Whenever traveling I’m always on the lookout for cool new places specializing in tea. The growing popularity of the brew is making it easier to find these local gems in cities big and small. The list below is an eclectic mix of unique cafes that take tea seriously. If you love afternoon tea or want to experience it for the first time these places are worth seeking out.
San Francisco: Lovejoy’s Tea Room
Lovejoy’s offers over two dozen teas in flavors ranging from Yorkshire gold to dragonwell green. They offer a wide variety of tea services including the Queens Tea, a feast well suited for royalty. The feast includes tea sandwiches, salad, scones, crumpets, Devonshire cream, jam and petite fours. A bottomless pot of tea rounds out the experience.
Seattle: Cederberg Tea House
Located in the Upper Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle.Cederberg specializes in South African Tea and sweets. This beautiful café is dedicated to pushing the boundaries of tea by introducing the world to rooibos tea espresso. Cederberg creates unique twists on espresso based drinks like cappuccino, lattes and the Americano. The popular red espresso is finely ground rooibos tea that’s been made using an espresso machine. Rounding out their menu are pots of tea, sandwiches and traditional South African desserts. This might not be your typical afternoon tea but it’s a great introduction to Seattle’s unique personality.
Chicago: Serenitea Cafe and Boutique
Located in Oak Park, a suburb of Chicago you’ll find the quant Serenitea Café. The café and retail shop specializes in afternoon tea. In keeping with the traditional style of a tea room the menu is small but offers all the classic elements of an authentic tea service. The tea can also be purchased by the ounce to be enjoyed at your leisure.
Austin: Café Ruckus (Sunday’s only)
On most days this popular Downtown Austin café is serving handcrafted coffee drinks. On Sundays the café transforms into a Victorian era tea room. A reservation is essential but you will be rewarded with a well curated tea menu, finger sandwiches, scones, cookies and petite fours. They offer two adult tea services and one designed especially for children. If you’re in the area this is a great way to experience an authentic tea service for a reasonable price.
Louisiana: The English Tea Room
About an hour’s drive from New Orleans is Covington, Louisiana. The owners have taken great pride in creating an authentic tea room experience. They have a variety of tea services from a simple plate of scones to a lavish high tea known as The Prince William.
New York: Kathleens Tea Room
In historic Peekskill, New York you will find Kathleens Tea Room. What makes this tea room so amazing is the selection of 60 teas and the quality of their food. The afternoon tea comes with all the staples including finger sandwiches, scones and a sampling of desserts. The tea menu can feel overwhelming so feel free to ask questions. If you crave something more on the lunch end they also offer soups, salads and sandwiches. Reservations on the weekends are strongly recommended.