In the heart of New York City’s SoHo, Sōrate emerges as a haven of tranquility and cultural fusion. Nestled along Sullivan Street, this Japanese teahouse, infused with Italian influence, redefines the art of mindful living.
The name “Sorate,” derived from the Venetian dialect meaning “calm down” and the Japanese word for sky, encapsulates the essence of the salon de thé. Founded by Italian entrepreneur Silvia Mella in collaboration with Tea Master Keiko Kitazawa, Sorate invites tea enthusiasts on a journey inspired by traditional Wabi-Cha ceremonies.
At the heart of Sōrate’s offerings is the ceremonial-grade matcha, hand-crafted to order from May 2023’s first harvest. The Kūsui Premium Matcha, with its vibrant green hue, noble aroma, and creamy umami, reflects a tradition passed down since the 17th century. The menu extends to high-grade green teas, including Sencha, Gyokuro, Hojicha, and Genmaicha.
For a personalized matcha experience starting at $5 per cup, customers can choose between traditional preparation with warm water or a modern twist with milk, served hot or iced. Composed drinks like the Sparkling Iced Matcha with a hint of yuzu add a refreshing touch. Caffeine-free options include Shiso leaf tea and Kombucha.
Sōrate does not just stop at beverages; Italian ingredients such as prosciutto and robiola cheese seamlessly find their spot on the menu alongside Japanese elements like black sesame tofu and candied yuzu.
Beyond the intimate to-go and counter-service space, Sōrate unveils a retail outlet featuring premium matcha and green tea packages, as well as vintage ceramic and other accoutrements.
Conceived in collaboration with Studio Architecture Amaa, Sōrate’s flagship design channels serenity within its 376 sq foot space. The original tin ceiling sets the stage for the continued use of diverse materials, neutral blue hues, and a 4-seat counter where patrons witness ritual preparation.
Sōrate stands as a testament to ethical sourcing, with all tea and matcha hailing from the family-owned farm of renowned Sencha tea creator Nagatani Soenon in Uji, Kyoto.
Location: SoHo, New York City
Address: 103 Sullivan Street, New York, N.Y. 10012
Price Point: $$
Takes Reservations: Walk-ins only for now
The vibe: The convivial atmosphere of European salon de thé meets the solace and minimalism associated with Japanese tea ceremonies.
Our favorite thing on the menu: We love the Kūsui Matcha Premium––the highest-quality ceremonial-grade matcha on the menu––and we pair it with the Midnight Serenade, made with homemade black sesame tofu, crispy quinoa, saffron miso sauce, broccoli florets, and plum sauce. Plus, it’s vegan.
The attire: Casual
Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner: Serves matcha, tea, pastries, and a selection of fusion bites all day long.