On a visit to DC a few weeks back, Katie and I were on the way to the National Portrait Gallery to see the amazing work of Do Ho Suh when we happened upon a tea-house and adjoining shop called Teaism. We stopped in for lunch, and tried one of their white teas, the Silver Needle Jasmine.
I've had bad luck with white teas in the past - they tend to be overly flavored or much too sweet for my taste. This was light and refreshing, with a full jasmine flavor. I didn't get a good look at the leaves, since the tea was prepared and steeped behind the counter, but I was happy with the pot I got. It's not a good pairing with some of the heavier foods on the menu, for instance, the Korean BBQ sandwhich (which was delicious). The tea flavor is delicate, and easily overpowered. Aside from that, I had no regrets about my order.
The restaurant is ideal for a lunch date. With a wide selection of flavors: Middle Eastern, Indian & Korean to name a few, you can't go wrong. Order at the counter, choose your own seating, enjoy the warm atmosphere and friendly staff. The tea menu is extensive, including some tea infused foods, and cocktails! I'm looking forward to trying the matcha-mojito this summer. You can also schedule afternoon tea.
We visited the shop next door as well. They keep their tea in lovely floral-paper covered boxes and carry a wide selection of loose leaf teas. Of note, a few special Korean teas: Joongjak and Saejak. The store had a beautiful selection of hand-crafted pottery, and hand-made sweets to compliment the tea as well. The staff is very knowledgeable about their wares, and ready to help you meet your tea match. I hope you'll get a chance to visit soon, and see for yourself!