Monday, June 05, 2006

Tea Zone Provide Alternative Zen

A couple weeks ago, my boyfriend found a new tea place opened next to the Micro Center on Bethel Rd., but due to electricity problems, they didn't officially open until the end of May. So when I found out that they were opened on Sunday, I just had to go in and gave it a try.

The owners were Koreans and there were Korean bakery items in the store. The tea menu were simple, mostly were all loose tea with some coffee, different types of smoothies, and Korean dessert items. The seating area were nice, one side of the store even had the cool cut-out floor seatings! We ordered the chrysanthemum tea and a green tea Bingsoo (Korean shaved ice) and began our experiment.

The chrysanthemum tea was great. The tea flavor was from top quality tea, and the quality of tea was much better than Zen Cha's. (That's right, you've read it correctly, the tea quality at Tea Zone was better than Zen Cha!) The hot water came with tea and was in perfect temperature so the water was not too hot to destroy the tea and turned the tea bitter, but hot enough to release all the great flavor from the chrysanthemum. The coaster and tea tool that they used in Tea Zone was also very delicate. The green tea Bingsoo was great because I have never been able to find a place that had good shaved ice. I've tried one when I went to Silla, (please refer to previously posting) but the shaved ice there was not good. So I was very excited to find a place in Columbus to have good shaved ice. The shaved ice had sweet red beans, green tea, mochi (Asian sticky rice snack), and with green tea ice cream on top. It was very good but not overly sweet. This was a great food experiment!

The overall experience was great. And even though Zen Cha had more tea selection, but Tea Zone's tea quality was much better. I would rank the place 4.25 out of 5 on my yummy scale, and it's definitely a great alternative to Zen Cha if you didn't want to drive all the way to downtown. If you would like to enjoy good quality Asian tea without distraction, please go to Tea Zone on 5025 Olentangy River Rd., Columbus OH 43214 (b/t K-Mart & Micro Center on Bethel Rd.)

5 comments:

Tim J. said...

Better than ZenCha!? How so?

stimuli said...

The tea has a better quality leaf and, more importantly, it's CHEAPER.......

Angry Asian Food Critic said...

Well, dear tim j., if you've tried the Asian tea carefully before, then you should notice that the quality of the tea in Zen Cha is not so good. Tea Zone's tea menu mainly consists of Asian tea. Asian tea, unlike teas from other regions, depends strongly on the quality of the tea leaf, roasting time, roasting temperature, and the tea making process. Since Asian tea does not use sugar or cream to alter or adjust the taste, the higher quality of the tea results in better tasting and aroma. In another word, there's no way to hide the tea quality in Asian tea.

Bigtooth said...

Up 'til now, ZC had been the benchmark for me; it's been the most exposure I've had to Asian teas, and I thought them quite good.

But the leaves they use, you're saying, are not high quality?

Angry Asian Food Critic said...

You read my response correctly. The tea quality in ZC is not very good. I would not go there for the Asian tea. Try Tea Zone and you'll be able to tell the difference. Happy tea drinking!