Sunday, January 11, 2009

Teahouse Culture

I have in the past several months enjoyed going to various teahouses in the area. My experiences with coffeehouses are more manifold due to their sheer number compared to establishments that solely serve tea. Fortunately, many cafes do have a selection of teas (quality, often variable) from which I can choose when the yen to have a cuppa strikes me as I am out and about. But given a choice, I will go to a teahouse without hesitation.

I have observed interesting differences between the tea and coffeehouse cultures exemplified by a recent visit to the anaba tea room with my husband, E, on a late fall afternoon.

As we entered the tearoom located in the lower level of a store devoted to selling gardening implements, we were struck by the exclusively female clientele present. Fortunately, this did not cause E to flee from the all distaff company and we were then taken to our seats. The sound of trickling water emanated from a large fountain nearby, interweaving with snippets of conversations from the surrounding tables. We both ordered matcha (this was indeed our introduction to this wonderful Japanese powder green tea). My accompaniment to the tea were two piping hot crumpets served with dollops of lemon curd and clotted cream on the side. This proved to be an inspired pairing, indeed!

We were warmed by the tea and food as we chatted, feeling calmed but also convivial. Other parties around us similarly disported themselves. There was nary a soul manning a laptop nor similarly attached to a blackberry, a ubiquitous sight in cafes. We continued sipping our tea, glad to be unencumbered, at least for that moment, by the available electronic technology.

1 comment:

ana dane said...

isn't it so nice to be unplugged for an afternoon?