This spot has something for everyone. It is not too intimidating for those new to teas, but it also offers interest for tea aficionados. The staff is very nice and all of the teas smell and taste great.
The menu has tea on the front and “everything else” on the back. There are house blends, which I highly recommend. I almost always opt for the blend of the month since it’s always changing. They offer tea by the cup, pot, or tasting flight. You get unlimited hot water refills on your tea and it comes with a hourglass and savory lavender tea cookie.
The edible part of the menu has room for improvement, but they are keeping with the “tea time” feel. Think – fruit & nutella sammies, rice bowls, and creamy quiche from local LeoNora bakery.
There is a separate menu for foot soaks, which take place in the sanctuary towards the back of the space. The chairs are comfy and the copper basin filled with warm water, rocks, and your “steep” of choice hits the spot. Refills on water during the 20 minutes keep your feet from getting too chilly.
The staff is very friendly and the chief steeper knows all the properties and uses for the ingredients used in their teas and soaks. I stopped in for some anti-inflammatory remedy and she was full of recommendations.
I keep coming back to Zen Tara Tea, even though it’s not close to where I live or work.
Zen Tara Tea is personable. You get to know the people that work there, and they care about you. They remember visitors and their tea/pastry preferences. They truly care about their customers, and take the time to talk to them and get to know them. They are always interacting with the community, whether in person, twitter, facebook, or through newsletters.
All of their tea is organic and they keep on the cutting edge by going to tea expos and visiting countries around the world.
Compared to other tea shops (Teavana, Teaism), this store is by and far the best. The quality of their ingredients is such that you don’t need sugar or milk—the tea stands on it’s own. The prices aren’t that expensive so you go home weeping with a small satchel of tea either. I love their tea tumblers with the bulit in strainer too, I have two and bring one to work with me everyday on my long metro ride from Arlington to Rockville. The tea is still hot when I arrive at work.
The best thing about this place (besides the free wi-fi, and yummy snacks) is their tea tasting events. For around $10, you get an hour or hour-and-a-half long themed adventure where you taste five or six teas and then you get to take samples home. I’ve taken part in the April Fool’s Tasting Challenge, South East Asian Tea tasting, Tea as Desserts, Iced Tea Contest, and the Botanical Tea Blending/Tasting Event. I’ve been here with tea snobs and tea noobs alike, and everyone has enjoyed every event and everything in the store.
They also have sushi, sandwiches, some Chinese dim-sum dishes, and bubble tea. I love their Thai iced coffee and Thai iced tea the best, with tapioca bubbles of course!