Category Archives: tea rooms

Winter visit to Harney & Sons, New York

Whenever we visit NYC, Katie and I love to visit Harney & Sons. The experience is something that we both look forward to every time. This year we visited on a chilly winter day. The perfect type of day to find yourself is a bright and beautiful tea shop. Harney & Sons is such an inviting place, its smells divine and everything is pretty. The walls of tea will never cease to impress me. I just love looking at all the tea varieties stacked up next to one another, all the way up the wall.

Our tea guide was amazing. He knew his stuff about tea and had some deep and hilarious quips for us. He found the perfect teas for each of us: an espresso of tea for Katie and left of weird tea for me. I loved them both, Katie loved hers and agreed that mine was, in fact, weird.

You will see some reviews of these two teas pop up soon.

We didn’t have time to sit for tea and snacks this time around so we ordered some tea to go from the cafe in the back and browsed all of the lovely tea-things while we waited for them to be steeped. Then we were off, with our Harney tea in hand, for more NYC adventures: tacos, shopping, Santacon, Bryant Park and the most delicious Italian tapas in Brooklyn.

Until next time, thanks for the experience Harney & Sons!

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Tea & Macarons 

 Katie says:

Abby & I sampled the fine tea & macarons at Portland Patisserie. I liked that this chai wasn’t overly syrupy — like it often can be! I would, however, have liked to have tried it a bit stronger. Nevertheless this had a nice taste and was perfect to accompany these beautiful macarons! I don’t always instagram my dessert, but in this case it was to pretty to not post!

Abby says:

Holy macaron! So beautiful and colorful. Just the right pick-me-up on a cold winter day! The coffee flavored one was my fav. It had just right amount of coffee bitterness to balance the sweet. Loved how well the brittle crumbly outside matched the filling. My thoughts on the chai latte were mixed. The overall impression was that it was too weak. I needed more chai flavor, less milk. But it was blended well and was nice and frothy ! I would certainly try another one, but I think I would ask for just a bit less milk.

Tea and Cake Happy Hour at MAPS, Portland, Maine

MAPS tea

Believe it or not, one of the newer local bars here in Portland, hosts a daily tea and cake happy hour. From 4-6PM at MAPS you can get a pot of tea for one and a generous piece of house-made cake for $5. It sounds good, because it is good!

MAPS doesn’t have an an abundant selection of teas to choose from, but they’ve got their bases covered: traditional black tea, jasmine green tea and an herbal tea. I didn’t get a photo of the tea menu, but I recall about four tea options. Also the tea is served with all the accompaniments tea lovers need, all on a super cute tea tray.

The cake is really where it’s at! MAPS cakes are made by one of the owners. She typically has two options to choose from. The photo below shows a sponge cake with salted caramel frosting. She also has a chocolate cake with peanut-butter frosting and last week there was a chocolate-cherry cake up for grabs.

MAPS cake

MAPS hosts a more traditional happy hour as well with discounted draught beers and wines daily. If you find yourself in Portland, Maine make time to stop in to MAPS for some tea and cake, or a beer if you prefer. It will be well worth it.

Little Red Cup Tea Co. Tasting at Black Cat Coffee

I was hoping to get the posted yesterday, but life.

Anyway, yesterday Black Cat Coffee on Stevens Ave. in Portland, ME hosted a Little Red Cup tea tasting from 11-1. Luckily I heard about it in time to scoot over there for a few tea samples. The Little Red Cup Tea Co. is a family run tea outfit hailing from Brunswick, Maine. Yay, Maine! They offer fair trade and organic Chinese teas. Sounds pretty great, huh?!

Little Red Cup

Today I  sampled an oolong and a gunpowder green tea. Martin, from Little Red Cup had other samples available as well, but I didn’t get a chance to try them. The oolong steeps to a lovely, rich yellow and was very hearty and flavorful. The gunpowder green was actually quite dark for a green tea, but was also good with grass and nutty flavors. In addition to being available at Black Cat Coffee, these teas can be found at the Portland food Co-Op and at most Rosemont markets.

