At Luv Tea, a new tea shop located in the West Village, tea is not just a drink but an experience. This tea-lover’s paradise specializes in oolong teas and tea ceremonies. Founded in 2017, the shop has a plethora of hot teas, cold teas, herbal blends and homemade pastries.
A friend and I visited a few weeks ago on a bright, cold Wednesday morning. We were immediately welcomed by a kind employee who shared insight on the menu and the history of the shop. Within thirty seconds of conversation, we could feel how passionate he was for tea and for the history and stories it can tell.
Luv Tea was founded in 2015 by Jaesy Wang and her apprentice Wan Di. Together they perfected the menu and conceptualized the idea for a new tea haven in New York based on the modern tea shops popping up in Taiwan.
The menu is divided into five sections with options for everyone from novice tea lovers to experts. There are Taiwanese Oolongs such as Eternal Spring and Deer Valley Dark Roast to herbal blends such as Ginger Potion made with ingredients sliced ginger and Xinjiang red dates and Taiwanese black sugar; a family recipe passed down from Jaesy’s grandmother. In fact, most of the tea is sourced directly from Jaesy’s family farm in Taiwan: A-Li-Shan.
The shop is a lovely setting. The decorum provides a calming, minimal space to relax and the walls were decorated with art from local artists. There’s a sectioned off area near the window with a lot of natural lighting and a small array of plants that seems reserved for Tea Ceremonies, something the shop performs on a weekly basis for tea lovers and new, curious onlookers.
While we waited for our tea to steep (everything is made fresh), my friend and I drew designs and traced lines into the largest zen garden I’ve seen. It rests next to the register and only adds to the calming ambiance of the shop.
We tried the Golden Lily, a Jin-Xuan oolong tea from the family farm, which had a wonderful, sweet aroma and an even sweeter taste. We had two batches, the first brew was a lighter taste and the second brew where the tea had steeped longer was stronger. We learned that with each brew, the flavor becomes bolder.
To pair with our tea, we tried a Black Rose and Earl Grey macarons by pastry Chef Miwa Oizumi. All of the macarons are made with the same ingredients that the hot and cold milk teas are made of. The flavors of each were so strong that we couldn’t decide which one we liked better. There was something creamier and thicker about these macarons than others I’ve tried in the city and I really enjoyed pairing them with the hot tea.
Whether you’re new to the tea world or an expert looking for the real deal, Luv Tea is a great new spot to add to your list of places to try in New York!