I’m pretty sure that I already told you that I am OBSESSED with tea and tea culture. I love throwing tea parties, going to tea parties, or just drinking tea by myself.
This past weekend, my little sister, Hanna (@hannababyy1), and I checked out a new spot for high-tea, one of our favorite things to do together. This particular tea room, Chado, opened up very recently in downtown Los Angeles. It is located inside the Japanese American National Museum located at 369 E. 1st Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012.
The location is unexpected for a tea room, since it is in the middle of a bustling city. I was not too sure how high tea would work in a very urban neighborhood, but I was pleasantly surprised. It got me to thinking that a spot of tea and a good tea sandwich will work just about anywhere.
Here are some pics and recipes for you to recreate your own tea room:
You will need some great tea. I love the basics, and a bold Earl Grey is one of my favorites. I also enjoy Darjeerling for a black tea. If you don’t want the caffeine, go with a green tea (preferably one with a hint of jasmine). Really, your favorite tea will work but make sure and buy loose tea leaves to get the full body and taste of the tea. You will NEVER go back to tea bags, I promise!
Chado had an amazing tea wall, with at least 100 tin canisters filled with loose teas. I want this in my house.
A classic three-tiered stand for high tea has three elements: tea sandwiches, scones with cream, and sweets. We had a very scrumptious tower placed in front of us.
My favorite tea sandwich is cucumber with dill, although the cucumber sandwich we had at Chado were cucumber with green onions and cream cheese. Slice up an English cucumber very thin (paper-thin slices). Place the slices in a strainer and sprinkle vinegar and a pinch of salt over, an let the slices sit for 30 minutes. Pat the cucumber slices dry with paper towels. Remove the crusts of white bread, and butter each slice. Arrange the cucumber slices and chopped dill on the buttered bread, and make a sandwich. Cut the sandwich in half diagonally (making two triangle shaped sandwiches). If you prefer your bread toasted, go ahead and do it. Chado toasted their bread.
My favorite level is the scones served with whipped cream or clotted cream. Fresh fruit as a garnish is divine too, and berries work really well.
To make scones, you will need 2 cups self-rising flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 cup chilled butter (cubed), 5 teaspoons of sugar, and 2/3 cup milk. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Sift together the flour and baking powder in a mixing bowl. Cut in the butter cubes, and stir in the sugar. The consistency should be very coarse, lumpy, and not cohesive. Pour in the milk, and using a knife, mix together until the dough is soft. Turn out the dough on a floured surface and knead lightly, patting out the dough to 1/2 inch thick. Using a 2 inch cookie cutter, cut out 12 scones. Arrange on a baking sheet (lined with wax or parchment paper) and bake 10-12 minutes until well risen and light brown. To make the scones fancy, brush the tops with egg wash. Transfer the scones to a wire rack to cool, but serve with cream, butter, and jam while they are still warm.
The final level has sweets, and we had a lemon sponge cake, bundt cake, and almond cookies. You can arrange your favorite desserts on this level.