Our recent post on the Taipei Tea House Built from Reused Materials made us happy to remember a favorite spot closer to home. Té Company in New York’s Greenwich Village is a tiny, hushed tea room run by Taiwanese tea connoisseur Elena Liao and her husband, Frederico Ribeiro, a chef formerly of Per Se.
Barely marked, the establishment is something like a speakeasy for those in the know. John Derian, whose Christopher Street shop is around the corner, tipped off Julie and me. That’s how we found ourselves wandering from John’s emporium with its vintage cabbage rose wallpaper and shell-encrusted fireplace to a table just big enough for two set with terracotta pots of oolong and bowls of Taiwanese braised pork over rice. Frederic focuses on “snacks” that pair well with Elena’s teas. And though his menu is by necessity small—the cooking is done in a nearby restaurant’s kitchen during its off-hours—TheNew Yorker described Té Company as “one of the most exciting restaurants in New York City,” its service “polished as a river stone.”
We’re happy to report that Elena and Frederico have weathered this past year thanks to devotees who have been ordering their teas, tea wares, and nibbles online; taking part in virtual tastings; and ringing the Té Hotline, manned by Elena at the ready with tea recommendations and sympathy: “The world has been so upside down,” she says. “A lot of our older customers have been checking in.” Té Company is newly reopened on Fridays through Sundays for outdoor sipping and takeaway. Join us for a visit.
The teas on offer reflect Taiwan’s “land, craft, and heritage: a wide range of flavors and aromas that represent the island of Taiwan and its people.”
Above L: Oriental Beauty, known as the champagne of oolong, is one of the many loose leaf teas available on the Té Company website. Above R: Frederico’s lime-dusted Pineapple Linzer Cookies are six for $20. Tiny Bars of nuts and seeds have just debuted on the menu.
Elena leads virtual tastings for groups: you can have her send a sampling of teas, snacks, and wares, and she’ll guide you in an online tutorial.