Afternoon Tea at Teaism

I still have a bit of a backlog to slog through, but I thought I’d post about something while it was still fresh in my mind for change. XD;; I got out of work early yesterday, so after swinging by the Downtown Holiday Market (where I got a lovely handmade wool hat), I stopped in at the Teaism in Penn Quarter for their daily Afternoon Tea. Their tea is served everyday between the hours of 2:30 and 5:30 at $20 per person. I was curious about how this teashop would handle an afternoon tea service. I went with the “traditional” tea, though they also have an “Asian” one featuring rice balls and green tea ice cream.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that they served it in the classic tiered presentation. I had to make two trips to carry everything downstairs, where I chose a nice table by the water fountain to take my tea.

I had a piping hot pot of Darjeeling tea, which was aromatic and just the right thing on a cold winter’s day. I sort of wished they could serve it to me in a real tea cup, but that’s just a minor complaint. As for the food:

I started on the top tier with the sandwiches and scone. There were two kinds of sandwiches: smoked salmon and the classic cucumber. Both were pretty good, though they had their crusts on and weren’t exactly finger sandwich sized. I think there could have been some more imagination here, but they were perfectly decent sandwiches. On the other hand, the ginger scone was wonderful! It was surprisingly gingery, and had a nice sugar crusted top that gave it a nice crunch. I liked the apricot (?) jam that they provided, but I was left wondering where is the clotted cream??? I’m sorry, but a tea without clotted cream is just not a tea at all. I think clotted cream is an excuse to hold a tea, it’s that important. I was a bit heartbroken by the lack of it.

The desserts included chocolate truffles, lime curd tartlets and a trio of shortbread cookies. I was pretty stuffed by the sandwiches and scone by this time, so was only able to eat a tartlet and chocolate. The chocolate was actually a white chocolate and green tea truffle. It sort of fell apart in a creamy mess before I could eat it all. Aside from the textural integrity issues, it tasted very good with a strong green tea flavor. The lime tartlet was a bit odd. I couldn’t figure out why it tasted fake somehow, as though it were a lime creamsicle candy rather than curd. It left an odd and not entirely pleasant aftertaste in my mouth.

I had to wrap the cookies up to take home. They didn’t really survive the commute in my bag, as they turned out to be much more delicate than they looked. (I suspect they were also victim to the crushing weight of my bookclub selection of this month – Freedom by Jonathan Franzen, pictured above). But I did eat up the crumbs and pieces and they were actually quite tasty. There was green tea shortbread, earl gray shortbread, and chocolate (I think?) shortbread. My favorite was the earl gray, which had bits of tea on top that looked like seaweed at first glance. It was infused with the slightly spicy hint of bergomot.

I’m not sure if this tea were for two, they would’ve doubled the helpings. I also wonder whether this really was $20 worth of food, but I suppose it was still one of the cheaper teas I’ve had in the city.

Lack of clotted cream and somewhat uninspired sandwiches and desserts means I won’t be having Afternoon Tea here again. I will, however, be indulging in their ginger scones. With store-bought clotted cream!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • tags

  • categories

  • recent

  • archives