>For some reason, I always expect Tea Shops to be either snobby like Kuan Yin in Seattle or quiet and formal like La Societe du The in Minneapolis. I certainly assume that they don’t serve food beyond the occasional scone. Gladly, when I walked past Teaism near Dupont Circle in DC, I was just looking for plain, cold, unsweetened iced tea to soothe my throat. I ordered the iced French Vervene Tisane (Lemon Verbena) but also noted that they had some yummy looking lunch foods on the menu.
I sat down to catch up on my emails. (I don’t know if they have wifi, I was using my phone.) About an hour passed and the lunch rush had started to arrive. The food they ordered smelled delicious, so I gave the menu another glance. My eye immediately honed in on Ochazuke “Japanese Rice & Tea soup”, available with either Salmon or Plum. I ordered the plum version. What arrived on the counter was even cooler than I had imagined. A bowl of rice, covered with shredded veggies, cilantro, and some dried flavorful stuff like seaweed and toasted rice. Perched atop this were two ume plums. Beside it on the tray were a teapot and a tea cup. I was perplexed for a moment until I put 2 and 2 together, pouring the tea over the bowl of rice and veggies. The soup was incredibly flavorful and surprisingly filling. I did discover, however, that I don’t like fresh ume plums. They’re the only thing I left in the bowl.
The greatest delight was filling that teacup with the spare green tea and sipping at it. The flavor was unnervingly familiar. I’m tempted to claim that it tasted like comfort in tea form. It reminded me of salt water, toasted grains, and soup broth.
After finishing my meal I grabbed a free refill of my iced tea, this time iced assam, and went back out into the DC heat.
Next stop: Mr Yogata frozen yogurt with a friend.