Space review and a coffee and hot chocolate later we decided to head into SoHo to satisfy our tea passion. We headed to one of my favorite tea establishments.
Which leads to the discussion Can a Tea Cafe exist of Tea Alone?
This escapade ended up in a full day of tea drinking and bakery exploration. At In Pursuit Of Tea, we were treated to Taiwan Beauty an Oolong of sheer delight. The Oolong has fruity honey scent and brewed, orange liquor without strong bitterness.We heard about the leafhoppers that assist with the oxidation process which results in a heavy fermented oxidized Oolong.
After 3 infusions it was time to head off to another fave tea spot Harney & Sons, SoHo where we enjoyed Kenya Black, along with small bites of sliced cucumbers on rice crackers with a green tea cream cheese and tea infused macaroons, yum.
Next on our agenda was the mission to find the recently opened Dominique Ansel Bakery. We had spent the afternoon talking tea and exchanging ideas in an effort to get to know each other better. It was now late evening and the sunshine had dwindled the crisp air now was cold. My friend stopped a purchased a fabulous hat from a street craftsman and had donned it for both the chic look and warmth. After several block we arrived at 189 Spring Street.
We were happy the shop was still open and as we crossed the street we could see several people making their mad dash to the door. Upon entering we were greeted by a well-lighted fresh clean environment. I immediately looked for their tea offerings and on a blackboard above the workspace there it was. The offerings were few and written simply, TEA: Black, Green, Herbal and Oolong. I found this interesting, as most non-tea establishments do not highlight Oolong. This let me know that the proprietor has some idea of what tea is about or knows his customer may be a tea tottler.
We did not try the tea due to our late arrival I knew I would be back for the entire experience and at $3.00 a cup I did not want to be disappointed. Their menu lists their offerings as Chamomile, Mint, Earl Grey, Green, and Oolong. There were several counter persons and customers but to my dismay the pastry display was somewhat depleted based on the time of our arrival. A lovely woman who apologized for the scant choices and explained that since they are recently opened they have not yet established a rate of customer flow to product need helped us. She also described some of their most sought after choices, DKA “Dominique’s Kouign Amann”: Flaky and tender bread with caramelized layers, Ricotta Tartine: Pear Chutney with creamy ricotta on walnut raisin bread. I reviewed the offerings and decided to try two, the Coconut Mango Cake and the Torta de Santiago (gluten free) as tribute to ThePurrfectCup. I was surprised that there were several gluten free offerings on their menu. I have very little experience with gluten free products but have heard many have been tasteless or unappetizing.
You must read this menu scandalously honest!
The Devotea would be outraged.
We said our adieus and departed thanking each other for a wonderful day.
I got back home a made a cup of Phoenix Eight Immortals Oolong and began my taste testing. My first trial was the coconut mango cake I was very surprised. This mini bite was light more custard than cake with a dried mango bite on top heavenly. The Torta de Santiago delicious I could not tell it was gluten free the flavor and consistency of the slice was wonderful. I am looking forward to going back for the full DAB experience here is the New York Times review.
11/11/11 Update Dominique Ansel Bakery
8:00am – 10:30am (9:00am – 11:00am Sundays)
DKA’s, “Dominique’s Kouign Amanns” (think: caramelized croissants)come out of the oven, warm and flaky.
8:00am – 12:00pm (9:00am – 12:00pm Sundays)
The Perfect Little Egg Sandwich (a fluffy steamed herb egg pillow covered with a paper thin slice of Gruyere on top of a homemade brioche loaf) are made to order. It’s hard just to eat one.
11:00am – 3:00pm
Our pastry items are done! You MUST get the Paris-New York! (Think: Reese’s peanut butter cup meets cream puff.)
12:00pm – 4:00pm
Lunchtime! Our sandwiches are freshly assembled. (First-timers, try the Roasted Pork Club. Our pork shoulder is slow roasted for 6 hours over night.)
3:00pm – 6:00pm (Fridays to Sundays ONLY)
Fresh-baked madeleines served piping hot.
6:00pm – 7:00pm (Except on Sundays)
Grab an after-work ice cream, made fresh in-house