This post is also available in: Spanish
When you walk into Chez Titi, Panama’s first tea house, you feel like you have just joined the Mad Hatter’s tea party of Alice in Wonderland. Tea pots and mugs of all sizes, colors and shapes cover the walls of the first floor, and banks of shelves display old-fashioned tin cans full of different varieties of organic tea.
Clients can taste the tea or purchase some to take home in four different sizes. They can choose black, white, green, Pu Erh, Oolong, Rooibos, herbal teas and fruit infusions.
The top floor of this tea shop is where visitors can taste the teas and eat delicatessens prepared by Yvonne Weiss. She is a chef graduated from Le Cordon Blue, the prestigious culinary institution in France, as well as a holistic nutritionist. Opening a tea house was a long-time dream for this tea lover who has a diploma in tea from STI Specialty Tea.
Chez Titi means literally “at Titi’s” a nickname given to Yvonne by her family. Food here is always fresh, nothing is canned or preserved and many choices in the menu are organic. There are few meat options on the menu. Try the daily special which includes an appetizer, entree and dessert, available Monday through Friday from 12:00 to 2:30 p.m.
Tea time is served daily from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. including a mini lamb crepe, blini with smoked salmon, eggs and caviar, scone with sour cream and marmalade or tea with strawberries. Tea time costs $14.50 or an option of champagne with tea, rimmed with raw sugar for $17.50.
Salty and sweet crepe options, as well as sweet waffles will bring memories of Europe, while looking at the wall that has the famous painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, of Georges Seurat. Try the waffle with red berries and Chantilly cream for $6.20.
A separate menu just for tea and infusions is available. Tea is brewed with water filtered by the shop and comes in a transparent tea pot. Try traditional teas or feel free to ask for recommendations. For a special experience order the “Aureola” for $8.50 and watch as this white tea flower opens in the pot. Aureola tea comes from China and contains amaranth, jasmine and essence of lavender.
Chez Titi Salón de Té is located on Calle 49 west, in the ground floor of the Vitri Building in the Cangrejo District of Panama. Open Monday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. For more information call 390-5018 or visit www.facebook.com/cheztitipanama.