I found this place on the internet when I was looking for tea shops in the East Village. I did not expect this place to have a menu and bar to enjoy tea. Most of my experience with tea had been from large chain stores. When I explained my newbie-ism, their staff was very patient and answered all my questions.
This was also my first experience with Chinese tea, so I opted for the seasonal tasting. While the price was a little high, it was definitely more than I expected to drink (and even brought along my husband and sister-in-law!). The tea was fantastic, deep in depth and complexity, and the shop follows Chinese tradition when drinking and enjoying. We sat, talked and enjoyed tea for two straight hours and I am officially hooked on the gaiwan method.
Here’s the bad. First, the place is absolutely tiny, though I don’t know many places in NYC who have an abundance of real estate. As others have said, staff pays more attention to those at the bar than those at the tables, which might be bothersome. Otherwise, the ambiance of this place was enjoyable and definitely worth a visit! Especially if you’re new. The only other negative I found was the price point of some of their teas. $24/28g is a bit high for me, but I have ordered more teas from another vendor and will see if their teas are simply higher quality (though I suspect this price point is simply NYC prices).