Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
TenRen Tea Shop
Mott Street, near Canal Street, Chinatown, NYC
Review by Susu

TenRen is really a trading company which imports and packages tea. The shop also retails prepackaged teas and accessories, including teapots and such. Many are works of art. They will happily explain to you the virtues of clay pots over iron or steel. There is a tasting area where different brews can be tested and savored, like wine or vodka in other cultures.

The store is surprisingly tidy and clean, considering this IS Chinatown, which can have more than a little bit of the Temple of Doom aspect to it in terms of mysterious piles of sacks and boxes and general filth. Tea can be bought prepackaged loose or in bags, or by the ounce from huge golden cannisters. Earl Gray is fragrant, smelling strongly of bergamot, at $18/lb. Jasmine, made by layering the perfumed white flowers with quality tea, can be $100/lb. There is a two ounce minimum.

Men of power have apparently hungered for tea, and have beaten a path to TenRen to satisfy it. Photos of celebrities and politicians -- including Dubya's dad and über New Yorker Rudy Giuliani -- adorn the walls. In the back, there is a beautiful "export quality" dining set. It's not for sale, but gives the ambience of a bygone time when "chinoiserie" was all the rage. Half the store is also dedicated to the sale of "medicinal" dried ginseng. In fact, the door had a sign on it: "Wisconsin Ginseng is here!"

I love America.

Disclaimer: The opinions and observations noted are the property of the author. Neither Wookieehut nor any associates makes any claims or lucre from the posting of this report or review. Enjoy!