Before leaving Black Cat, the owner offered some of the other tea available in her shop. She carries teas from Montana Tea and Spice and had three herbal blends for me to try:

Evening in Missoula – a blend of chamomile, lemongrass and other flowers and spices. Typically, I’m not a fan of chamomile, but I found this tea to be quite good and the complexity of it was interesting.

Montana Gold – roobios, cinnamon, orange and clove. A perfect tea for the season. The cinnamon is warming and spicy and the sweet roobios flavor is kept in check by the clove.

Purple Mountain Majesty – floral! This tea taste like drinking a cup of flowers. It would make a nice spring tea and would work well iced. It was a little too much for me, but I still enjoyed trying it.

Montana Tea and Spice

Overall, it was a great Sunday afternoon teatime. I’m already looking forward to trying some other teas from Little Red Cup and can see myself stopping in to Black Cat Coffee for more Montana Tea and Spice teas! If you are looking for tea in Deering, head on over and check it out!

David’s Tea – Quebec, Canada

Davids tea

Recently while on an adventure checking out the old city of Quebec I found a David’s Tea shop! It couldn’t have been more prefect because it was cold and rainy outside, and David’s Tea was warm and bright inside. The place was decked out in iced teas with tropical flavors, but that day everyone was interested something hot.

Davids teaThe staff was so helpful and were very gracious to put up with me wanting to smell almost all of their teas. The tea tins are color-coded to make it easy to find what you like. When I finally narrowed my favorite smelling teas down to three (this was not easy for me, BTW) I ended up with Chocolate Chili Chai black tea, Cream of Earl Grey (organic) black tea and Pink Lemonade rooibos tea. I also got a rewards card that I can use for online orders, so I’m sure I’ll be getting more David’s Tea soon!  And don’t worry, we’ll get you a review of these great sounding teas soon too.

David's Tea

Review: Teatime at Roebling Tea Room

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A review of Mountain Water Oolong tea.

This past weekend, Katie and I went on a little adventure to Brooklyn, NY! While there were tried to pack in as many things as we could, like: visiting ‘Cuse friends, seeing the sites, art, eating, taking in the nightlife, flea marketing and TEA! We found ourselves brunching at the Roebling Tea Room in Williamsburg. This is a charming little spot that served good food and of course, good tea. Katie
and I both had what the waitress described as a “lighter oolong”.

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Overall Rating

Taste: Taste: 3.5 of 5 leaves: A decent tasty tea.
Steepability: 5 of 5 this tea is easy to make.

Abby says:

Temperature: Hot
Steeped: About 5 minutes
Served: Nothing added

Well, the server was right – this is oolong light. After steeping to a strong golden color this tea still had a light and mild flavor. It was very easy to drink and went very well with my meal, drunk beans. Even better than the tea itself was the unique presentation. Our tea was brought to us prior to steeping with large glass mugs filled to the brim with hot water. The leaves looks so pretty sitting atop the mug the the little ceramic white bowl. We each then dumped the leaves into the large infuser sitting the mugs and watched them steep. When finished we had large mugs of beautiful tea! If you had spotted us from another table you may have thought we were having a couple of beers with our meals.

Taste: 3.5 of 5 leaves: A decent tasty tea.
Steepability: 5 of 5 this tea is easy to make.

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Katie says:

What a fun tea house! Yes, like the tourist I was I took tons of photos…iphoneography.

Temperature: hot
Steeped: about 5 minutes
Served: with 2 cubes of brown sugar

When surveying the menu Abby & I chose this Mountain Water Oolong tea because it was mild and we had a full day of tea-drinking planned. After brunch we went to Moma to see some art and then off for tea tasting at Harney & Son’s store in Soho. (but we’ll tell you about that later)

This tea turned out to be a great choice! Mild yet tasty and a nice color. I very much enjoyed the flavor but did like the added hint of sugar. Although this was an oolong tea, I found it to be more similar in body to a green or white tea. It still had the unique oolong flavor but was lighter than most oolong tea that I’ve had.

Taste: Taste: 3.5 of 5 leaves: A decent tasty tea.
Steepability: 5 of 5 this tea is easy to make.

