Chado Tea Room : Darjeeling in the Afternoon

In the teabowl
this tranquil moment
dreaming of a little Spring.


IN the Terasaki Garden of behind the Chado Tea Room, I enjoyed an afternoon of tea. The menu was full of many different and exotic kinds of teas. Flavored teas, greens, blacks, whites, herbals. Darjeeling tea, second flush, in the afternoon, was perfect for this moment.

The peaceful atmosphere of the garden, hidden away next to the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo, a little table underneath a shady umbrella. I was amazed by the tea selection, as the menu was extensive. White teas such as Chinese Yin Zhen Silver Needle, White Peony, and white tea pearls. Then the Indian whites, the Sri Lankan white teas. Loose leaf teas, blooming teas, tisanes, herbals, mate, and Chado Reserve blends. Green teas of many kinds, from Sri Lanka, India, China and Japan. Japanese Sencha, Houjicha, Mattcha, Bancha, Genmaicha.

"Cha" means "tea" in Japanese.

Sitting outside, taking in the afternoon breeze, the darjeeling arrives in a flowered teapot. The tea cup, a simple white porcelain. Chado offers a proper menu of scones and tea sandwiches. The scones come in a variety: ginger, blueberry, cranberry-orange, apricot, black currant, and plain. Scones are served with cream, topped with fruit, like strawberries, and with jam: strawberry or apricot. You can choose both. Lemon curd is something I cannot resist.

The peacefulness of sitting outdoors, under an umbrella, drinking tea. The cream and honey I asked for arrived, languidly I stirred both into my cup. The scones, blueberry and ginger, flavorful, and when combined with the luxuriant cream and jam--- absolute pleasure in my mouth.

The ginger scone contained bursts of its true gingery nature. Each bite mingled with the cream, apricot jam, and fresh strawberry.

For an afternoon date, it's possible this could be the romantic moment two lovers could savor together. I sat and enjoyed the idea while drinking my tea slowly. Contemplation. My appreciation of tea has expanded now that I have discovered Chado Tea Room. One could plan a day, to sit and have tea, then wander into the Japanese American National Museum for awhile. The garden patio's tranquility is still in my memory. As a romantic, I will remember my moment out on the patio until I go again, and even so, a moment such as that cannot be replicated, only discovered with an open heart.

Reflecting in my mind, the beauty of Chado Tea Room. An afternoon I will remember.

About the Art of Tea:

The art of tea ceremony according to Japanese-('chado' or 'cha-no-yu')
The art of drinking tea developed in Japan. It involves a host and a guest (or guests).
Tea, utensils, and movements used in preparing, serving, and drinking the tea are part of the ritual. Tea was first introduced during the Song-dynasty of China by a Zen monk-- Eisai (1141–1215). Zen monks drank tea to help them stay alert during meditation.