Coolest Tea Locations?


Learn about tea-related establishments open across the world.

Coolest Tea Locations?

Postby forkyfork » Jan 31st, '08, 16:05

Greetings, Tea Fans!

I am in the process of trading a timeshare, so I have a wide variety of options for where I can go for a week.

I'd really like to go somewhere with a strong tea culture. I'd like a mix of tea rooms, tea stores, and such. And I'm not just looking for quantity, I'd like quality too :) I'd absolutely love to tour a tea plant... if that's even possible. I know you can tour the Celestial Seasonings office in Boulder.

There are a lot of options, but I wanted to poll you guys to help generate ideas of some popular (and maybe lesser-so) places to visit. Of course, I'd do other things too :-p

The teamap is a good place to start, but it seems mainly focused on tearooms, and I'd like to consider tea bars and tea stores.

So far, I've been considering the Boston area (a little outside), New York City, and Las Vegas (which surprisingly seems to have a strong amount of tea places near by).

Are there any other areas you'd suggest? I'm perfectly fine with suburbs, as some of the timeshares I'm looking at are in suburbs and driveable to big cities.
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Postby Inspired by Tea » Jan 31st, '08, 16:20

I would recommend Portland Oregon. I just visited the Tao of Tea there and found it amazing. The following article talks about the tea scene there and mentions many other really cool sounding teashops, bars ect..

NY Times Travel article

Have a great trip wherever you end up!
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Postby tenuki » Jan 31st, '08, 17:27

I'm partial to Seattle area as that is where I live. also, Vancover BC supposedly has an active tea culture and it is just a couple hours north of here, ie nice weekend trip. I've been planning to get up there one of these weekends to visit a couple places some tea friends recommended. I'll let you know about that. If you want a list of good places here in Seattle let me know. I've been meaning to visit Tao of Tea one of these days, my wife has family in Portland... ;)
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Postby xine » Jan 31st, '08, 17:53

For January's TeaMuse we featured several tea rooms, so hopefully you find something there:

http://www.teamuse.com

As for NYC I went to Amai Tea and Bake House which is really casual, nice and whose pastries all feature tea as an ingredient:

http://www.teamuse.com/article_071102.html

We're featuring another NYC tea room, The Adore in February's 'issue' as well.

Ito En also has an acclaimed restaurant, Kai on Madison Ave. I haven't been yet, but am planning to (once I have some time and $$)

http://www.itoen.com/kai/

NYC has a good amount of tea rooms, not as much as one would think since it is such an immense city. I don't know if it really is steeped in a 'tea culture', but seeing as new yorkers are foodies, there are some good places. My friend Lindsey is a certified tea tour guide, and offers packages to the best places in the city. Her website http://www.veetea.com.

There is also the Imperial Tea Court in San Francisco. I regret not being able to make it here when I went to visit last summer, but it also has a website with pretty great teas and is very authentic from what I hear:

http://www.imperialtea.com/about/About.asp
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Postby scruffmcgruff » Jan 31st, '08, 18:04

Sadly, the original Imperial Tea Court in SF closed down about 2 months ago, and I never had a chance to go. :( The ferry building and Berkeley locations are still up and running, though. The only one I've been to is the ferry building one, and it was nice. Good service, good teas, good decor, and some good shopping around there if you like artisan foods.
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Postby xine » Jan 31st, '08, 19:49

Scruff McGruff wrote:Sadly, the original Imperial Tea Court in SF closed down about 2 months ago, and I never had a chance to go. :( The ferry building and Berkeley locations are still up and running, though. The only one I've been to is the ferry building one, and it was nice. Good service, good teas, good decor, and some good shopping around there if you like artisan foods.


Is this the location on Powell St? In my guide book I brought last summer it said it was still there. Hmmm. I forgot to note that there is a Ferry Building location as well.
(Again, I did not go to the ferr building-grumblegrumblegrumble).
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Postby scruffmcgruff » Jan 31st, '08, 21:04

Yeah, Powell street. It only closed a couple months ago, and they didn't announce the closure until October (I think, roughly anyway). Did you accidentally read 2 years instead of 2 months?
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