Yesterday my boyfriend and I made a little trip to Squirrel Hill to the Taiwanese bakery there to pick up some custard buns. On a whim, we decided to stop by this curious-looking tea shoppe across the street.
Right away I noticed the amiable and comfortable atmosphere of this establishment. While most “tea shoppes” I have been to in the US are English-inspired, this one had an unmistakable Eastern feel, with Turkish reds and jade greens, beaded curtains, and clay teaware. My favorite thing was that in addition to the usual dining chairs and sofas, there were also some wooden steps leading up to a raised, plush platform with floor cushions and low tables, so you could take off your shoes and sit in one of these cozy nooks if you wished.
Another interesting note was that each table had a tiny engraved handbell on it, so if you required service you could summon an employee by tinkling the little bell. It’s a simple enough idea, but I just thought it was so cute. I was rather impressed with their tea selection, too. The menu came in a thick book with a paragraph for each and every tea detailing what region the tea was harvested, down to a vivid taste profile. They had a lot of interesting tea snacks as well. We were still digesting from our breakfast that morning so we had a simple order of a hummus plate with a light green tea (Tian Mu Long Zhu). Next time we visit I would like to try a pot of Morrocan mint along with some Russian tea-cakes.