Review: Essencha Tea House

DSC_0064 I love tea. I have issues with tea. Terry will attest that I buy too much of it– favorites include fruit teas from Europe, Red Label, and I can’t seem to walk out of Teavana without spending large amounts of money. It’s like the teenage girls who work there see the invisible sign that says “sucker” on my forehead and I walk out with $60 in tea.

So, when my lovely friend Myrita suggested we go to Essencha pre-yoga for a healthy lunch, I realized that I’d had Essencha tea– but not at Essencha.  They also provide tea to Iris Bookcafe and other local restaurants,  DSC_0065so you may have had their tea without knowing it.  I had fallen in love with their Lemongrass Vanilla (pictured below), which smells like citrus, sugar and vanilla with just a touch of “green”– from the lemongrass and the green rooibos.  It’s great as an iced tea, so I bought 4 oz ($12) to take home.

You can, of course, drink tea in the restaurant.  When you sit down, you are presented nearly immediately with a sample of one of their teas du jour; the tea I had on Saturday was peppermint (delicious!).  A menu is provided with all of theiDSC_0063r tea selections; I chose a matcha latte with soy (as did Myrita).  So good, and just a little sweet.

I hadn’t even realized that they served food beyond pastries and desserts, but realized quickly that they had a very healthy-looking (and varied) menu.  As I was about to head to yoga, I didn’t want anything too heavy, so the Matcha Goddess salad sounded perfect.  It was a spring mix salad, topped with avocado, apple, jicama, carrot, cucumber, goldDSC_0060en raisins and hulled sunflower seeds, with a matcha green goddess dressing, which was light– not the heavy, gloppy dressing green goddess often is.  It was also used sparingly, which allowed the fresh fruit and vegetables to really shine.

Myrita picked two dishes that she often gets when we dine out– miso soup and edamame.  Myrita commented on how perfect the miso soup was– particularly with good, firm tofu (not mushy, like some places’ tofu cDSC_0061an be and good quality seaweed.

It’s a charming restaurant– with parking in the back (street parking is at a premium, particularly with the construction on Madison).  It’s a great place for afternoon tea (they do both a European and an Asian tea serviDSC_0062ce), or as a relaxed alternative to your regular coffee house.

Essencha Tea House & Fine Teas on Urbanspoon

  • http://www.epi-ventures.com Courtney

    So it would seem we both referenced Essencha on the same day! Their food is fresh, rustic and homey. I like the relaxing vibe and friendly service and I’m a sucker for the red walls and printed seat cushions.
    .-= Courtney´s last blog ..5 Essential Tips for a Cincinnati Diner =-.

    • http://winemedinemecincinnati.com julie

      Yup! Total coincidence, but a good one, as Essencha deserves some attention. I’ve been dreaming about a cup of their tea since I left on Saturday.

      • http://www.epi-ventures.com Courtney

        Have you ever been to ZenCha Tea Salon on High Street in Columbus? Oh my gosh, they’ve got incredible tea there as well. I hit it up every time I’m in town.
        .-= Courtney´s last blog ..5 Essential Tips for a Cincinnati Diner =-.

        • http://winemedinemecincinnati.com julie

          Nope! But I’m in Columbus fairly often. I’ll try it out.

  • http://tiarabuttons.etsy.com Marla

    I am simply glad to see that it’s not just me that walks into Teavana and walks out going “I just spent…what?” At least it’s good stuff. If I ever get a chance to visit Cinci, I hope to get to Essencha. Sounds like a place I’d like.

    • http://winemedinemecincinnati.com julie

      $60. Every darn time. But I think I’ve switched to Essencha (you can buy online, essencha.com).

  • http://www.simplicityembellished.com Cole Imperi

    Love this post, Julie! Although, I’m a little biased as it’s my favorite restaurant.
    So glad you loved it! The matcha goddess salad is one of my favorites too.

    And, I had no idea you did yoga at Yogahome in Oakley. That’s my fav. yoga studio in the area. Myrita is a great teacher, I’ve had several of her classes.
    .-= Cole Imperi´s last blog ..A Week at a Time =-.

    • http://winemedinemecincinnati.com julie

      I just started a couple of weeks ago. If you have class recs I’d love them!