I am a sucker for any tea or coffee shop that sticks the word “books” in its business name.
Radiance Tea House & Books, located in midtown Manhattan, is Chinese-owned. You can enjoy a meal there, as well as buy all kinds of tea, tea sets, and books on tea, art, and other aspects of Chinese and other Asian cultures. They even have language books.
The tea menu is multiple pages, divided up into sections. In one part, the tea descriptions include information on the symptoms each tea is supposed to help relieve (insomnia, sore throat, allergies, flatulence, vomiting, etc.). You can also stick to the herbal section if you are trying to avoid caffeine.
When my husband and I first visited Radiance in the fall of 2012, we ordered a pot of chrysanthemum tea. It was served in a clear glass pot with clear glass cups and saucers. Whole flowers peered out at us from the teapot.
I liked the tea. I didn’t love it. I don’t really love any tea, but I make periodic efforts to see whether I might learn to appreciate it.
Our waiter spoke Mandarin. Unfortunately, I had just started studying at the time, so I couldn’t say anything useful. We bought some loose chrysanthemum tea to take home with us. It is supposed to be good for your eyes.