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Tea House Nirvana

Imagine with me: It's a Friday evening; a long week drawing to a close. Perhaps all the tasks and challenges of the week have been accomplished, or maybe not. Maybe there's a sense of being incomplete or being stretched thin. Maybe you want to go somewhere after your yoga session, or tai chi class, or the amazing movie you just saw. You want to prolong that peaceful golden glow in which everything is in harmony and you are at last beginning to get a glimpse of enlightenment. Or maybe you need a quiet space to get your thoughts in order and forget the pressing appointments of time; a place to calm down. As far as I can tell, tea does this for the Japanese.

Coffee houses have their time and place, as do the tea shops of Downton Abbey's Britain. But they can jar you suddenly out of your meditation with the harsh hissing of the espresso machine or the clink of a cup on the saucer. Also, the atmosphere of your standard hipster coffee house is "noli me tangere," via lap…

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