March 29, 2013


I met a friend for Japanese Tea at Cha An in the East Village. The tea parlor has been there for years and I've wanted to try it for as long. We met at 3, a 'proper' hour for tea, and climbed the narrow steps to the second floor. The place is tiny and dark, with windows on the street side only that let in subdued light. But the setting is cozy enough, done in dark woods, with banquettes along the walls and bamboo screens, if, sadly, a bit frayed around the edges and in need of sprucing up. On the menu is a choice of lunch 'sets,' and an afternoon tea set (with, of all things, bagels).There are other savory choices and desserts, and a good selection of teas. We had the Chef's Dessert Assortmenta flan, a cream puff and ice cream with a tuille— and O-cha, or green tea—a Sencha and a Kabusecha (a kind of Gyokuro).* I can't accurately describe the desserts since our waitress (not Japanese) was not around to ask once she set the tray down. But, before I start to sound like a resentful entry on YELP have a look at the pics—short work was happily made of all.

Cha An Lunch Set with Tea.
'Chef's Choice Dessert Assortment,' with Kabusecha (in front) and Sencha.
Sampling the Goods.
And... a sign, at the bus-stop on my way home.

'Bubble tea!!!' 3rd Ave, East Village.

*Here's a website that sells green teas and can tell you all you need to know: