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Coffee & Tea

Manhattan

Big Apple Tea House - Kung fu tea house

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Coffee & Tea 4

Big Apple Tea House - Kung fu tea house

HLing | Aug 30, 2003 12:45 AM

Finally, a kung fu tea house in Manhattan! 22 D Howard street, in China town just off Lafayette. 212 966 6780They've only been opened one week. There are 5 or 6 beautiful carved natural wood tables each with a complete set of kung fu tea apparatus: Tea tray with a drawer for rinsed tea, clay tea pot, strainer, serving pot, little sniffing cups as well as drinking cups. There's a alcohol based little burner that boils the water in a glass carafe also right at the table.There are maybe 7 or 8 variety of tea right now that you can choose from, but they say there'll be more in the future. I don't see anything in english that identifies the teas, but they are in glass jars at the bar (there are over 10 seats at the bar for those who don't want kung fu tea)I believe all the teas are from Mainland China. They have various Tieh Guan Yin, including the ones from high peaks that had to be picked by monkeys. Also have the Da Hong Pao(Big red robe) . They have a couple of green teas: Ming Chien Long Jin(Long Jin picked before the Chinese All Saint's Day) from Sheh Fong(Lion Peak), another green tea with a poetic name w/very fine tea leaves that resembles the dried seaweed hijiki. There's something called Huang Ge Xian(yellow branch frangrance) which I've never heard of, as well as some tea with Ginseng powder.I don't know that I agree with using delicate green tea such as the Long Jin for Kung fu tea, as that seems to defeat the purpose of the special light quality of the tea. The servers were friendly, but not too knowledgeable about making the tea. Mine was made with too much tea leaves and steep for too long. Of course, you do have the option of making it all yourself. They will just bring you more water to boil as needed.They have a 14 item food menu, (the Young Chow Fried Rice was very good) as well as some fruit plates, nuts and watermelon seeds, little cheese cakes, walnut cake and the likes. I think they also have bubble tea. Though I don't agree with some of the tea available for kung fu tea, it's high time we have a place like this in Manhattan. There's even an upstair space for large group, though I didn't get to see it. You can purchase the tea in vaccuum pack if you'd rather make your tea at home, but it's all at least $75, so bring cash. (they say they'll take credit cards in the future, that it's not set up, yet)

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