UPDATE: Afternoon tea is no longer served at Cha-An.
Take the stairs up to the second floor and be transported to a cozy tea house. The space is welcoming and warm. Tea is served until 7PM, which means the space isn’t dedicated to just afternoon tea, and you won’t find any plush upholstered seating, but I find it to be very comfortable and relaxed.
Superb. Exceptional service with a smile.
TEA & TEA SELECTION: ★★★★★
They have pages and pages of tea, which can be overwhelming, but I usually stick to what I think they do best, the Japanese teas like hojicha or genmaicha. Tea is served loose leaf in a single-serve pot and they’re usually on top of refilling it with hot water. As I’ve done on several occasions, I asked them not to refill since I was already on my fifth cup.
One thing to note. They sell the afternoon tea set without the tea, which is very odd. You have to add on the tea for an extra $5.
First they bring out the savories in a small bamboo basket. You get two kinds of homemade bagel tea sandwiches. One is a smoked salmon and the other is raspberry butter. I would love it if they switched out the raspberry butter with another savory sandwich. The raspberry butter is sweet and with the smoked salmon sandwich not containing too much salmon, it made the meal way too heavy on the sweets. However, the bagel sandwiches are VERY good.
After finishing the bagel sandwiches, a bamboo tray is brought out with two scones, and three kinds of sweets. The scones are FANTASTIC. One was chocolate and the other, Earl Grey. Served almost piping hot, these delicate scones came with whipped butter (instead of clotted cream) and blueberry jam.
Sweets are right behind the scones and there were three served. A black sesame shortbread cookie, an apple madeleine, and a small slice of a dense matcha cake. The madeleine, I didn’t really like too much, but the shortbread cookie and the matcha cake were great.
They do change up the menu so you may not get the same assortment of scones and sweets. However, the bagel sandwiches are always same.
For $23 ($18 afternoon tea set + $5 tea) it’s a great deal. I just wish there was a better balance between the savories and sweets.
LOCATION: Cha-An Japanese Tea House | 230 E 9th St, 2nd Floor | New York, NY 10003 | 212.228.8030
AFTERNOON TEA HOURS: Available till 7PM
COST: $18 for the afternoon tea set and $5 for tea.