New Kid on the Block: A Tea Room by Ato

As its name suggests, A Tea Room by Ato is a spin-off of the restaurant Ato on Grand Street. “People would ask about the ceramics and the tea menu: Where can I buy this bowl or this tea?” says Nahee Jung, who helped out at Ato in various capacities. “We decided to find designers and tea companies in Japan and launch a new business.”

Primary, A Tea Room is a café, offering organic tea from Kyoto, including in drinks such as lattes, and hand-drip and cold-brew coffee. The traditional Mizudashi cold-brew device is a thing of beauty (see the third photo below); coffee brews in it for 12 hours. Ato will eventually bake the cookies, but for now they’re being brought in from elsewhere. The specialty is Japanese-style toast: “It’s house-made buttered toast with fresh cream and anko, or sweet red bean paste, and soybean powder,” says Jung.

The café also functions as a shop, currently with ceramic teaware from Guangzhou, China, but Japanese ceramics are expected soon; packaged tea from Kyoto is also available. There will be an online shop in good time, and they plan on selling wholesale, too.

A Tea Room by Ato is at 15 Wooster; 917-261-7052; atotea.com. (Top photo courtesy A Tea Room by Ato.)

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