Teaism is a small, Washington, D.C. based chain of teahouses.
They provide a wide variety of high-end loose leaf teas, along with mostly asian-inspired food that relates to the teas, and where most of the teas come from. They serve Bento Boxes as well as curries, and in one location, foods from a tandoor oven. Also popular are the Ginger Scones and Salty Oat Cookies ("Kayak Cookies", originally created by Terry Horn), though my personal favorite dessert there is the Mochi. Oh yeah, they have Ostrich burgers, too. As far as drinks go aside from tea, different flavored lassis are served, Ginger Limeade, Chai shakes, as well as a more traditional version of the recently popularized "bubble tea." Just don't bother coming in and asking for coffee, 'cause you won't find it.
The place has been open for about eight years now, and has built up a decent sized following of very loyal, regular customers. The atmosphere is warm and laid-back, particularly in the original Dupont Circle location.
Teaism was created by Michelle Brown and Linda Orr, with the aim of educating the public about how tea really should be experienced, and as "a response to the corruption of tea, the style above substance, and the use of tea bags in American offerings." Simply put: Lipton is not real tea, nor is any tea you dip in hot water with a dinky tea bag. The same goes for flavored teas (Orange, berry, licorice...What have you.) Quality loose-leaf tea is dying out, and Teaism is making an earnest attempt at maintaining this tradition.
The place is also around as a venue for local artists. Paintings and photography on the wall are always for sale, as are tea accessories and teapots made by local potters such as Jill Hinckley, Judith Weber and Seqouia Miller. (He is actually living in Olympia, Washington, but is also worth checking out.) Also, the D.C. poetry slam team holds slams there every Sunday evening.
Teas currently available:
- -Cinnamon Apricot
- -French Verveine
- -Ginger Ginseng
- -Lavender Lemon Mint
- -Soba Cha (Buckwheat)
- -Sweetleaf Hibiscus/Stevia
- -Wild Berry
- -World Peace
800 Conn Ave NW, Washington, DC
2009 R. St NW, Washington, DC
400 8th St NW, Washington, DC