Destination Tea: The Third Space

Where: Old Fourth Ward, Atlanta, GA
Style:  Loft home kitchen
Tea Selection:  5 loose leaf teas by ZenTea
Teatimes:  Select Tea Dates
Reservations: Required, pre-paid
Contact: 404-401-9655 or via email
Cost:  $65 High Tea (includes chai-making demonstration)
Destination Tea Tips: The best way to learn when The Third Space will be offering another high tea is to request to be added to their newsletter. Come early to find free parking on the street, or pay to park in the Studioplex lot.

exterior The Third Space, Old Fourth Ward, Atlanta, GA

Destination Tea Notes: At The Third Space, we try not to act too starstruck when Asha Gomez comes to our table to prepare our tea for us. Asha is a big deal, and we know this firsthand, because we’ve been blown away by her cooking before, at her former Westside restaurant, critically-acclaimed Cardamom Hill. Asha is not just an amazing chef featured in national media outlets from Food Network to the New York Times. She’s also a cookbook author, contributing writer, global food advocate, online cooking show teacher, and we learn, a mom like us, who loves going to afternoon tea with her son whenever they travel.

Asha has just begun offering a “high tea” as a special event, which is priced at the high end of Atlanta’s tea services because it includes a chai-making demonstration after a very generous meal. Born in Kerala, India, Asha intentionally invites us all to celebrate Indian cuisine, this time familiarizing us with her favorite chai preparation. We note that while teas grown on Indian estates are very often served at afternoon tea around the U.S., Asha is the first hostess we’ve had who incorporates traditional Indian flavors into each course of her delicious menu. In fact, we find that her mint-cilantro chutney cucumber sandwiches are a masterful improvement on the original.

interior design at The Third Space, Atlanta, GA
Asha designed The Third Space to feel like a home kitchen.
seating at The Third Space
Community-style seating at elongated dinner tables
cooking counter at The Third Space in Atlanta, GA
We’ll be gathering round this long counter to see what’s cooking here after the meal.
Interior The Third Space, Atlanta, GA
Feels like a modern loft, with sleek lines and neutral color scheme
Window wall in The Third Space in Old Fourth Ward, Atlanta, GA
Brightly lit by front wall of window panes
Table set for tea at The Third Space in Atlanta, GA
Soft green serving dishes and tulip bouquets make a picturesque tablescape.

Tea Service

ZenTea loose leaf teas offered at high tea at The Third Space, Old Fourth Ward, Atlanta, GA
Harkening back to her days running an Ayurvedic spa, Asha offers an Ayurvedic tea blend
amongst four other choices from a local tea purveyor — Chamblee’s ZenTea
Glass teapots with infusers at The Third Space in Atlanta, GA
We each have our own glass teapot with infuser insert. I go with White Georgia Peach.
Asha Gomez prepares tea at The Third Space high tea
Asha measures out each guest’s chosen tea and pours hot water for steeping.
Steeped tea at The Third Space in Atlanta, GA
Loving this mélange of color! Once teas are steeped, leaves await a second steeping in pretty blue bowls.

Savories and Sweets

Teatime at The Third Space in Atlanta, GA
The entire meal is plated and waiting for us upon arrival, and there is nothing dainty about it!
Savories and amazing cucumber sandwiches at The Third Space high tea in Atlanta, GA.
If you can believe, we are actually offered seconds of these full-size savories, though we admit if we could just fit in one or two more of Asha’s cucumber sandwiches, we would! Savories include tomato pie, tandoori chicken sandwich, mint-cilantro chutney and cucumber on pillowy white (possibly the best cucumber sandwich we’ll ever have), and Indian sloppy joe.
fresh fruit dishes at The Third Space in Atlanta, GA high tea
Berries with local honey and mango cream with fresh mango
Cardomom cream madeleine at high tea at The Third Space
Cardamom cream madeleines melt in your mouth.
beautiful green cake plate at The Third Space in Old Fourth Ward, GA
Love this sea foam glass cake plate. A great way to preserve your portioned desserts while you serve the first courses of afternoon tea.
Sweets at high tea at The Third Space in Atlanta, GA
Asha explains that we’ll want to save the tea rusk (similar to an Italian biscotti cookie) for dipping in our warm chai. We are kept happy exploring the other desserts: cashew paste with silver, boondi ladoo (an Indian sweet made for special occasions), wedding cookie with pistachios and cashews, and a light pear cake.

Chai-Making Demonstration

Asha Gomez at The Third Space high tea in Atlanta, GA
First of all, “chai” means “tea,” so show how international you are by not calling it the redundant “chai tea.” We appreciate that Asha is at home with her guests, and happy to share her knowledge.
chai-making demonstration at The Third Space in Atlanta, GA with Asha Gomez
Asha prepares her go-to chai for us, a simple recipe using black Assam tea, whole milk, sugar and cardamom. We learn that the black tea is the finishing ingredient, added at the end for four to five minutes, after the mixture has gently steeped “low and slow” to get maximum flavor from the spice.
Cardamom seeds in the mortar and pestle
Asha uses a mortar and pestle to fresh grind her cardamom, loving the aromas released. She rightly observes, “half the joy of tea is the scent.”
Asha Gomez prepares chai in The Third Space in Atlanta, GA
“My chai is ready when my entire home smells of cardamom.”
And now, tea-rusk-dipping time. Our fragrant, creamy chai is well balanced by this crisp cookie.
fennel seeds at The Third Space in Atlanta, GA
We finish off the meal by passing around traditional candy-coated fennel seeds that aid in digestion and freshen the breath.