Archive for the ‘tea’ tag
Add: 2F Pola Bldg Ginza, Chuo Ku / 中央区銀座 1-7-7 ポーラ銀座ビル 2F
Hours: [Tue-Sat] 11am-10pm [Sun] 11am-7pm
Price: [tea] 1,400~1,500 yen
Visited: Oct 2016
My favorite spot for Japanese tea and sweets on this trip to Tokyo was Yakumo Saryo, but if your itinerary is too rushed and don’t have time to venture out to this neighborhood, perhaps you can try Higashiya, another Japanese sweets establishment by the same designer Shinichiro Ogata, conveniently located in Ginza. Higashiya was established with the goal of creating modern wagashi (Japanese sweets) that can be enjoyed on a daily basis, hence the name “higashiya” (“hi” means day in Japanese).
如果你在東京的行程很趕，沒有時間到目黑區去尋找八雲茶寮的話，那可以試試同樣出自緒方慎一郎之手，位于銀座的 Higashiya。Higashiya 原本是家沿著目黑川的小店，品牌的初衷是將和菓子帶回到人們日常生活中，做出 “每天吃也不會膩的果子”，因此名爲 Higashiya（日菓子屋）。
The Ginza shop opened in 2009, composed of a boutique space and a 40-seat tea salon. A white canvas noren hangs at the entrance, and walking through it is like entering another space, leaving all earthly worries out behind. Unfortunately photos are not allowed inside the shop, so here’s a quick sneak peek. If you would like to see more, take a look at their beautiful website.
2009 年開幕的 Higashiya 銀座店位于ポーラ銀座ビル的二樓，首先穿過似乎可以把煩惱擋在門外的布簾，先看到的是和菓子的櫃台，往裏走才是茶室。店員表示緒方先生不希望客人在店裏拍照，所以在這裏就沒有太多照片可以放，喜歡的話可以上官網瞧瞧。不過總之茶館裏的裝潢風格結合了現代和日式傳統，桌椅均為木質，沒有太過華麗的擺飾，簡單大方。
In addition to seasonal desserts, Higashiya offers a diverse selection of Japanese sweets and original tableware, 30 varieties of tea, as well as lunch menus and afternoon tea using seasonal ingredients.
Yakumo Saryo 八雲茶寮
Add: 3-4-7 Yakumo, Meguro Ku, Tokyo / 東京都目黒区八雲 3-4-7
Price: tea 1,090~2,300 yen
Visited: Oct 2016
It took us a little while to find Yakumo Saryo. This restaurant, hidden inside a quiet residential neighborhood in Meguro, was about a 15-minute walk from the closest station Toritsu Daigaku. After some exploration and retracing of steps (even with Google Map), we arrived at the restaurant, which looked more like a private mansion with a large yard, all ensconced in shades of green. The calming ambience is immediately soothing, and all of our worldly worries seem to be left at the door.
The founder of Yakumo Saryo is designer Shinichiro Ogata, whose design studio Simplicity has put together well-known interior design works throughout Japan, such as Aesop Shinsaibashi and Andaz Tokyo. His style inherits, preserves, and adapts traditional Japanese culture to contemporary designs, often merging the old and new to reveal a refreshing outlook on the traditions.
八雲茶寮的負責人緒方慎一郎本身是位室內設計師，他的設計事務所 Simplicity 出品了非常多知名的店鋪，比如京都和東京的 Aesop 門店（很美，沒看過的速速去網上搜圖），以及之後要介紹的 Higashiya 和櫻井焙茶研究所。他的風格是簡約設計的美學概念裏融合日本文化的細節，讓人能感受到傳統的新觀感。
At Yakumo Saryo, breakfast and lunch are by reservations, dinner is by invitation (from an existing member), while afternoon tea is open to walk-ins. The number of guests accepted is limited as they wish guests to enjoy the time with as few disturbances as possible; on the afternoon of our visit, there were only 2 or 3 other guests in the tea room.
Fnji Furniture 梵几客廳
Add: No. 41 Guozijian Street, Beijing
Tel: 010-5367 2899
Hours: 11am-5:30pm (closed on Mon)
Price: drinks 40 RMB+, desserts 35 RMB+
Visited: Sep 2016
Bejing-based Fnji (pronoused “Fanji”) is a furniture brand founded by Chinese industrial designer Gu Qigao in 2000. His pieces, all handmade from wood, make use of the Chinese mortise and tenon joint structure, with designs that bridge between modern and traditional aesthetics. His aspiration? To make furnitures that “age alongside its owners, gaining more character over time as it is passed from one generation to the next”. I visited his showroom in Guozijian and fell head over heels for this beautiful space – it also doesn’t hurt that they have an stylish cafe and a serene courtyard nestled in the back…
梵幾是中國設計師古奇高創立的獨立家具品牌。他們在北京國子監的 “客廳” 融合了中國傳統院落與現代風格，空間分成了雜貨、家具和咖啡三個區域，每一區都是大寫的美。
The boutique showcases designs from both China and Japan, as well as works from Gu himself. The style is simple, stylish, decidedly Asian but with a modern western vibe. No photos are allowed in the showroom so you can either visit yourself and check out their designs online. For now, let’s move over to the cafe. It was very busy when I visited on a Sunday afternoon, and I was fortunate to find the last empty seats in the courtyard.
