Eugenio only took a little tea back from his first visit to China. He could barely communicate but he succeeded in buying, without knowing it, very good teas. Arriving at home, he tried them one by one, and discovered marvellous unknown flavors, which left their mark on him. It was from this that he began an exhaustive investigation that culminated in a definitive conclusion: it was essential to bring them to Mexico.
At Tomás, they’re conscious that Mexican taste buds are accustomed to strong flavors, which makes it difficult, at least at the beginning, to appreciate the subtlety of their product. Because of this, they stock teas focused on picky palates and teas oriented toward the most refined ones. The menu, in code on metal containers, distinguishes the tea-leaf teas from herbal teas, or mixes of the two, which simplifies things for both connoisseurs and curious adventurers. They advise their customers on what’s best for that moment, depending on their personal tastes and the mood they’re in when they visit. This way, a dialogue is created that allows not only tasting, but also a social exchange that Eugenio cares about promoting in his businesses. For him, Tomás is an oasis of calm within the urban chaos, with a strong focus in design and supported to a large extent by social media.
The white teas come from China and have a delicate flavor. The green ones are Chinese or Japanese, and excellent antioxidants. What differentiates them is that the first ones have cut off the process of oxidation in a wok and the second with steam — it makes sense. The oolongs are detoxifying, Taiwanese in origin and similar to the green ones. The black teas have the highest concentration of theine, which is different from caffeine in that it has a stronger and longer-lasting initial effect. The pu-erh is a red tea from Hunan province. It’s good for energy and burning fat, on the condition that your lifestyle contributes to it. For the Chinese, according to Eugenio, it all revolves around a theme of balancing the energies that travel through tea. Just as there are diseases that are energetically hot or cold, there are teas that counteract them by reestablishing internal equilibrium. The rooibos is an isotonic infusion that comes from South Africa, and he brings the mate from Argentina.
What they’ll recommend at Tomás is a tri-dimensional pairing that depends on the climate, the flavor of the tea, and the foods that eventually could accompany it. On a cloudy morning, a spiced black tea is a marvellous complement for a dark chocolate cake, while on a sunny afternoon, a subtle white tea is ideal with mango and merengue. Eugenio likes to drink his tea pure, hot and without any other food, as it should be, but options for the less-purist are many. He recommended we try the apple-cinnamon frappé, which also includes almonds, beet, and rice milk, or an infusion of apple, pear, safflower, rose hip, and berry, although we know, without anyone having to shout it out, that matcha, a pure Japanese green tea, is the king of teas.
Hours: Monday to Friday: 8am to 10am / Saturday and Sunday: 9am to 10pm
Text and photos: Guénola Bally