Walk into Taste and it's like you're entering a Buddhist sanctuary where the ritual of tea reigns supreme.Ladies and gentlemen, we've finally found it: the most relaxing place in the universe. Walk into Taste and it's like you're entering a Buddhist sanctuary where the ritual of tea reigns supreme. Husband and wife dynamic duo Vincent and Rebecca opened Taste only a year ago, but they've already perfected a tea retreat like no other (even the wood-paneled bathroom feels more like a fancy sauna than a commode). Books about Chinese history and tea culture line one wall, and sample jars of different teas are arranged on the other, so you can look, smell and learn about what tea you might want to try.
Because strong flavors can mess with your sense of taste, this spot offers a well-curated menu of tea snacks that hit the spot while complimenting the main event. Rebecca's homemade macarons are a favorite (rotating flavors include green tea, pumpkin and chrysanthemum), and steamed buns come in trios to share and enjoy. But the real draw here is the exceptional tea that Vincent sources straight out of China (he even has a Chinese tea mentor whose five-story teahouse gives her expert knowledge). Ask Vincent what his favorite tea is, and he'll tell you it all depends on how he's feeling, but some of his recommendations include the buttery golden oolong and the earthy pu-erh that comes in compressed discs (back in the day, they were used as currency to trade with Tibet).
If you're unfamiliar with brewing tea Chinese style, the folks at Taste will introduce you to the Gong fu tradition and help pick the perfect tea for you, which will unfold in flavor as you steep and resteep the leaves. If you're lucky, you can snag one of the window alcoves and taste the day away.
Gaiwan (personal tea ware serving), $5.80
Gong fu cha (tea ware serving for sharing), $8.80
Tea macaroon, $1.95
Exotic fresh Asian fruits (lychee, dragon eye, papaya), market price
Red bean, sesame, pork and veggie curry wheat buns, choice of 3 buns $7.99
Mon. - Thurs., 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Fri. & Sat., 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sun., 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.