December 4, 2012
On a combined wedding/tour/family holiday in Sri Lanka in mid-November, I had two days in Colombo with my parents. One of the things I’ve been trying to do for the past few years was to visit Euphorium Tea Salon which supplies Ceylon tea to Lanka, a Japanese pâtisserie in London. But each time I’ve tried, we’ve somehow been unsuccessful and I wondered whether I would ever set foot in this place. But this time, armed with my trusty iPhone, we found it, and what a little gem it proved to be.
Situated in a residential area, Euphorium Tea Salon is a hidden little oasis in the middle of busy Colombo. The simple and yet stylish interior is cool and serene and provides a calm moment in a hectic day.
Euphorium Tea Salon isn’t advertised anywhere but it’s popular amongst the young Japanese expat crowd and people in the know somehow seem to find it. The owners, Midori Pieris and her mother, moved back to Colombo ten years ago from Japan. As you can probably tell from her name, Midori is half Japanese, half Sri Lankan, just like moi (!) and so I was really excited to meet her. And what a lovely lady she is. We did spend an awful lot of time staring at one another since we don’t often meet others with the same mix.
After an introductory chat, we sat down and ordered our drinks. Euphorium Tea Salon stock Ceylon tea which they source directly from a big tea supplier who mainly exports. There is a selection of tea from three famous regions in Sri Lanka: Dimbulla, Uva and Ruhuna. My parents plunked for Dimbulla tea which they said was delicious. Notice the translucent colour of the tea which, although dark, retains its fragrance and taste.
I don’t know why but tea just tastes so much better in Sri Lanka, especially when drunk plain and without milk. It’s possibly the water. They promptly bought a packet for home.
Colombo is hot, hot, hot in November and although it’s approaching the cool season, it’s sweaty weather. So there is nothing more refreshing than something light, sweet and cold. This was a very popular choice and I noticed that all the other young Japanese customers sipping this drink. The tea soda is like a beautifully layered sunset with passion fruit, hibiscus and rosehip black tea and topped with sparkling soda. You mix it together and take a long sip.
It was delicious and just the thing for a scorching day. We each ordered a drink set which came with a daily sweet. That day it was mini pancakes with strawberry.
After talking passionately about tea, Midori surprised us all with a little extra something, umeshu (plum wine) mixed with jasmine tea.
The ruby red pomegranate seeds and the other little details reminded me a lot of Japan. I loved the way Euphorium Tea Salon combines the best of both worlds and will definitely visit again.
Euphorium Tea Salon
3-14/C1, Kynsey Road
Colombo 07 Sri Lanka
T: +94 11 5230523