Saturday, 19 November 2011

La Via del Te

La Via del Te
It's not in the city centre where the tourists pack the tiny streets. Even in late November, Florence is overflowing with packs of Asian tourists and even those loud American teenagers (or recent teenagers) that you encounter in any popular European city. As I expected when I first looked at this shop on the map, it's a bit of a hike to La Via del Te. Dare I was well worth it.

You round a corner, see an outdoor semi-covered market with stands selling fresh vegetables, cheeses and meat, as well as cheaply-made designer knockoffs. Next to this market is a very unassuming tea shop sign that I doubt I'd see were I not looking for it.
the sign
There's been quite a lot of walking and standing looking at paintings. As much as I'm ready for tea, my feet are even more ready for a break.

beautiful tea cannisters
A charming little shop and tearoom greets me as I push through the door. I already read that they've been in business for decades, and it's obvious that this is a place serious about tea.

For a moment after I order a King of Pu-erh, whatever that is, I worry that she thinks I want two cups of the same tea. Yet as soon as I land on the words 'due infusioni', the tea server's eyes light up with understanding. Infusion is a universal term in the world of tea.

One of the things I like most about good tea: the first infusion only has a hint of how nice this tea will actually become.

Before I leave I decide to take small portions of what they call Oolong Fleur d'Orient and a simple Keemun. Am glad I remember this, because I like to carry a memory of a nice tea shop home with me.

My body is warm and content. My feet are grateful for the rest, and I'm back on my way into the welcoming streets of Florence.  Via the Way of Tea.

one last glimpse of the shop

1 comment:

  1. What a find! Wish we had more places like that in UK.