So I'm currently sitting in a lovely little cafe/sake lounge in the middle of "The Ave" in the U District in Seattle, WA. A mere two blocks from the UW campus, Lounjin is a sophisticated lounge that seems like a different world from the rest of the Ave. It's airy, and medium-sized with deep scarlet walls, cherry-wood floors, blown glass lamps, free wi-fi, electical outlets at every table, a large flatscreen TV and modern furniture and somehow blends elements of modern japanese tea houses and sake bars with internet cafe without clashing in any way. The place is beautiful, has the lighting and ambiance of a nightclub/lounge and serves delicious tea (more on this later) but is utterly devoid of life beyond myself and the barista. HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE? -_-^
Clearly this lounge is located in the wrong place. Were it located in LA, Boston or NYC, I'm sure Lounjin would be a really hot hang out place. However, UW students just can't appreciate this style, prefering instead to flock to small independent cafes with loud music, young funky baristas, and mismatched furniture. Unfortunately this elegant place is ignored. One after another, people stroll by without even taking a glance; somewhat like the Leaky Cauldron from Harry Potter, which is unseen by muggles, Lounjin seems to be invisible to students.
The tea, called Spring Cherry (by The Republic of Tea) is just that; a delicate, refreshing green tea infused with rose petals, white tea buds, has a subtle rose aroma that blends beautifully with the sweet smell of ripe cherries. It is a beautiful amber color with a subtle tint of mahogany. The tea starts with a fruity note with a slight sweetness that fades into a floral green tea with a smooth ending undisrupted by harsh tannin.
I've got to bring friends to this place, I'd hate to see it close but frankly I'm a bit surprised it's still open. They serve six different sakes, shakes, a selection of teas, espresso, and a variety of pastries, and ramen! Without customers, the daily pastries must be expensive to order and throw away.. sigh. Such sadness.
4527 University Way
Seattle, WA 98105
(pictures will be uploaded later tonight)