Good morning, friends!
On our last day of February, I’m so happy that I can finally talk about one of my favorite tea places to go, Roji Tea Lounge of Syracuse, NY. A several years ago, around 2012 I believe, I was first introduced to this cozy and inviting tea place from a friend of mine. They always talked about how cool and cozy it was, and how great the tea was prepared there. As a person who loves going to new places, especially around tea, I couldn’t wait to go! Ever since then, any chance I get to go to what I consider my personal retreat and haven, I’m there faster than a first steep of an Oolong tea (okay, maybe not that fast, but you get the idea.)
Recently, I decided to meet up with a few friends after work to get some tea. I have always had, and continue to have, such wonderful experiences here. The staff is always so welcoming, and knowledgeable about their teas. This time, I was having a tough time of what tea to choose, since my go-to is always their hazelnut black dessert tea, but this time I wanted to try either the Da Hong Pao Oolong or the Jin Jun Mei tea since they both sounded so good! I decided to ask one of the people working which one they preferred of the two, and they told me that they love Oolong teas, and that if I really like a bold tea with a smooth finish, that I would enjoy the Da Hong Pao a lot. I decided to try that one based off their recommendation, and I can honestly say, I really loved it. The tea was exactly as they said it would be. The warmth and toasty taste of that tea was so uplifting and soothing. I really enjoyed it, and would definitely recommend it to anyone who is a fan of Hōjicha , Mates, and Pu-erhs because of the toasty flavor. Also, this was my first time having Oolong prepared in a Gaiwan, and I have to say, this was a really interesting and enjoyable first experience! From the set up below, I didn’t drink my tea straight out of the Gaiwan, and instead held back the top of the saucer to pour the tea into a glass vessel. After a few tries, and a few messes later, I found a way to pour it without spilling so much tea everywhere.
(Here is a picture I took of my Gaiwan tea set up on the 23rd of February, 2018)
( A close up of the Da Hong Pao Oolong that I tried for the first time on the 23rd of February, 2018)
When it comes to expenses, I find their teas to be reasonably priced. If you are sitting in, you get a whole pot of tea with a large metal thermos of fresh, hot water for anywhere between $4-9 (depending on what tea you choose.) They also sell their tea packaged so that you can enjoy it from your own home! (I ended up buying the Da Hong Pao and the hazelnut tea before I left.)
Other than tea, their food choices are also delicious. I usually order what’s called “That Coconut Thing”-a dessert that has tapioca balls, fresh coconut cream and your choice of dairy ice cream or soy with whipped cream (or soy cream) on top, garnished with coconut shavings. This time, I wanted to try something more savory, and because I hadn’t tried their rice balls yet, I thought that would go nicely with my toasty tea. I have to say, they paired wonderfully together.
(Picture I took of the Onigiri I had with my tea on the 23rd of February)
The atmosphere contained a great playlist of chill beats and was overall tranquil ( I recognized the Temples song that was playing, since it was off of one of my favorite albums by them called “Sun Structures.”) When you first walk in, there’s a couch/seating area set up, and when you turn to your right, there’s a Japanese styled sitting room complete with a few tables and some homemade zubatons (Japanese floor cushions that you sit on) that were comfy and really cute! Another thing about Roji that I love is how much everyone around you is having a great time-whether they’re quietly studying, or conversing within a group of friends, I have yet to see anything but pure happiness and bliss.
On that note, from my overall experience with this tea lounge, I highly recommend them, and hope that you, my friends, get to go and enjoy your time (and tea) there.
Below, I have a link to their website which tells what Roji is all; check them out:
Until next time,