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Zen Cha - not the same?

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This topic contains 52 replies, has 0 voices, and was last updated by Chris Sunami Chris Sunami 4 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #77808
    Chris Sunami
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    I was thinking about this when I compiled my “Welcome to Cbus” list. For several years Zen Cha was at the top of my list –I was a real evangelist for the place. It was so elegant and meditative, the teas were fantastic, and best of all was the atmosphere, as created by owner I-Cheng, who made everyone feel like a personal friend.

    Lately, however, the vibe I’ve gotten from Zen Cha is very different. My impressions are largely formed by the experience I’ve had as part of Philosophy Meetup which has met at Zen Cha from the start. Over the past couple of years, however, we’ve felt increasingly unwelcome there, despite bringing a number of new paying customers to the place on a regular basis.

    In addition, however, I haven’t felt the same about the place when I’ve been there on my own. It feels less hospitable, more regimented. The tea is still great, but without the atmosphere, it just isn’t worth it.

    Anyway, to anyone else who is a Zen Cha fan –and who isn’t? –do you have the same feeling? Or is it all in my head?

    #300386
    chaptal
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    I do not go there often, but a good friend of mine who was a very frequent customer left after she was blatantly ignored by the owner and staff. She started going back recently, because she likes the product, but there always has been an odd sense of detachment from the staff and not feeling welcome when you go.

    #300387
    Chris Sunami
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    If never used to be that way, the owner and staff used to be very attentive. From my point of view, I trace the change in atmosphere to one person in particular, but I’m not sure that’s really fair.

    #300388

    JonMyers
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    I’ve had BAD customer service experiences/ interactions specifically with the owner/ owner present. I haven’t been back.

    #300389
    Anne Evans
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    I’ve heard they have had trouble with large groups and people not tipping. I usually just run in for a bubble tea and run out and I still love it for that!

    #300390
    whopper jr
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    I made the huge mistake of asking if they had coffee. Coffee houses have tea, so I thought a tea house would have coffee. Anyway, a man, who may have been the owner, laughed in my face and said “NO, this is Tea House!” and basically laughed me right out the door. Whatever. I won’t go back.

    #300391
    drew
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    JonMyers wrote >>
    I’ve had BAD customer service experiences/ interactions specifically with the owner/ owner present.

    Same here.

    #300394
    drew
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    oops

    #300392
    drew
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    JonMyers wrote >>
    I’ve had BAD customer service experiences/ interactions specifically with the owner/ owner present.

    Same here.

    #300395
    joev
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    drew wrote >>

    JonMyers wrote >>
    I’ve had BAD customer service experiences/ interactions specifically with the owner/ owner present.

    Same here.

    A glutton for punishment, are you?

    #300396
    rus
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    joev wrote >>

    drew wrote >>

    JonMyers wrote >>
    I’ve had BAD customer service experiences/ interactions specifically with the owner/ owner present.

    Same here.

    A glutton for punishment, are you?

    Here I was thinking he drank a LOT of tea…

    #300398
    drew
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    joev wrote >>

    drew wrote >>

    JonMyers wrote >>
    I’ve had BAD customer service experiences/ interactions specifically with the owner/ owner present.

    Same here.

    A glutton for punishment, are you?

    I have no idea why it did that… I swear I only pushed the button once.

    #300400
    rus
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    drew wrote >>

    joev wrote >>

    drew wrote >>

    JonMyers wrote >>
    I’ve had BAD customer service experiences/ interactions specifically with the owner/ owner present.

    Same here.

    A glutton for punishment, are you?

    I have no idea why it did that… I swear I only pushed the button once.

    Most likely a PHP error. Kinda amusing though.

    #300393
    Roland
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    I frequently visit Zen Cha. Some of the staff is great and I truly enjoy visiting. The quality of service differs greatly from when the owner is present. At which time, the service is actually worse if that can be believed. There is no chit chat and the friendly vibe seems to vanish. It feels like there is an effort to produce a formal vibe. I’ve personally witnessed him berate an employee to tears out in the main lobby.

    I’ve also heard scores of people say they don’t feel welcome there. These are comments from paying customers with pots of tea in front of them.

    The food menu (brunch menu excluded) keeps getting worse and worse as they reinvent it. Seriously… bring back a Teriyaki rice bowl already.

    Also, they’ve been using these cheap new tea pots that are impossible to pour without my tea spilling all over the table.

    Sheesh… This is one hell of a rant, but I’ve spent enough time and money there to qualify it.

    No, kitoba, it’s not the same Zen Cha.

    #300397

    michaelcoyote
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    drew wrote >>

    JonMyers wrote >>
    I’ve had BAD customer service experiences/ interactions specifically with the owner/ owner present.

    Same here.

    One memorable brunch I seem to recall some ‘tude given to people in our party.. I believe this was the time that Bear’s mother visited and joined us at an unoffical brunch we organized on the CU forums.

    I definitely recall orders coming out very late and the service seeming very disorganized..

    I don’t think we attempted brunch there again….

    I’m not going to boycott them, but they’re probably going to be the last place I go..

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