COCONUTS HOT SPOT — As I grew up drinking branded tea bags in little yellow wrappers, tea, to me, had been just mundane and almost characterless – until I was introduced to Peace Oriental Teahouse, a peaceful and cozy little place on Sukhumvit. Immediately, I realized how I’d been severely deprived of tea (and by that, I mean, GOOD tea) all along.
Peace Teahouse is located in Sukhumvit Soi 63 — a walk-able distance from Ekkamai BTS station — and it’s probably one of the most peaceful places you can find in this club-and-lounge packed soi. The shop has two floors with just enough space to accommodate no more than 30 guests at most. The first floor is designed with neat light-colored wooden benches and Japanese-style seating (with guests seated on Japanese mats), while the second floor has a more modern feel with tables, chairs, and bare cement walls. No matter where you choose to sit, it’s a perfect place for a nice slow day – or the beginning of your journey towards tea appreciation.
Like the name suggests, Peace Oriental Teahouse is a specialty store. Once you’ve decided on having tea that day, then head over to the shop and enjoy. There will be no point in asking for cakes, cookies, or any other accompanying drinks… as, guess what, they don’t serve any there. Just good tea, better tea, and amazing tea.
According to Khun Jo (one helpful staff member who was impressively attentive enough to describe tea selections, explain tea-drinking how-to’s, and answer endless questions from a tea dummy like me), Peace Tea House changes its tea variety periodically, depending on what kinds of tea leaves are in season.
On my visit, the menu board showed tea varieties including chrysanthemum (THB220/set), herbal (THB220/set), green (THB250 – THB350/set), oolong (THB280 – THB330/set), red (THB350/set), and wild tea (THB280/set), in addition to Peace Oriental Teahouse’s permanent specials: Ceremonial-Grade Matcha and Gyokuro.
The Matcha here is just sophisticated, special, and simply unlike any other matcha drinks I’ve tried. It will definitely make you question whether or not you’ve actually ever tasted any real matcha at all in your life before now. Using a genuine matcha whisk, the staff can whip up a bowl of very thick, very green, and very aesthetically pleasing serving of real matcha tea. In a pristine ceramic bowl, the portion of your matcha may not look like much to match its price tag (THB450/serving), but trust the experts here, this is all that you will need for an optimal matcha session. With every sip, you should taste layers of subtle sweetness, thickness, bitterness, and a constant underlying of creaminess without any actual cream… if you know what I mean. It’s heavenly.
The other special I mentioned earlier is Gyokuro, and it is served in 3 small courses: cold brew, hot brew, and tea leaves. Even with the three courses combined, Gyokuro will not fill up your stomach; it will fill up your mind. Upon the arrival of this item, I was explained how special the tea was, how it has taken several tea leaves to arrive at the table in such a minuscule pot, how the taste can drastically change over the three courses, and finally, what my taste buds should be expecting throughout this Gyokuro journey.
Thank goodness there was a briefing because the tea really wasn’t easy to drink or understand. Though the teacup was tiny, each of my sips from that cup was way tinier. I experienced the tea slowly transforming from having almost savory tastes (with slight saltiness, sweetness, thickness, roundness, and bitterness) to the so-called “Umami” taste, and later on to a lighter and more “normal” tea flavor in the end.
All of that will not be complete without the last serving of Gyokuro tea leaves (used in the previous servings of your tea). No matter how much you have been prepped on what to expect, this will not measure up. All I can say is that you can expect soaked tea leaves with slight saltiness and a bit of yuzu flavoring. Surprise!
My last note to you is a humble disclaimer. Perhaps when you actually pay Peace Oriental Teahouse a visit and try these teas I just described, you won’t find it a bit similar to how I’ve described my experience. That’s possible. Most of these tastes are unique and don’t quite belong in my existing pool of food adjectives. That’s the beauty, isn’t it? All the more reason for you to go and find out for yourself.
Hours: Sunday – Thursday, 12pm – 8:30pm; Friday – Saturday, 12pm – 11pm
Sukhumvit soi 63