My cousin and cousin in-law were in Taiwan for the Chinese New Year holidays a few weeks ago. Since they spend most of their time overseas, I wanted to take them somewhere special for afternoon tea. The first place that popped into my mind was Cha Cha Thé, a gorgeous modern-day tea house with lovely decor and teas.
I arrived a few minutes early, and had a chance to really soak in the decor and atmosphere. The luxuriously spacious interior consists of mostly subdued earth tones, combined with soft music, the atmosphere was serene and tranquil. You could easily spend pleasant swathes of time here, either in quiet conversation, or just reading on your own.
One of the focal points of this room was that there was an entire wall constructed out of bricks of tea. It didn’t smell as fragrant as I imagined it would (yes! I took a quick sniff when I thought no one was looking… Good thing the wall wasn’t made out of chocolate bricks or I would have been seriously tempted to take a bite).
I have to mention that the staff at Cha Cha Thé are super nice. They seated me right away, even though I was early and my party at not yet arrived. She also poured me a full glass of water and waited I was sitting comfortably in my chair before placing the menu in front of me. The menu was also beautifully presented~ with a pretty cover and heavy card stock pages and clearly written in both English and Chinese. There is a selection of teas listed on the menu are: Pekoe Green Tea, Shihchao Jinshuan, Lightly Roasted Oolong, Beipu Oriental Beauty, Dream of Fruit, Roast Tieguanyin, Darjeeling Black Tea, and the option for iced tea is Exquisite Alishan Oolong.
All the teas are brewed and then poured into an individual pot before being brought to your table. (I’ve discovered that a pet peeve of mine is ordering tea and discovering a tea bag hanging around inside the pot. Adding insult to injury is if the teabag is something that I already have in my kitchen cupboard…I think more effort should be made if you are going to charge $200 upwards for a pot of tea!) Anyway, this was definitely not a problem here at Cha Cha Thé. Their tea is brewed to perfection, and there is not a stray tea leaf in sight.
Cha Cha Thé has their own range of teawares, and having tea is a good way to test them out. My Beipu Oriential Beauty Tea arrived in their “Pot of Awareness with the matching teacup and saucer.” I never really noticed this before with other teaware, but I felt that that the material of the tea pot and teacup really contributed to the overall drinking experience. The texture of the teapot handle was cool and smooth to the touch, and the lip of the teacup was pleasantly angled against my lip.
Now onto the desserts! Currently afternoon tea is served as a set of dainty little bites. We ordered two sets to share among the four of us, as suggested by the waiter.
The afternoon tea set consisted of: a black rice with vanilla tart, a raisin with rum cheesecake, an Earl Grey macaron, a chocolate ganache, a Mille-feuille with strawberry and soybean milk custard filling, and a vanilla with banana pound cake.
The two desserts that really stood out for me where the black rice with vanilla tart, and the strawberry millefeuille with soy custard filling. Both desserts have an unique Asian twist~ especially the black rice with vanilla tart. Black sticky rice is often used in Chinese- styled desserts, but it’s usually steamed and combined with red bean(azuki) paste, or studded with red beans. In this tart, the black rice is a used as a filling, and it’s quite an interesting blend of contrasting textures in one bite~ crumbly buttery exterior and a sandy crust sandwiching the chewy, fragrant lightly sweetened rice. Outstanding.
In addition, Cha Cha Thé is well renown in the local community for its selection of gifts; both edible and useful ones. After having your afternoon tea, make sure you devote some time to wandering around the front of the store, where all their gifts are artfully displayed.
If you are looking for souvenirs from Taiwan to bring back to your family and friends, I highly recommend items from Cha Cha Thé ‘s line. The items that caught my eye during this visit were the combined tea and sweets sets, tea sets in pretty containers, such as the “Textures of Jade” set, and the cute mini tins of their sweets. There also classic Taiwanese desserts, such as pineapple cakes, nougat candy, jelly candy infused with tea, and handmade cookies.
The owner of Cha Cha Thé is fashion designer, Shiatzy Chen, and her sartorial touch can be especially seen in the elegant packaging. Each item is securely packed in cloth covered boxes, and tied with grosgrain or silk ribbon. The color combinations are sumptuous. Hot pink, orange, pinks, purple, reds, all tied up with their lightly shimmery signature olive green ribbon.
And of course you can also purchase a selection of teas here too. Their teas are divided into five categories: Black Tea, Dark Tea, Green Tea, Herbal Tea and Oolong Tea. Under each category the teas have fanciful names, such as Vague Hearts, Imperceptible Influence, Books as Pillows, to name a few. In addition, their staff is patient and helpful, and really take the time to help you find what you are looking for. After this experience, I’m definitely adding Cha Cha Thé to my list of “Places to Take People When They Are Visiting Taipei” (I really have a list scribbled down in various different places) After a leisurely afternoon tea, you can take a short stroll around the quiet neighborhood before hopping back into the hustle and bustle of the city.
Information: Cha Cha Thé (DaAn Concept Store) Address: No.23, Lane 219, Sec. 1, Fuxing S. Rd., Da-an District, Taipei City 10685, Taiwan| Phone:(02) 8773 1818| Opening Hours: 11:00~22:00| 采采食茶 大安概念店 台北市復興南路一段二一九巷二十三號
Please note: this was not a sponsored post, all experiences and viewpoints expressed are my own, and I paid for all items consumed.