The first of two places that I visited was Teaism - an urban Asian tea house/restaurant.
The contemporary decor, eclectic menu from Japan, India and Thailand, and large assortment of teas (50+ types) means you could come in and have a new taste experience each time. You walk up to the counter to order and bring your order to your seat, which makes this a very accessible, non-pretentious place to bring anyone whether or not they were into tea and/or just liked Asian food.
I had the Tie Guanyin - robust, woodsy flavor -- it was so good that I walked next door to their Tea Shop, replete with teas, tea pots, and all things tea - and purchased some to take home as a little reminder of my trip to DC. I had ordered soup and a bento box. The food is good, as is the tea. And with 3 locations around DC, easy, accessible and convenient are the big words here.
Check the mural in the loo!
If you happen to be in Washington DC, you'll need a bite to eat and a cuppa while checking out the many and historic sights of our capital. After our Teaism excursion, we went on to conquer the National Gallery.
Then on the same trip to DC, I had a day by myself, without the company of my hosts. I headed to Georgetown to saunter in and out of the shops, I took in a movie. I headed to the waterfront, which will be splendid in the warmer months, though desolate in January - thoroughly enjoying my walk-about. As I wended my way through the streets, lo and behold I found a tea house. I was not looking for one, but sure enough my feet led me straight to Ching Ching Cha on Wisconsin Avenue.
This is no ordinary tea house. Ching Ching Cha is an experience. Heavy Wooden tables, mother-of-pearl insets, Chinese music lull you into an almost reverent state. I sit down and the lady brings me a large iron pot of water on an ornate stand, and a cloth-covered menu of teas. I selected a 10 year old Pu-erh, which was a musky, woody tea of beautiful amber liqueur, which they serve in traditional Gong Fu style. I ordered a tasty snack of curry beef roll. I read my book, and relaxed for over an hour.
By far the biggest treat of the trip was going to Ching Ching Cha.