We founded Teaism in 1996 with the goal of making exquisite loose leaf tea accessible to all. In a time and place where tea was conceived as either a dark powder in a bag with a string – to be sweetened heavily and discarded – or a stuffy afternoon affair with china and linens, we wanted to highlight the beautiful diversity of the camellia sinensis plant itself. We wanted our guests to be enrolled in their choice to drink tea and have a relationship to the leaf.

To accompany the teas, and to highlight the cuisines of countries where teas are grown, we served curries, bento boxes, and other healthy Asian-inspired meals. Teaism’s offerings were prepared in a rustic, fast-casual setting, many years before “fast casual” became a dining term.

Our first location opened in Dupont Circle and is still there today. Teaism now has three unique restaurant-teahouse locations throughout Washington, D.C., as well as a small retail shop and a space in Union Market.

Twenty-plus years later, we’re still active in Teaism’s daily operations. We have evolved and learned so much, while also working to stay true to our values of serving tea and food with integrity. We have an amazing team, and we feel so lucky to be able to interact with our incredibly kind and thoughtful customers every day. Stop by and say hi!

– Linda Neumann and Michelle Brown