展廳裡擺放了品牌兩種風格的家具 － 極簡主義，以及線條更爲豐富的新中式風格 － 還有自創的 “生野安室” 雜貨品牌。不過展廳內不能拍照，那就來看看咖啡區吧。我在周日下午人最多的時候造訪，室內座位已全部客滿，還好很幸運的坐到了庭院裡唯一還空著的位子。
元古本店 Yuan Gu
Add: No 34, Jianchang Hutong, Beijing
Tel: 010-5728 7950
Price: desserts 35 RMB+, tea 30 RMB+
Visited: Sep 2016
A few steps away from the popular Wudaoying Hutong where Metal Hands is located, there is a quieter alley called Jianchang Hutong. Here, away from the hustle and bustle, you will find Yuan Gu (元古本店), a beautiful space dedicated to showcase a few simple good things in life – handcrafted glassware and ceramics, Chinese tea and tea desserts, to name a few.
離 Metal Hands 所在的五道營胡同不遠之處就是更隱蔽安靜的箭廠胡同。這裡有家漂亮的 “元古本店”， 是由幾個志同道合的好友們共同創造的生活美學概念空間，希望用最樸素的東西 － 自然植物、手作器皿、中式茶點 － 來分享生活中的美好。
The look is clean – white walls, wooden furniture, and a few plants dotting the space. The tables and chairs are all designed especially for Yuan Gu.
Add: 18 Tai Ping Shan St, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2858 9185
Hours: 11am-7pm (closed on Mon)
Price: [tea] 40~65/HKD [pastries] 40-50 HKD
Visited: Aug 2016
Hidden in an inner corner of Tai Ping Shan Street is Teakha, a tea house founded by Nana Chan, a Taiwan-born, Hong Kong-raised, and London-educated lawyer-turned-tea shop owner. Her concept, excerpted below, is lovely:
“In many cultures all over the world, tea is the mechanism at which we welcome people into our homes or start a conversation with strangers. Here at teakha, we too believe that tea is a window to opening our hearts. Through this window, we welcome you into our “home”, to experience a lifestyle that is in touch with our community and our environment. One that values the little joys in life as homemade cakes, the sound of music lingering in a back alley, or ever so basically, the forgotten art of talking to our neighbors.”
藏在太平山道一個小角落裏的 “Teakha茶。家” 是家台灣女孩開的茶店，在香港人氣極高。上面一小段話是老闆的初衷，理念十分美好，可以看一下。
On the tea menu, there’s Indian marsala chai tea, Taiwanese Oolong tea, Japanese matcha, etc. – all single-origin teas sourced by teakha’s sister company Planation directly from small tea plantations.
There are also some simple pastries, the most popular being the matcha cheesecake.
Add: 10, Alley 22, Lane 553, Zhongxiao East Rd Section 4, Taipei 台北市忠孝東路四段553巷22弄10號1樓
Tel: (02) 2753 4402
Hours: 2pm-12am (closed on the 6th, 16th, and 26th of each month)
Price: [drinks] 120~240 NTD [desserts] 120~150 NTD
Visited: Oct 2011
Another cafe in Taipei for you to add to the list of afternoon hangouts.
The cafe was completely empty when we visited on a Monday afternoon. Quiet, just the way I like it…but of course it packs up easily on weekends.
Nido’s Liuo Liuo Rare Cheese Cake 溜溜雪藏起司蛋糕 (140 NTD), served with rose/peach jam and a little mound of graham cracker crumbles, was excellent. Very tempted to ask the cafe owner for his recipe.
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
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.
Lohasly / Nap Cafe
Add: Jiashan Market B208, 37 Alley 550 Shanxinan Lu / 陕西南路550弄37号嘉善坊B208室
Tel: 6426 0836
Price: 30~50RMB/coffee and tea
Visited: Jun 2011
This past weekend I discovered a hidden gem in Jiashan Market called Lohasly / Nap Cafe. It’s a store, it’s a cafe, it’s a studio. Take a look at the pictures and you’ll see why I’m in love with this cozy little spot.
First of all, Lohasly / Nap Cafe is a cafe. The menu is simple – there’s coffee, tea, and pies. We tried a pot of soothing Darjeeling (50 RMB), and the prompt refill of hot water kept us going the whole afternoon.
Add: 2/F 7-1, Dongping Lu, near Hengshan Lu / 东平路7-1号2楼, 近衡山路
Tel: 6437 7390
Hours: [Sun-Tue] 10am-10pm [Fri-Sat] 10am-11pm
Price: [drinks] 20~40 RMB
Visited: Apr 2011
ZEN Cafe is the cozy attic coffee shop on top of ZEN Lifestore on Dongping Lu. It’s a small place and fills up quickly on weekend afternoons (no, they don’t take reservations), but empty spots are likely to be found during the evenings.
The first floor is ZEN Lifestore, which features a unique array of home embellishments and furnishings. It takes in both traditional Chinese culture and European aesthetics, combining best of the two worlds into tea cups, antique lamps, paintings, porcelain dolls, and the likes.
A small courtyard right outside the store.
Smith & Hsu
Add*: No.33, Section 5, Zhong Xiao East Road, Taipei 台北市忠孝東路五段33號
Tel: (02) 2747 4857
Price: [tea] 180~690 NTD [afternoon tea sets] 235~1120 NTD [salads & sandwiches] 160~220 NTD
There’s not much to complain about Smith & Hsu other than the fact that it’s almost always packed. Though the original aim of the tea shop is to create a space where one could enjoy tea in a comfortable and relaxed environment, Smith & Hsu is so popular that you can barely get a peace of mind. Irregardless, this place serves soothing tea and delicious scones, so why not give it a try?
*Multiple locations, check website for more info.
Upon seated, we were presented with a myriad of tea samples on a tray. It’s an amusing and somewhat overwhelming experience as I opened bottles after bottles, smelling blends after blends with intriguing names like “Pearls of the River Nile“, “Exquisite with Raspberry“, and “Rose of the Orient“. Can’t decide what to pick? Don’t worry, it’s part of the fun.