Last week I was in Barcelona and I had the chance to visit Caj Chai Tea House. I met and had a nice conversation with Antonio over tea and his tea house. Antonio is a New Yorker who moved to Prague and then Barcelona and opened Caj Chai Tea House in 2004.
Caj Chai is located in Barri Gotic of Barcelona, very close to the Cathedral. It’s very comfortable and relaxing place for those who look for a great cup of tea following a tiring day of sightseeing in Barcelona. Caj means tea in Czech; Antonio pays his tribute to the days he spent in Prague by using Caj in the name of his tea house.
The first tea I tried was a Japanese oolong named Hanhakoucha from the cultivar of Musashikaori. My Japanese tea experience is limited with mostly green teas and some black teas. I’ve never tried Japanese oolong before, so when I saw it on the menu it was a quick decision. It was a very lightly oxidized, sweet oolong tea with floral and fruity notes. Not only I drank it there I also bought some for my tea cabinet as well. It’s one of the teas you want to keep in your cabinet for better tea experiences.
The second tea I tried was a Hong Cha from Yunnan which was produced using old tea tree leaves which generally allocated for Puerh tea production. It had a distinctive chocolaty taste with a little bit astringency.
Antonio served both teas with Shiboridashi which is a kind of Gaiwan made by Petr Novak whom I know just by reputation. He is a ceramist and a tea lover who lives in Czech Republic. The shiboridashi was not only aesthetic but also very functional. I couldn’t resist the temptation and I bought one and two matching cups for myself too!
And one last note for my nationals who happen to be longing for strong Turkish black tea in the streets of Barcelona, they can head to Caj Chai right now. Because Antonio serves Çaykur black tea as well!
In a nutshell, Caj Chai is ‘the’ tea house you have to visit in the city of Gaudi whether you’re new to tea or looking for something advanced. You’ll also get the chance to meet Antonio who is as welcoming and friendly as tea itself!