The cafe/dining/tea room was relatively empty and waitstaff lacking, so we had to hunt down a waiter and asked to sit for tea and to see the list of teas.
Blown away by the sheer expense of almost every tea on the list, including obscure white teas that quickly ran upwards of 20-30 dollars and vintage puerhs that ran up to 300, I selected the cheapest puerh, a 1999 tuocha, not realizing that it would probably be one of the mini-tuos we saw in the showcase. The description for the tea did not differentiate between sheng or shou (they did for others), so I asked our waiter if the 1999 tuocha was a green, or sheng, puerh, like the 2003 entry listed below it. He said, “Yes, that’s a green tea.” I should have left then and there, either that, or I should have made it clear that I knew a thing or two about tea, because I think he took me for sap. Instead, I thought, “Well, this is a well-established tea venue, I’ll take his word that it’s a green sheng.” He, however, must have thought, “This guy must want some green tea.”
What came out was a pot of Japanese Gyokuro. At this point, I gave up and just let the experience be what it was going to be. The tea was okay, with too hot water and too little leaf. I quickly blew out the tea candle that had been placed beneath the tea pot. We sat and drank the mediocre gyokuro and discussed our plans for the day. Fortunately, he didn’t bill us the listed $26 for gyokuro and we paid our bill and left. I should have known better.
There was something alluring and enjoyable about the room and what I had heard about the place, but, honestly, it’s obviously just a place to suck the wealthy dry of free cash for what they must be perceiving as the finest in tea. On top of the brainless service was the fact that the dining room was filthy. There was food smeared into the carpet that looked liked vomit and half of the tables were cluttered with dirty dishes. I just don’t understand how such a supposedly prestigious establishment (and I’m extending this to the Park Hyatt) can run such an embarrassing operation.
Full blog post: http://tea.theskua.com/?p=445
The Tea Cellar Edit
|Features||Afternoon tea, High tea, Tastings|
|Good For||Groups, Dates, Meetings|
|Sat–Sun||2:30 PM– 4:30 PM|
- 24 & M Streets
- Washington, District Of Columbia 20037