Monday, March 14, 2011

Afternoon Tea at Cha-An

(Can you believe this is our 150th post? It seems like just yesterday when Diana and I decided to chronicle our eating escapades for both ourselves and the world, because the best thing to share in life is a good meal, and boy do we love sharing!)

Saturday, Thanan and I saw a psychic in Chinatown and went to grab some afternoon tea in St. Mark's to  ponder the psychic's revelations for us.  I knew just the perfect spot: Cha-An.

The tea shop is tiny rectangular room located atop a narrow set of stairs.  We were told a thirty minute wait, but the best thing about Cha-An is that they take down your name AND number, so you can wander around the area, and they call you when your seats are ready.  Thanan and I watched dogs at nearby Tompkins Park for 30 minutes, where I decided that my future dog will be a chowchow.  They are just so goshdarn adorable.

I ordered the afternoon tea set which came with your choice of any tea, excluding three specific ones (matcha, tieguanyin and twelve trees oolong), so I picked the flower craft green tea.  Being a bit slow that afternoon, I was pleasantly surprised to find it was a flowering tea (duh, seems so obvious, I know)!

The tea took just a couple minutes to completely bloom, which, the waitress instructed, would be the sign that the tea was ready to drink!

Hot and refreshing!
Thanan ordered the matcha latte which had juicy red beans at the bottom that you eat with a spoon.  Thanan confirmed the matcha was legit.  (And when Thanan says it's legit, dude, it's legit.)

Thanan also ordered the black sesame creme brulee which came with a gorgeous black sesame tuile cookie.

Beneath the smokey grey black sesame ice cream was the creme brulee: a crispy layer of bitter-sugar crust and a creamy bottom.  It's pretty fantastic, as in pretty and fantastic.
The Cha-An sweets set: scone, pound cake and cookies.

Cha-An scone.

What is wonderful about the scone is that it is freshly baked to order.  They warn you that it will take approx. ten minutes, and while those may be the longest ten minutes of your life, it is well worth it.  The huge sugar crystals amplified the crunch from the outside of the scone while giving way to the soft, tender inside.  Moist and warm, the scones tasted great with the accompanying whipped cream and blueberry jam.
Pound cake.
Plenty moist with a pretty almond topping.  The green color was noted in appearance but not in taste.
The macaron was crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside and had a good chunk of chocolate filling.  Thanan wasn't a fan, but I liked it.  I think I like just about any macarons, with or without chocolate ganache.!
A citrusy cake slice with tender crumb and bits of orange zest.
Crunchy chocolate shortbread.  
We spent about an hour in the shop, sipping tea and taking small bites out of our delicate Japanese desserts.  I think it makes a great spot to stop for an afternoon chat accompanied by charming pastries (including mochi truffles!) and delicious teas.

As an added bonus, they have a terrific toilet in the woman's bathroom that does all sorts of things at the touch of a button including a dryer option...for when you're sitting on the seat...yes.  That kind of dryer.  So handy, I know!

230 E 9th St
New York, 10003
(212) 228-8030
Cha-An on Urbanspoon


  1. I've never liked tea, but I can certainly get behind a plate full of pastries! Those scones look heavenly.

  2. I am crushing on your sweets set! happy 150th post to us! <3