The Washington Post

Tea on Draft, Not Doilies

Herbal blends receive barroom treatment at District Tea Lodge

Tea steeps in beer steins, above, and extra-fizzy kombucha is available on tap, below.

It’s got froth on top, it comes out of a tap, and it’s served in a beer stein. But that pale yellow liquid isn’t ale — it’s kombucha, a fermented tea believed to improve digestion. And it hit the spot for Greg Plavcan, 29, when he popped into District Tea Lodge around happy hour last week.

“Fizzy mushroom tea sounded weird,” he said. “But I kind of like it.”

That brew ($5) and other non-alcoholic choices are the sort of drinking that Yoga District founder Jasmine Chehrazi wants to popularize at the new establishment, on the ground floor of the yoga studio’s building at 1922 I St. NW. (The credit-card-only shop is open weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., with weekend hours coming soon.)

Beer steins make for surprisingly effective tea mugs, says Chehrazi, noting the insulating properties of the thick glass. They’re also a hint — along with the welcoming bar, the fake animal heads on the walls and the rustic wooden door — that this isn’t a typical tearoom.

“No pinkies are up here,” Chehrazi says. But eyebrows may be when customers discover that the menu also features mocktails ($7) made with kava kava root, which can “induce a meditative state without fogginess,” according to Chehrazi, who downs the stuff when she’s anxious. The drinks — a slightly bitter, creamy mixture with tropical juice, coconut milk and a fruit garnish — can make tongues feel numb or tingly.

As with many herbs, there are potential drawbacks of overconsumption, which District Tea Lodge takes seriously. Alongside each of the tea blends ($5), a menu developed by Yoga District instructor Tricia McCauley, there are contraindications. (Use caution with libido-boosting “In the Mood,” for instance, if you’re taking warfarin.)

There’s something for everyone to sip safely, adds McCauley, who recommends that customers first sniff the available teas, which are displayed in glass jars on the bar.

Hungry? The food menu features vegan, gluten-free dishes. Ordering that raw cookie ($4) is always a good idea: All District Tea Lodge proceeds go to the nonprofit Yoga Activist.

Vicky Hallett is a MisFits columnist and the Fit editor for Express.



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