Best of Columbus 2009

Best Tea

From the Best Tea edition

Zen Cha Tea Salon

982 N. High St., Short North



ZenCha's website says that the tea salon is located on the banks of High Street. Referring to a street with banks might seem odd, but once inside Alive readers' favorite place for tea, even a busy urban thoroughfare seems like a meandering brook running through a verdant hillside.

Such is the calming power of good tea served by good people.

ZenCha owner I-Cheng Huang and his expert staff hope you'll come in, turn off your cell phone and enjoy a steamy pot or two. They serve 100 varieties of hot tea daily, as well as bubble teas and brunch Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Much of the tea is sold in loose-leaf bulk to enjoy at home in one of the gourmet serving sets available for purchase. But drinking tea at ZenCha is about the experience - slowly preparing each cup with friends and enjoying the zesty aromas that fill the sparse yet intimate interior.

Coffee fuels our busiest days; tea helps us value peace over pace.

For a soothing, earthy blend, try one of the green teas imported from the East and brought to table with delicate porcelain cups for capturing rich tastes and smells. Also delicious on a cold February afternoon are the Fresh Fruit Blends, black or green teas brewed with fresh fruit.

Runners up: Starbucks, Stauf's Coffee Roasters