Thursday, July 11, 2013

Tower of Cosmic Reflections Teahouse at Lan Su Chinese Garden

Lan Su Chinese Garden is located in Portland, Oregon at NW 3rd and Everett.  With ornate architecture and artisan-designed features sharing space with decorative plants and wildlife, the Garden is a peaceful and picturesque oasis in the heart of the city.  


One of the Garden's more unique features is the Tower of Cosmic Reflections Teahouse managed by Tao of Tea, where guests can relax and take in the beautiful surroundings while enjoying a cup of fine tea.


While returning from a family gathering in Oregon, I made a detour in Portland to the Teahouse for a first-time visit and a much-needed rest.  Temperatures were running high that day and the coolness of the tea room was a blessing.  We were also fortunate to arrive in time for a performance of live music by Wisdom Arts Academy.


Tea and teaware is on display and available for sale.  My own tea collection has gotten a little out of control, so I had to avoid temptation.  I make no promises of restraint for future visits...



Stairs at the back of the main room lead to the second floor seating. I didn't have a chance to explore the upper level on this visit, so I'll make sure to do that when I return.


My tea selection was Snow Dragon, served in a gaiwan and my friend chose the Moroccan Mint served in an iron tea pot.  We also enjoyed a light meal of marbled tea egg, taro mooncake, and steamed buns (not pictured). 


The only difficulty with visiting the Tower of Cosmic Reflections Teahouse is that you can't access it without paying for entry to Lan Su Chinese Garden.  This prevents quick and casual visits by guests who are only stopping for tea and a light meal.  Tao of Tea does have other teahouses in the city that don't require admission and offer a fine selection of teas.  However, they do not appear to offer food.  

Entry issues aside, the Teahouse staff were friendly and attentive, the tea and food were delicious, and the view was unbeatable.  I'm truly looking forward to future visits.

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