courtesy of ‘Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie’
In honor of Earth Month, the Bethesda-based, sustainably-minded company Honest Tea is offering a special two-for-one coupon for its lightly sweet, organic teas. (See why the company’s “TeaEO” loves DC.)
There’s just one catch — you have to sign up for your coupon today, but you can use it any time this month. What you waiting for? Get yours now!
Tea time at home by Corinne Whiting
A few years back, a loveably zany Irish friend of mine lugged tea bags with her from her Drogheda cupboards to the communal hostel kitchens of Buenos Aires, Rio, La Paz and Cusco. I’ll admit that I didn’t really get it. (“If only I had brown bread right now too,” she’d sigh dreamily, nearby mate drinkers looking on curiously as she downed cup after cup of her smuggled vice.) To say that Edel is a tea enthusiast is an understatement.
I didn’t understand her tea passion…that is, until I moved east to windswept Scotland, where a steaming cuppa is sometimes the only sure way to chase the chill from one’s bones. There I also learned to appreciate the soothing and intimate ritual of gathering with friends over a shared refreshment that requires time—time to steep, to cool, to sip, to savor, to merely pause and take it all in.
Coffee culture seems the more visible beverage addiction in most US cities (DC included), while the army of tea devotees tend to fly under the radar. But I suspect they’re out there. So where can a tea lover get a fix here? The options include spots pretentious and proper, casual and cozy, and those somewhere in between.
It may seem odd to launch our new recurring feature on DC’s watering holes with a nod to a mainly non-alcoholic spot, but make no mistake - Teaism can just as quickly become an addiction on par with your favorite bar. Though the food can be some of the most reliable in town (oh, that salmon ochazuke soup! comfort in a bowl), we’re here to talk about its liquid libation. Devotees of tea are never disappointed when
faced with the exhaustive menu of black, green, tisanes – served iced or hot – from a wall of colorful boxes.
There are three Teaisms in DC (Dupont Circle is the original, opened back in 1996). I’m lucky in that my office is equidistant from two, each with their own distinct vibe. The Lafayette Park location has a sunny classical interior, befitting its Decatur House view, and is usually full of suits. Whereas the Penn Quarter branch has mainly subterranean seating, bustling with tourists. Despite the setback of the fannypack crowd, the PQ boasts a koi pond and an adjacent tea shop where the true addict can load up on her own supply to brew at home.
If I head to Penn Quarter, I’m most likely desiring an iced Japanese sweet green tea to takeaway and sip while staring into the nearby fountains of the Navy Memorial. “What makes it so sweet?” I asked the tea shop lady once about the surreally green elixir, “is it a special kind of tea?” “Um,” she replied, “you do know there’s a lot of sugar in there, right?” It was a truly blonde moment.