Field Trip: Zenique Le Salon 永康街的小茶栽堂

Zenique Tea House specializes in teas that are sourced from local farmers in Taiwan (mostly in Nantou and Taichung) which are are grown in a pesticide and chemical free environment.

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The shop decor is minimalist, leaving room to showcase their vast selection of tea.  You can purchase either loose leaf teas, or tea bags.  (Their teabags are made from heat resistant PET mesh, which is imported from Japan).  I decided to try the  tea in their salon first, before committing to a purchase.  I would recommend calling in advance for a reservation, because the seating area is very limited.

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The staff member led me up a steep flight of cement stairs, and into a tiny room, with about 6 tables.  The room was simple, with concrete and fabric walls.  There was a lush plant wall on one side of the room, and a window on the other side.

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I ordered the Jasmine black oolong  tea, and the Reine Matcha, which consists of two matcha (green tea) macaron shells, sandwiching a matcha and almond cake, strawberries, raspberry jam, berry mousse, and topped with a raspberry, and some tiny (sour!) blackberries.  Visually, the pastry was gorgeous and photogenic.

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Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed with both the tea and the pastry.  I found the tea to be a bit bitter.  Also, I didn’t understand the two cups system. I was there on my own, so I was a bit confused about why I needed two cups.  Although, I’m sure there was a reason, because one cup is larger than the other.  (The staff just brought the cups and pot to the table and left without any explanation).  The Reine Matcha  did not taste as good as it looked.  I found the  pastry shell to be a little soggy, and some of the strawberries inside were a bit bruised.  It wasn’t terrible, but it was definitely not memorable.  After tasting it, I sort of wished that I had ordered their specialty tea infused frozen yogurt instead.

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I might stop in to try their tea flavored frozen yogurt at a later date, just to satisfy my curiosity.  I imagine that if you get to the cafe early, before anyone else arrives, it would be a nice quiet spot to get some work done.  Or if you bring a friend, it might be be a good place for a short chat, before shopping in Yong Kang Street.  However, I think if you are just visiting Taipei, and want to venture out  for a cup of tea and a truly delicious dessert in an ambient setting, I would strongly recommend that you visit Cha Cha The, which I believe has lovely service, more character, better presentation and memorable pastries.  I would also recommend Smith & Hsu, which lets you smell all the teas before choosing, and has quite possibly the best scones in Taipei.

This was not a sponsored post.  All items were purchased with my own money, and all experiences and viewpoints expressed are my own. 

Information: Zenique: No.8, Alley 4, Yongkang Street, Taipei|  Tel: (02) 2395 1558 Hours: 11am-10:30pm| Website: http://www.zenique.net | 台北市大安區永康街4巷8號

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