Sugared & Spiced

pâtissière in paris, now shanghai

[Shanghai] Cha & Living 春在中國

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Cha & Living 春在中國

Add: Rm 102, Building 1, 1107 Yuyuan Rd, near Jiangsu Rd / 愚园路1107号1号楼102室, 近江苏路
Tel: 5403 5268 / 3430 7266
Hours: 11am-9pm
Website: www.chunzaidesign.com
Price: [tea] 35~45 RMB [desserts] 35~45 RMB [sets] 60 RMB
Visited: Jun 2011

Cha & Living is a modern Chinese-style furniture designing company from Taiwan. Their Shanghai flagship store – filled with precious aged elm wood, thick sandalwood, bamboo, palm, lacquer – is an endeavor to integrate beautiful cultural items into everyday life. The thoughtfully composed space, a pleasure to look at from every angle, also functions as a tea house.

Cha & Living offers 9 varieties of tea for guests to sample. The light-baked Oolong 清香烏龍 (40 RMB) was of a pale green color and fragrant with a light fruity sweetness, while the dark-baked Oolong 古早味炭火烏龍 (45 RMB) tasted faintly of charcoal and – surprisingly – coffee. We also tried a pot of brown sugar great galangal tea 台灣黑糖南薑茶 (40 RMB), which was slightly pungent, perfect for a cold winter day. My favorite, Osmanthus Fragrance Oolong Tea 桂花烏龍 (45 RMB), was smooth with a subtle hint of osmanthus fragrance.

The dessert plate that came with the tea set (60 RMB) was a collection of tidbits, randomly selected from Cha & Living’s list of sweet bites. Though they look Western, the desserts incorporate Chinese ingredients. Hawthorn, wolfberry (goji berry), longan, and other Chinese ingredients are weaved into typical Western treats like scones, muffins, cheesecakes, and chocolate. Each dessert is also available a la carte (35~45 RMB).

The idea of using Chinese ingredients in Western desserts worked quite well – my favorites were the wolfberry & longan muffin and longan & walnuts chocolate, both simple enough to be recreated at home. Some others were not so great – the honey & Chinese hawthorn scone, for example, was dry and powdery.

Since this is a furniture shop, don’t be surprised if people come up to your table and start measuring the dimensions…but this only happen very occasionally, so you can still join your cup of tea in peace.

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Written by sugarednspiced

June 15th, 2011 at 7:03 am