Ito En Flagship Store

February 24, 2008 at 5:26 pm | Posted in Tea Stores | Leave a comment

Yup, they have a store. Not anymore. ITOEN Nyc store has closed down as of 2010.  BOO.

Some asian markets in Los Angeles (Mitsuwa) have a standalone Ito En booth, but it wasn’t this big. Actually for a ‘flagship’ store its not that big, i had imagined something with alot more stuff. I suppose its proportional to demand.

Located in Manhattan, 822 Madison ave x 69th, you get a nice walk, and after the thousand dollar bag boutiques in glass skyscrapers, you reach what looks like the city’s part with smaller, old, cute buildings.
822 has their ito en restaurant upstairs, downstairs on the right is the store.

The store is well laid out – looks very good visually, well organized.

There are some pre-packaged loose tea bags, didn’t investigate those.

The looseleaf teas are stored in a wall sized fridge, in air tight bags. Every time you ask for something, the staff takes out the bag, cuts it open, dispense tea, immediately re-seals the bag and puts it back. While it seems nice, i am recently wondering if that is good for the leaf as even for a couple minutes when the leaf is outside with a different temperature and atmosphere it could lead to formation of some condensation.

They also have 2 little fridges that hold some of the .5L teas, and the canned teas such as Sencha or Oolong shot, and Weil for tea. They do not have up front any of the 2L bottled teas (i didn’t ask for any so don’t know if they do have.)

In the back there’s the pottery/hardware section, with a good selection of japanese pots, kyusus, good selection of prices from 30 to 300$. Next time i’m getting one, i really like how they look and feel.

The staff is very helpful, friendly and not pushy.

Tea selection is mostly japanese, but also have some chinese green, oolong, 1 yunnan gold tips, maybe some others.

They give you the tea in these sealed pretty thick plastic bags.

Very pleasant experience.

>> CLICKYDYCLICK << for Ito En Tea Reviews I made

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