I was raised with average British tea my whole life. The very scent of PG Tips brings me back to my grandmother’s house with my mother and some gossip floating around the air. At a young age, new and exciting teas became the grocery store gift I longed for. My love for green tea and matcha has grown since my arrival in Japan, but the desire for something more unique lingered. When I came to learn from a guest that there was a non-traditional tea house in Tokyo, I had to investigate.
Aoyama Flower Market Tea House is the main location of the Aoyama Flower Market chain that can be found throughout Tokyo. The Tea House is behind the flower shop where you can handpick a bouquet, look through the catalogue, shop cosmetics, and buy individual flowers. The space in and out of the Tea House is not made to feel like a restaurant, but a greenhouse. While the Teahouse is found behind the shop, it is not hard to miss – there will be a line.
The tea house
After waiting in line to get in and have lunch, I was more than excited to get some food and tea in my system. We walked into the “greenhouse” and found out that every week showcases a different flower. It was the peony – my guests’ favorite. The fuchsia blooms were nearly the size of my face. We were sat at the window counter facing the beautiful greenery outside. Unfortunately, we had a larger group and wanted to see each other and converse. The staff was exceptionally friendly – friendlier than usual in Japan – and kindly moved us to a center table once available. All the while, they gave us menus and citrus-infused water to pass the time.
The most important part of any restaurant – the food! I knew to expect tea, but did not have any idea what would be there for food. When we searched the website earlier that day, it was showcasing a mojito and the various flowers we viewed when we walked in. We were in for a pleasant surprise when we saw their tea list. Not only was the over half a dozen tea blends, they also provided suggestions on what to have with the tea – milk, honey, sugar, or nothing. My favorite was the Ispahan, a very floral tea of roses and violets.
After enjoying the tea, I decided on a sweeter meal than the various curries, sandwiches and salads they offered. Being an american in Japan, I empathize with the struggle to find breakfast food, so the Seasonal Flower French Toast was all I wanted. The Teahouse exceeded all expectations and served me the best french toast I have ever had in my life. They used a cut of french bread, soaked it in egg and milk, and paired the sweetness of the sugar with the acidity of the fruits. Not only was it soft and moist, the outer crust still had that perfect level of crunch.
Aoyama Flower Market was a find that I will return again and again. Before you check out, make sure to pick up your favorite tea behind the counter to bring home. As always, I believe you should never leave a flower shop without something for yourself or another. In my case, I buy them for the home, and our shiba always loves to smell them. Try it out!
From Shibuya Station take the Hanzomon Line towards Oshiage one stop to Omote-sando Station. They are directly across the street from the A4 exit.
(Monday-Saturday) 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
(Sundays & holidays) 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Weekdays have lunch menu!
5-1-2 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo
http://www.afm-teahouse.com/ – Menu, Prices, and English site now available!
Does not accept reservations.