Sunday, May 1, 2011

tea tour continues

Sat - DC has a taste of spring.. which closed up quickly because Sunday I awake (cold) and it was rainy and cloudy :(

Sux because I've finally upgraded my bike (thanks to my job and their 500% health subsidy) to an entry level pro hybrid. Its an REI special aka purple lightening.. not the vicious cannondale I desired but hey.. I've taken it out twice and it already drives/feels 9million times better than my target special

ok back to Saturday went on a Georgetown walking tour with my tea meet up group.
We visited:
Cha Cha Chang
DC Tea & Spice Exchange
Capital Teas

1. Cha Cha Chang -1063 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W

I've shopped here many many years - they sell the best empy tea bags ever. Its small very very traditional tea house but this time I finally was able to sit down enjoy tea and eat.
I ordered veggie dumplings and broke down got $20 pot of my #1 fav tea ti kuan yin (oolong).

Our group learned a traditional way to enjoy tea via the assemble to the left.
Not pictured but we had a reg kettle filled with hot water
(working off memory here but description about 80% accurate)

1. take hot water and pour into brown(clay) pot that has the tea leaves
2. you always want to discard the 1st brew --> goes into the bigger white/blue pitcher
3. take the discard pour into middle cup
3. take the discard and pour on outside of brown teapot

(2&3 are supposed to keep the pot and cups warm- something like that )

4. hot water poured into clay pot (let steep about 60 secs)
5. pour brewed tea into white/blue pitcher
6. serve in the small cup (bottom right)


What I most enjoyed what the heavy clay teapot and holder like of course you spilling water everwhere and the bottom part catches everything. Clay pots rock so heavy and unlike ceramics require no soap & water bc chemicals eventually steep into the liquid.

2. DC Tea & Spice Exchange
Small shop in a rowhouse... def worth visiting if you want to check out custom spice blends. Customer service wasn't all that and the Alexandira location is bigger. The tea selection is so-so - I wouldn't necessary be pressed to come here often. Coolest thing was the salt blocks for sale LOL

3. Capital Teas- I've blogged about them already but man these folks keep opening more and more DC stores.. this was my first time visiting the gtown location. The store is in an alley but
same selection as the National Harbor store. Great customer service- and I had to shout these guys out bc after becoming a facebook fan I won a free giveaway- Royal Wedding Tea
A commemorative union of our bold Cream Earl Grey Black and our light and refreshing Cream Earl Grey White, enhanced with the essence of roses. Available for a limited time only. Price is per 4 oz.

I have not sampeled yet- I'm not a big fan of flavored teas but just happy to have won something. DC be on the look out for these guys to overtake Teaism they have 2 more store opening planned Friendship Heights and another NW location.