Tea Rooms in Manhattan
Originally uploaded by lools.
A cup of hot tea has firmly established itself as my antidote to the stressful Manhattan life. I read somewhere recently that according to ancient Chinese legend, the first cup of tea was produced in 2737 B.C., when the leaves of a black tea shrub haphazardly fell into the boiling water of Emperor Shen Nung, the father of Chinese medicine. Ever since, tea has been used to treat various ailments. Tea also has any number of psychological benefits that have increased its popularity in our day and age.
I usually have on stock my favourites like Rishi's Organic Earl Grey, The Republic of Tea's Vanilla Almond, Tazo's Wild Orange Herb and good old Taj Mahal. My moods dictate my choice of teas at different times of the day. But of late, I've become a little more adventurous and have started discovering new teas and delightful places to enjoy tea in Manhattan.
My fascination with tea rooms began when I had afternoon tea at the Plaza Hotel's Palm Court Tea Room celebrating a friend's baby shower. Every day at 4pm, people line up and wait to be seated at this cafe/restaurant which has a distinctly British ambience. Along with different selections of fine tea, one can order scones and little sandwiches which literally melt in one's mouth. I was quite charmed by the concept of a tea room (and a little surprised that I hadn't ever been to one before!)and so began to find more such places.
I did some research on Google and found a comprehensive list of tea rooms in Manhattan.. It's a long list and I'm looking forward to visiting many of the tea rooms listed. So far I've been only to Chocolate Bar in the West Village. They have highly indulgent chocolate flavoured teas that smell just divine. And their chocolate bon bons that have classic as well as seasonal flavours are to die for. Imagine the powerful combination of chocolate and tea. How can this not be uplifting and good for the soul?
Next up, I'm hoping to visit a much talked about Japanese Tea Room in the Upper West Side. This place is set-up to be a real sanctuary in the midst of the urban jungle we live in. Hopefully I can enjoy a fine cup of tea while being shielded from the sirens. Stay tuned!