@ the Park Hyatt, Washington DC

The Park Hyatt Washington,

1201 24th Street, NW, Washington, DC, 20037, USA

Boasting an extensive tea menu of rare fine teas, serious tea connoisseurs would delight in this exquisite experience.

My companion and I, seated in our own glass booth (which added that element of exclusivity to the experience) enjoyed a ‘3 tea tasting’ session.

We chose to sample the Ceylon Platinum Tips tea (a “rare white tea grown on the highest mountain tops of the Dumbala region” as described in the menu), the Tencha tea (“rare shade grown green tea traditionally ground for the Japanese tea ceremony…among the rarest, most expensive Japanese green teas ever imported”) and the 1978 Vintage Reserve Cave Pu-erh (“cellar aged for 25 years”).

This tea experience began with us being served on a little plate a sample of the tea leaves we had chosen (dry leaves) – wonderful!

Each tea was then served separately, from the more subtle to the most pungent. Each tea was also served in individual glass tea pots (generous in both size and serving) that rested atop tea light warmer bases which kept the teas warm.

We were first served the Ceylon Platinum Tips tea: It was a delicate tea, lovely and subtle in flavour, a rich honey colour and a great clean white tea to begin our tasting journey. Also great with a splash of milk.

The Tencha green tea came next. For those who enjoy a true green tea, this is the one for you! My companion, a green tea enthusiast, was delighted to no end. It had a powerful grassy taste with and equally pungent grassy aroma. (* Note: Those whose palate is not well versed in green tea would find it too grassy and terse).

The final tea in our tasting session, the 1978 Vintage Reserve Cave Pu-erh was a marvelous choice for those who appreciate and are well acquainted with the unique taste of Pur-erh tea. Not for the faint hearted, this Pur-eh tea was bold, earthy and woody. A richly red colour, for a Pu-erh purist this tea was a thrill to taste and enjoy.

We then opted to try at extra tea as I could not resist passing the opportunity to try the Emperor’s Chocolate Elixir tea. It was described in the menu as a blend of “4 rare high mountain black teas and 4 fine high mountain estate grown cocoa ribs”. For any tea lover AND true chocolate lover, this was duality at its finest! The rich black tea infused with the cocoa created a lovely balance of strong earthy flavours with bitter chocolate tones (provided by the cocoa) yet the aftertaste was smooth with a true cocoa finish. (* Adding the milk diluted the bitterness and smoothed the flavour, although I found it to be most impactful without any milk).

Our waitress was pleasant and cordial although her knowledge of the tea was not exceptional – a more senior staff member answered our queries.

A classy, elegant and exceptional tea experience (with a modern twist) that no true tea enthusiast should miss.

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