Yesterday my girlfriend and I had 12:00 p.m. reservations at the Tea Haus in Ann Arbor, MI. Linda had been there before, but it was my first time even though it's been open since 2010.
Tea Haus is actually two shops combined - on one side is the tearoom/cafe and the other side is a tea shop where over 101 loose-leaf teas are sold, as well as a wide variety of tea equipage. The teas are all sourced from Germany because that country is known to have the strictest quality control in the world to guard against pesticides and heavy metals. [That was new information to me.]
The decor is trendy because it's located in a culturally diverse university city. The three light fixtures at the front of the tearoom are about the only 'frills' you'll find, making it very comfortable for male clientele, and those who don't want to be locked into the Victorian/Edwardian time period.
We ordered the traditional Afternoon Tea for $28 per person. Below was my place setting.
Tea servings are unlimited. We asked what was their most popular tea, and were told it was Earl Grey, so that's what we started with. A binder with detailed descriptions of all the teas they offer is on each table.
The bergamot in the Earl Grey was a bit strong for our taste, so we switched to a Hazelnut Oolong, called Bossa Nova. It was very good.
Our Afternoon Tea began with a cup of Fennel Leek Soup with Anise, Caraway, and Fennel Herbal Tea as the base.
Then a three-tiered server was brought to our table. Everything is made fresh on site except the bread.
~ Linda ordered vegetarian, and I had traditional selections. ~
My savories were [from 12:00 o'clock position]: Cucumber and Cream Cheese on thin White Bread; Brie and Fig Butter on a Baguette; Herb Butter and Salami on toasted bread round; and Chicken Salad on Wheat round. To accompany our savories we asked them to surprise us and pick a tea for us. They brought us Vietnam Yen Bai - a robust unflavored black tea.
A fourth tea - Hung Cha Java - accompanied our scones, which were Lemon Ginger and a plain scone.
While we enjoyed our scones and tea, the owner, Lisa McDonald, stopped at our table to chat. She told us she developed her love for tea while living in Germany, and took tea sommelier training at a university. When she returned to the United States she opened Tea Haus. At the beginning of 2017 she'll be opening a second shop [right around the corner from Tea Haus] which will be called "Eat More Tea," and as the name implies, it will feature foods made with tea.
[Lisa, Me, and Linda]
We had our fifth and last tea to go with our desserts - Autumn Spice - a flavored black tea. By now we were so full we only ate the Raspberry and Pumpkin Macaron, and had the rest boxed to go. The macarons were yummy.
Lisa offers several tastings/pairings: tea and chocolate, tea and cheese, tea and food pairings [six mini food courses], tea and cocktails, and a general tea tasting. Linda is going to coordinate a group of 20 to attend a tasting this spring and I will advertise it on my blog, so stay tuned.
Afternoon Tea at Tea Haus was a delightful experience and I highly recommend it for residents in southeastern Michigan. It's located at 204 N. 4th Avenue. After our tea we went over to the tea shop for purchases which I'll write about soon.