A Tea Addict's Journal


January 4, 2008 · 2 Comments

There are a few places in Washington DC where one can have tea. I don’t have that much time to check them all out, but since one of them — a place called Teaism — is nearby, I figured it won’t hurt.

The store I went to is near Dupont Circle, and it’s located next to the local branch of the Evil Caffeine Empire

What my fiance remembered of the place and its current incarnation are actually a little different. Supposedly, they used to be more tea focused, but this time, when we went, it seems to be more of a lunch place that sells some tea on the side. The tea menu is quite undistinguished, and consist mostly of regular stuff you can find in any self-respecting tea store. My guess is that they discovered selling tea alone does not pay rent, as I suspect is the case in the USA for independent stores.

We did get some lunch though

A bento with (cold) salmon, and ochazuke — basically leftover rice with bad sencha. In this case, the sencha wasn’t so bad (I tried a little of it independently) — it was sweet and not grassy. The other pot of tea was something we ordered – a “Golden Monkey”, which is actually quite disappointing, considering they serve a pot of tea without actually giving you any leaves. The tea is underbrewed, and rather boring, and not having the leaves, I couldn’t even tell if they brewed it from teabags. For $3.75 a pot, I expected a little more.

There’s a store called Ching Ching Cha which seems a little more interesting, but it’s a little farther out, and I have a feeling I won’t have time to go… oh well

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2 responses so far ↓

  • Dogma_l // January 5, 2008 at 6:50 pm | Reply

    If you visit Shan Shui, I’d welcome a review. Never been there, but greatly admired some of their (expensive) pots, both on-line and in friends’ hands.


  • lewperin // January 6, 2008 at 5:55 pm | Reply

    I think Teaism is quite good for what it is, which is not The Tea Gallery in New York, for example. Whenever my wife and I come into DC for a museum crawl, we eat at the branch near the Mall and drink decent tea with our meal. They don’t use teabags, by the way, as you’ll see for yourself if you order tea to go; they fill a TeaSac with loose leaves. Their salty oat cookies are hypnotic. And try the Nepalese Guranse tea.

    Ching Ching Cha is a place I’ll avoid for the rest of my life after my one experience there. They weren’t storing their teas in airtight containers. While they brought a gongfu kit to the table, they refused to allow two people to drink from it. When I asked about Pu’er, the only stuff they offered was cooked, so I asked if they had any raw or green. The server got really haughty and told me there was no such thing!

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