• Places

    Tea Places: Teavana – Bridgewater Commons

    There has been a lot of discussion on Tea Chat as of late on the ethics of Teavana. I had never been to one of their stores so I really wasn’t sure what to expect. I wound up wandering this very small store for half an hour, mostly oggling the teaware. The staff was friendly and helpful, not the rude and pushy types that I have heard about. Unfortunately, while I was distracted a very convincing salesperson did manage to corner my boyfriend. He loved one of the mixed blends so she easily talked him into buying an infuser mug, two different teas and a too large tin to store his new tea…


  • Places

    Tea Places: Amai Tea & Bake House

    I’ve been working in Gramercy Park for a few months now and never knew that Amai Tea & Bake House existed until my manager pointed it out. The space is very small but they make the most of it. I LOVE that they store their teas in an old library card catalog. So far I have tried the dong ding and goddess of mercy oolongs and both were wonderful. Their loose leaf is expensive but that is to be expected in this neighborhood. A cup to go is slightly cheaper than starbucks and certainly much more tasty. One of these days I will find the time to get a pot to stay so…

  • Places

    Tea Places: Ana Beall’s Tea Room

    I’ve been visiting my boyfriend in a nearby town for years and never knew that this gem existed in Westfield, New Jersey. The staff was so courteous, even taking our jackets when we came in. The decor was inviting and it felt more like sitting in a friend’s living room than a restaurant. The food was simply done but tasted amazing. I highly recommend the lemon chicken sandwich. My boyfriend really enjoyed the pull pork sandwich. The tea wasn’t stupendous but I think that had a lot to do with the fact that they use filter bags instead of leaving the tea leaves loose in the pot. We had the formosa oolong, which…

  • Places

    Tea Places: Cha Ma Gu Dao

    This past weekend I had the immense pleasure of frequenting a tea house in Montclair, New Jersey called Cha Ma Gu Dao. I was in awe as I had never seen so much loose leaf tea or serious teaware in one place. The whole place was very zen and relaxing. Their tea menu is larger than the menus of many restaurants. It was a tough choice but I decided on the high mountain light roasted oolong. The service was great and so was the tea. While there I also purchased a washi box, one of their three tiered tea tins and some white tea. Reviews of all three with be coming soon. If…

  • Places

    Japanese Garden in Autumn

    I was bored this weekend so I dragged by boyfriend to the Japanese Garden at Georgian Court University. I’ve been meaning to go for some time and I figured we should make a run for it before winter is upon us. I was no dissapointed. The Japanese maple leaves covered everything in a blanket of bright red. They even had a restored traditional tea house in the garden. The inside shot was as good as I could get through the glass but you can get the general idea of the structure. I also hit up the newly relocated Whole Foods and found a neat little travel tea press for $10. I also picked…