November 24, 2012 | Mandarin
In which I visit a Chinese tea place in midtown.
Yesterday I wanted to buy chrysanthemum tea, because I had read about it in one of my books on Chinese medicine. Chrysanthemum tea is not something you can easily buy at your local grocer’s.
I didn’t have time to go to Chinatown to get it, but I called around and found a place in midtown, Radiance Tea House & Books at 158 West 55th Street, that said they had it in stock. My husband, Brandt, and I ventured out for an evening tea there.
Me Outside Radiance Tea
A View Inside
As it turns out, Radiance is Chinese-owned. You can enjoy a meal there, as well as buy all kinds of tea, tea sets, and books on tea and art and other aspects of Chinese and other Asian cultures. They even had language books!
The tea menu was multiple pages, divided up into sections. In one part, the tea descriptions included information on the symptoms each tea was supposed to help relieve (insomnia, sore throat, allergies, flatulence, vomiting, etc.). You could also stick to the herbal section if you were trying to stay away from caffeine.
Brandt and I had a pot of chrysanthemum tea. It was served in a clear glass pot with clear glass cups and saucers. I liked it. I didn’t love it. I don’t really love any tea, yet, but I am seeing whether I might be able to appreciate it more now than I could when I was still drinking coffee.
We bought some loose chrysanthemum tea to take home with us.
Chrysanthemum Tea: You Can See the Flowers!
The Tea Sets Behind Me Were for Sale
Books on Art, Tea, Language, and More
Tea for Sale, Some Familiar and Some More Exotic
The place was pretty empty, since it was Thanksgiving holiday weekend, but that also made it extra peaceful.
Once back home, inspired by this pleasant tea adventure, I went online and ordered a book on the history of tea, which will inevitably teach me a little something about the history of China.
I prefer that kind of history—one that covers a small corner well—to sweeping surveys.