Essencha Tea House - Cincinnati
I should have posted this in July, but got busy....
I was visiting family in Cinti (grew up there, but don't live there now) and decided to let grandma babysit the 1 yr old. while I take a break (nice of me). On a whim, I looked for a tea house (I don't drink coffee) and stumbled onto Essencha in Oakley. www.essencha.com. It's just around the corner from that big Target complex, across the street from the new restaurant Hugo, formerly Pho Paris (if memory serves).
What a lovely experience! Just a fabulous selection of teas, and a terrific explanatory menu about them all. An elegrant, serene setting. There is food, too, which was a bit of a surprise, it is almost quasi-bistro ish, although bistro is not quite the right word. Not just tea, although they are clearly devoted to tea.
I had my first bubble tea - been meaning to try it, but never made time. I though it was great - just the tapioca pearls in black ceylon tea with mango. And I also had edamame, which was wonderful - served warm with a great flaky salt. Other places I go seem to serve edemame cold, and it was nice to have it warm.
Anyway, since I don't live in Cinti anymore, I don't usually post for it on chowhound. I now live in Minneapolis, and only admittedly only rarely post on chowhound for that city. But I lurke a lot, and appreciate so much the recommendations from others on these boards, so I thought it would be fun to pass this along since I didn't see any messages about Essencha on the boards.
This was just a wonderful find for my visit. I'm looking forward to going back in Dec. when we are in town for Christmas. 2 weeks, perhaps more than one visit!
Thanks for posting this, maatre. I've visited Essencha a few times and have enjoyed both the tea and the food. I had the European Tea once (crepe with lemon curd, finger sandwiches and green tea ice cream, which really went more with the Asian Tea option, but I couldn't resist) and a light granola, fruit and yogurt breakfast too. The desserts are gorgeous AND delicious. It's a great place to pass time with friends ... we stayed for hours and never felt rushed at all.
I think they're hosting more tasting events these days, and the tea room can be reserved for parties. When I went this summer, the room was reserved for a large group and only counter service and outside seating were available. For that reason, it would probably be best to call ahead if you want to make sure you can linger at a table. Also -- at least when I was there last winter -- reservations are required for the Asian Tea option. Our server told us they only make rice on days when there are reservations.
You've reminded me that I need to try the bubble tea the next time I'm there. And that I need to keep Essencha in mind for holiday gifts. The loose tea is packaged in cute reusable metal tins, and even the sampler size ($2-5, I think, depending on the tea) is really generous.
Hey Tapas and AMFM! Thanks for acknowledging and responding. I want it to stay in business badly so that I can visit whenever I go back! Wish I had it here in Mpls. The only similar place is not nearly as nice/peaceful.
Yes, those tins are great. I brought home with me the Ceylon Silver Tips white tea to try (recommended by the person there since I'd never tried white tea before). What a lovely, lovely tea. I cannot find it here in Mpls, so I'll have to get more when I'm back at Christmas.
That's great to know about the Asian Tea - that will also be on my list to try at Christmas.