Good Houston Places ~ Asian Décor ~ Relaxing Ambiance inside The Path of Tea

Peaceful atmosphere


Have you ever felt the need to step back and take a breather from the day to day normal hustle and bustle of everyday life? If this sounds like something that would interest you, there is a Houston escape from the ordinary in which Asian décor and a relaxing ambiance will help soothe away the cares of the day. Oh...and lest I forget...the most aromatic, fragrant and tantalizing brewed teas of your individual choosing all await your discovery at The Path of Tea.

A dear friend recently treated me to a special day in celebration of my birthday.

The day started with getting to view a special Titian exhibit at our Houston Museum of Fine Arts. We both love art and the show (while quite small in terms of number of pieces on display) was enthralling. Timed entrance allowed only limited numbers of people in the two rooms of the museum holding the special show.

Next, we had lunch together.

Our day together was capped off by our visit to The Path of Tea. And just like frosting on a cake, this was the final touch to a perfect day!


The Path of Tea

View that greets one just inside the entrance door.
View that greets one just inside the entrance door. | Source

The Path of Tea

Exterior view of this business establishment.
Exterior view of this business establishment. | Source

The Path of Tea

Exterior view
Exterior view | Source

The Path of Tea



My friend who introduced me for the first time to The Path of Tea had been there previously with a friend of hers who had occasion to visit the Orient on business trips. Thus, he had acquired admiration for the ceremony of well brewed teas as well as the various flavors.


They were able to visit with the owner of The Path of Tea (Thia McKann) who told them that she had developed her love of teas when traveling back and forth to Japan years earlier.


Those of us living in Houston, or even those visiting Houston, Texas from distances near or far, can now all benefit from Thia McKann's airline flights of the past and her developed senses of the love of varieties of organic teas and ceremonial aspects of serving it to her growing list of friends and patrons.

Location of The Path of Tea in Houston, TX

A markerThe Path of Tea -
2340 W Alabama St, Houston, TX 77098, USA
[get directions]

The Path of Tea

Source


Oriental décor


The address as shown above is on West Alabama Street just inside Kirby. That is an upscale area in Houston with businesses and restaurants aplenty.

Located in the middle of a typical one story strip shopping center, the exterior of The Path of Tea is nothing spectacular as the photos above indicate. But that all changes once one opens and enters through the front door!

Open bookshelves adorned with a variety of exquisite teapots and cups are arrayed before one.

Looking past that...everywhere one glances Oriental décor is on display in tasteful vignettes splashed with eye-catching colors and textures.

The Path of Tea

Sounds of running water come from this small water feature inside The Path of Tea.
Sounds of running water come from this small water feature inside The Path of Tea. | Source

Sounds of the Orient


The sound of running water from a small water fountain adds to the ambient sounds of soft Oriental background music which is pleasing to the ear.

Soft banter of chatting friends seated inside at the tables savoring their specially chosen brewed tea with the attentive and friendly staff ever at the ready to assist one in making one's visit there a special and memorable one just adds to the overall effect.

Since it was my first visit, I was trying to take in and absorb each and every nuance of what makes The Path of Tea a special place to visit and spend some time. Even with the extra excitement of seeing and experiencing a place for the first time, I felt myself relaxing as I sat with my friend in that peaceful atmosphere. I felt as though I was transported far away from life in the middle of the 4th largest city in the nation. This is a Houston oasis of sorts!

The Path of Tea

The Path of Tea

The costs posted are for 2 ounces of tea...not the price per pot which is much less.
The costs posted are for 2 ounces of tea...not the price per pot which is much less. | Source

Organic vs. NonOrganic teas

Organic verses non-organic


The Path of Tea offers solely organic teas which are reputed to be much better for a person's health rather than those commercially grown and treated with chemicals and pesticides.

The same argument could be applied to all of the foods that we eat...organic being the better and much more sustainable (in the long run) choice.

Cost effectiveness of ridding plants from insect damage is a prime reason that poisonous chemicals are utilized although the long term effects of danger to individuals consuming these foods as well as danger to the environment is not factored in to these decisions.

Another reason that most growers of tea for commercial distribution spray chemicals in and around the tea plants is that incidents of other predators (like poisonous spiders and even snakes) that can inflict harm upon the people harvesting the tea are lessened.

What price are we willing to pay for safety? More people especially as they learn about the dangers of chemical residues building up within our bodies are demanding organic farming practices. This may be particularly important when drinking tea as the video above explains.


The Path of Tea

An adornment on the wall inside The Path of Tea.
An adornment on the wall inside The Path of Tea. | Source

Organic Jasmine Dragon Pearl

Choosing tea to drink inside The Path of Tea...


This is another sensual delight!

From well over 100 little canisters filled with samples of the named and numbered teas in various categories (white tea, green tea, Oolong tea, yellow tea, Chai tea and others...many of which I was unfamiliar) one gets to open and smell the offerings prior to deciding upon which tea to have brewed and served hot in clear glass teapots or even cold.


One tea smells better than the next! Decisions! Decisions!

