Monday, August 14, 2017

Tea Places: Floating Mountain


I don't get to NYC as much as I used to these days so I try to take full advantage of the time that I am there. After I attended the Pret-A-Matcha Kickstarter Launch Party and visited Tea Dealers, I still had one more tea place on my to-do list. Floating Mountain first hit my radar when I started seeing posts about it on Instagram. From what I could gather on their website, this was definitely my kind of place.

Floating Mountain is tea house and art gallery located in a rather anonymous looking building on the Upper West Side. You'll need to ring the buzzer to get in and be prepared for some stairs. There is also a spa and yoga studio on the same floor. It's a relaxation one stop shop! It's also very important to note that they ask guests to remove their shoes. I was unprepared for that but was generally pretty ok with hanging out barefoot on such a hot day. It helped that I mostly had the place to myself.

The moment I crossed their threshold, I left the hectic city behind me and almost forgot where I was. Big, bright sunny windows and light colored wood added warmth to otherwise minimalistic space. There were several low tables with cushioned tatami mat seats that looked very cozy but I opted to sit at the tea bar since I had on a long dress.

The menu was still being developed during my visit but I was already impressed with what I saw. They had a fairly large selection of pure Chinese teas, all directly sourced. You won't find any Earl Grey here. The prices are a little steep but it is important to take into account that the tea is meant to be shared. If you are by yourself, I recommend opting for a single bowl of tea instead. I needed something cooling so I opted for the Anji Bai Cha. It was vegetal and sweet, exactly what I needed after a very hot day if trekking through the city.

My tea was expertly prepared in a glass gaiwan, all the better to show off the gorgeous leaves. I was provided some bits of dark chocolate. I was grateful for this because green tea seems to really affect my blood sugar levels in comparison with other teas. While I sipped my tea we chatted about many things, all circling back to tea. I was enthralled with tales of the views of Wuyishan and other sourcing adventures.

If I didn't have to be up early the next day I would have stayed longer and probably enjoyed another tea after this one. Elina, Anna, Roza, and Zoya were all wonderful hosts and I'm looking forward to visiting again soon. I used to work just a few blocks away and it's very good for my tea budget that I no longer do. Otherwise, I would be here all of the time!