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Looking for a place to get your zen on after yoga? Yoga District founder Jasmine Chehrazi is opening District Tea Lodge, a spot for kombucha on draft, kava-kava root cocktails, and teas to aid what ails you.
The teahouse, located on the street level of Yoga District’s location at 1922 I St. NW, is set to open this March. District Tea will offer a rotating selection of about 20 teas, many of which Chehrazi says aren’t available elsewhere in D.C. An in-house herbalist selected the teas, which primarily come from the northwestern United States. Teatenders, like bartenders, will help guests find teas that best suit them. Trouble sleeping? Aches and pains? They will direct you to teas that are supposed to help with that.
District Tea will also serve cocktails with three varieties of kava-kava instead of alcohol. Chehrazi says the western Pacific root has sedative properties that create a “meditative, relaxing” effect and numb the mouth. Each of the kava-kavas offered have varying strengths and tastes. “Just like some people might like one vodka over another, they might like one kava-kava over another,” Chehrazi says. The root will be mixed with juices from pineapple, passionfruit, mango, coconut, and other fruits.
There will also be two taps for kombucha. Capital Kombucha will always be on draft, along with “brews” from different guest kombucha makers.
Also available: a limited animal-free, gluten-free food menu based on Ayruvedic medicine, a form of ancient Indian medicine which Chehrazi says is all about balancing the body and returning it to its natural constitution. The menu will consist of one-bowl meals with a salad, quinoa, or brown rice component along with a stew. The staple stew will be kitchari, a ginger-heavy porridge that has balancing effects for all types of constitutions and is often used for cleanses, Chehrazi says.
For dessert, District Tea will have raw puddings made out of fruits, vegetables, and chia seeds. The most popular one tested so far contains avocado, banana, chia seeds, and maple. There will also be a coconut-based flan.
Chehrazi is trying to avoid the word “vegan.” “Sometimes people hear the word vegan and they don’t want to touch the food. They think it’s going to taste like cardboard,” she says.
The entire drink and food menu will include pictures of each item. “We’re such a visual society these days, and we really want people to see the texture of the teas. We want them to get to know the product, learn about it, look at it, understand where it comes from and how it might effect them.
The space itself has “homey cabin feel” with natural woods and faux taxidermy, including a rhino head made out of old French newspapers and a ceramic moose with the D.C. flag painted overtop.
Chehrazi wants people to feel comfortable camping out there. “I know there’s a lot of cafes these days that are like, ‘only sit here for 15 minutes and you’re not allowed to use the internet,'” she says. “If that’s what comes to you right now, then that’s what you should do.”
All the profits from District Tea Lodge once it pays off its expenses will go to Chehrazi’s nonprofit Yoga Activist, which brings yoga to under-served communities.