It’s unfortunate that teas haven’t received the precious wave of attention like coffee has within the past decade that every detail was scrutinized starting from where the beans are originated to how to brew the drink (e.g. amount of grounds, water temperature, etc.) that creates a beautifully complex cup. So this does prompt the question, why can’t New York City have a very good, proper cup of tea?
The possible answer to that is Press Tea in West Village. This is the kind of tea shop New York City is missing out for a long time. They brew teas that are very potent (in the best way), complex and flavorful unlike major commercialized brands’ teas who create teas that are watery, sugary, and artificially flavored and they do have a spacious seating area where you could do some work on the laptop or meet friends over tea and their in-house made pastries.
Press Tea serves four blends of teas currently: Wild Himalayan (Black), Formosa (Green), Cape Town (Rooibos), and Kashmir (Chai) that are globally sourced but blended in-house.
We tried most of their refreshing, cold tea drinks with their Mont Blanc, a creamy, dairy-based topping that is minutely sweet and salty at the same time. It manages to enhance the tea’s flavor profiles without dominating it completely. Of the ones we’ve tried with this particular topping, I liked how the Wild Himalayan still retained its smoky flavors yet have the nuanced creaminess of cold milk tea.
Their Iced Wild Himalayan Macchiato was still had its black tea flavors but I prefer to have less milk than what’s poured in there.
Blanc Kashmir (Chai tea)
We did tried their hot version of chai tea (Blanc Kashmir) and thought it was very balanced with the spices without any one spice sticking out.
We did try their Caramel Cape Town Latte (not photographed) and were skeptical that this would work but the caramel was actually dark enough that it enhances the delicately fruity roobios tea.
We thoroughly enjoyed their straight iced teas, especially the Formosa green tea blend tastes that has a potent jasmine tea flavor notes up front without being too overwhelming. It has a dense, sharp, almost savory flavors with full body. Since their blends are secret (I’ve asked), I would guess there’s some Long Jing tea in that blend.
I am a sucker for a good scone and they do make a good one, especially the apricot white chocolate scone. Their cupcakes (we tried coconut, Earl grey, and red velvet) were moist and not too sweet. We loved the Earl grey the most, as it does have the floral complexity of the tea. Their chocolate shortbread cookies are delicious. Buttery and chocolatey with crispy edges. (Please note, their cookies are slightly larger than what we had.) The green tea meringues were good, as they were crisp and a touch moist and chewy in the center and the lemon glazed madelines were fluffy and lemony. Their soft, fudge-like chocolates were delicious, especially the matcha white chocolate flavor, as the matcha tea flavors shown so beautifully.
We did hear that there might be afternoon tea served soon, tea classes, upcoming releases of different teas like oolong and very soon – tea shots think concentrated shots of tea like an espresso for coffee. This should be an exciting time for this shop.
To view more photos of this visit, please view the slideshow below (or CLICK HERE for my photo set):