One would have to frequent this establishment often to work through the wide array of special and fragrant organic teas offered there. A few of the canisters were empty (probably awaiting a fresh shipment) but with so many choices from which to choose, the selection process can be a daunting one.


Personally I only opened and smelled a couple of the teas deciding that each would be worthy of a special visit at another time. The one I chose to drink was number 48...an organic chocolate chai tea. The scent was sensational!


The Path of Tea

One gets to read about the named and numbered teas and then open and smell from the corresponding numbered canisters before choosing one to drink.
One gets to read about the named and numbered teas and then open and smell from the corresponding numbered canisters before choosing one to drink. | Source

The Path of Tea

Shelving with choices of pretty teacups where we each chose one from which to drink our tea.
Shelving with choices of pretty teacups where we each chose one from which to drink our tea. | Source

Choosing a teacup


The next step in this ritual of experiencing The Path of Tea to its fullest was that we got to choose the teacup in which we wished to drink our tea once brewed and delivered to our table.

My friend and I were directed to shelving with a great assortment of various shaped and sized vessels, and we each chose one that would be ours for this occasion of sipping tea in this tranquil environment.

The Path of Tea

Curtain to the back of The Path of Tea where the tea is lovingly prepared and brought to patrons in the front.
Curtain to the back of The Path of Tea where the tea is lovingly prepared and brought to patrons in the front. | Source

Tea being served at the Path of Tea

Our teapots, teacups and homemade cookie
Our teapots, teacups and homemade cookie | Source

Glass Teapots


These glass bottomed teapots were brought to our table with our choices of tea and our taste adventure was about to begin. My friend Lisa decided to have one of their homemade cookies along with her tea and she reported it as being delicious.

What amazed me was the aroma and flavor of the tea!

It aptly replicated the fragrant dried tea that I had smelled and the taste was so clean and flavorful. Special water is utilized in brewing the tea and without a doubt, I have personally never tasted a tea quite so flavorful.

Each small teapot filled our cups many times over with this wholesome goodness and at $4.00 per person, this is a delectable journey that I hope to replicate many times!

Origami in The Path of Tea

Strings of origami hang from the ceiling.
Strings of origami hang from the ceiling. | Source

Origami


Looking up from where we were seated were strings of colorful folded origami objects hanging down from the ceiling.

If one wishes to learn how to make origami objects, this can be learned at The Path of Tea. Check their website above for times and prices.

Gazing around the room, artwork appropriate to Oriental design graced the walls. Discrete price stickers were affixed to the artwork which could be purchased if desired.

The bamboo palm next to the little waterfall all added to the relaxing ambiance.

Much thought and effort has been put into creating this oasis type of atmosphere within The Path of Tea.



The Path of Tea

Many teapot sets add to the décor.
Many teapot sets add to the décor. | Source

Organic Schizandra Rosehip Oolong Tea

Certified tea master


Thia McKann is one of very few certified tea masters in the United States. According to her website, there are 13 others and she is the only one in Texas. I'm not certain how one becomes credentialed in that particular area, but assuredly one has to have a keen sense of taste and smell as well as knowledge of the subject.

Blessing the Tea at The Path of Tea

The Path of Tea

Source

Summary


For a Houston escape from the ordinary check out the relaxing ambiance and Asian décor and music inside the delightful oasis called The Path of Tea.


They are open 7 days a week with hours from 10AM to 9PM, Mon. to Thurs; 10AM to 11PM, Fri. & Sat; and hours from 1PM to 6PM on Sundays.


The Path of Tea will take you on a sensual journey of scents, tastes and flavors all the while set in a most tranquil of settings. I can't wait for my next visit!


Thanks, Lisa, for introducing The Path of Tea to me. Now others may enjoy this celebration of the senses also.

Have you or would you enjoy visiting a serene setting like The Path of Tea?

  • Yes...I have already been there and it is delightful!
  • I have yet to visit, but it looks and sounds like something that I would enjoy.
  • I'll probably never make it because of living where I do, but the idea of drinking organic teas is probably a very good one.
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© 2011 Peggy Woods

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Comments are welcomed. 48 comments

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 17 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi poetryman6969,

Let it be known that you are now enlightened! :))


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 17 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Au fait,

That was a relaxing and fun day spent with my friend. Visiting The Path of Tea is a nice respite from everyday activities to be sure. Appreciate the shares.


poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 17 months ago

Looks like I may be in for some enlightenment on the path of tea!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 17 months ago from North Texas

Looks like another great place to visit when in Houston! That chocolate chai tea you had sounds intriguing. What a nice gift from your friend. It must have been a wonderful day.

Voted up and UI, pinned to AH and shared on HP.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hello Always Optimist,

The Path of Tea definitely has an Oriental flavor to it. One does not take in their own tea but rather selects the tea one might wish to have by being able to smell the aroma of over 100 or so and then selecting the teacup from which one wishes to drink after the selected tea is prepared. Few people sniff that many of the teas before deciding upon one. It would be too confusing to the senses...kind of like sniffing too many perfumes at one time. Thanks for your comment and votes.


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