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New York’s Most Authentic Japanese Tea House Is Hidden in Plain Sight

How to experience a tea ceremony above New York's Union Square

In the latest episode of Shokunin, a new video series hosted by sushi chef David Bouhadana, Eater visits a secret Japanese tea house just off New York’s bustling Union Square to witness a traditional tea ceremony. Founded in 2012 by venture capitalist Stephen Globus with the goal of facilitating cultural dialogue and exchange, NYC Washitsu is a serene and peaceful space for events, as well as a school for the traditional tea ceremony practice.

Globus renovated NYC Washitsu with New Yorkers in mind; making Japanese culture, and especially the lengthy tea ceremony, "digestible" to a population accustomed to instant gratification was a lofty objective, but he achieves it in part due to the space's "speakeasy" nature and its strict attention to detail in terms of design. Watch to follow Bouhadana's tour of the NYC Washitu space, led by Globus and Keiko Kitazawa Koch, one of the tea instructors in house.

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