I visited some friends in Asheville, and there were two places they were intent on bringing me—Malaprop’s bookstore (a delight!), and here.
This place is such a joy. There’s a room in the back that’s more authentic, where shoes are not permitted and you sit on cushions before a low table. That room was sadly (predictably) completely full on a Saturday night, but the dimly lit, corner booth we found was a nice alternative.
The menu is chocked full of wonderful things, and we sat there and watched our tea being prepared. My Rwanda rooibos (delicious) came with spare hot water to make more, and our server told me exactly how long to steep for optimal flavor. My friend had the matcha (which we watched being properly prepared, whisk and all) and our table was full of tea treats (I love some tea cookies). They don’t hover or pressure you to get out of there when you’re done. You can kick off your shoes (literally) and savor your tea as long as you want, or until you feel guilty for taking up a table when other people are waiting.
Next time I visit Asheville, I’ll go during the day so I can grab one of those special tables in the back. And probably go home with even more tea, as they sell everything they offer on the menu, too, to take home.