Doesn’t Abby look happy with her tea & Hope with her coffee?

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Starbucks tea latte & cake pop

I love a good tea latte from Starbucks!

1) It’s delicious
2) I can now order a fancy complicated drink just like all of the coffee drinkers

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Where besides a coffee shop can you place a ridiculously picky & overly complicated order and still receive an answering smile? Moving on from my enjoyment of self-indulgent beverage-ordering…. You might wonder, what exactly is a tea latte? Well tea loving friends, this is tazo tea (real leaves not some kind of syrup or powder) with foam and sugar. It tastes just like tea with milk and sugar but looks and sounds fancier. I’ve tried roobios (red), chai, and earl grey tea as tea lattes. All are delicious. It is worth mentioning that if you order a tea latte they will automatically sweeten it, and the regular amount is quite sweet. If you don’t like as much sugar ask them to add less, or a packet of honey. See, it is fun to be a picky drink orderer isn’t it?

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What goes well with a tea latte? Those adorable little cake pops of course! The other night my friend Inga & I were looking to keep chatting after dinner so we found ourselves at Starbucks. Although we were too stuffed for dessert at the restaurant these little treats seemed to be just the right size. Inside they are just cake, not the cake & frosting mixture you find inside most homemade cake pops. The cake inside is actually really moist though so you don’t miss the mixed in frosting.

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And for those wondering how fattening all of this is, here are the nutrition facts:

Tall Vanilla Rooibos tea latte with whole milk, 170 calories, 6g fat.
Birthday cake mini doughnut (I assume this is close to the pop and all I could find on the website) 130 calories, 6g fat.

Wenham Tea House

UPDATE: We’re sad to learn that even though I was just there a few weeks ago, the Wenham Tea House is now closed. If I hear any more info about it I’ll be sure to let you readers know!

http://www.wthexchange.com

This is the Wenham tea house, in (where else?) Wenham, MA. Cute, isn’t it?

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Wenham is a classic New England town just about 35 minutes north of Boston. Nearby you can find some local farms, great farmer’s markets, antique stores, and my favorite place to score antique tea cups: Todd’s farm flea market.

Inside you’ll find a bakery, tea shop, and the tea rooms. To be safe make a reservation because they book up quickly, especially for lunch!

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I visited the weekend before Christmas with my friend, and fellow tea-lover, Lauren. In typical tea room fashion, we were seated at a cozy table and brought flowery tea cups for the pot of tea that we opted to share. There was plenty of honey, sugar, sweetener, lemon, milk & cream to choose from. You’ve got to love the cute little honey pot!

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We selected a black Assam loose team tea. It was delicious, but WOW was it strong! The style there is to let the tea steep loose in the pot and have a strainer for each tea cup. If you have this tea just beware of the last 2 cups! (we got about 6 out of the pot)

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For lunch we both had a biscuit, butternut squash soup, tea sandwiches, scone, and of course several mini desserts! It was actually a lot of food and I ended up taking the scone & some dessert home.

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I strongly recommend giving this place a try if you’re in the area. It was a fun afternoon!

NOTE: This post was composed entirely via iPhone. Please support this experiment and forgive me any formatting errors . Thanks! 🙂

Cupan Tae: a tea room in Galway, Ireland

Cupan tae outside

Anthony (my husband) & I went to Ireland with our friends Nick & Kathleen. This turned out to be the perfect combination…we got to travel as couples, and we got to ditch the boys at a pub to go to a tea room! As soon as I walked past Cupan Tae I knew I HAD to get in there.

Cupan tae inside

So in we went. First, it was just as cute as I had hoped! Second, good thing we left the guys at a pub! The pink rose curtains aren’t exactly the dude’s favorite decor. Kathleen & I sat down to take a look at the menu. We discovered an afternoon tea sampler option and just had to try it. First we tried a traditional Irish breakfast tea.

blue flower tea cup

And for our second cup we had a Galway cream tea, which was similar to Stash tea’s vanilla nut creme.

This tea is sweet without any sweetener, but makes an excellent dessert with a little cream and sugar. Speaking of cream & sugar…imagine our excitement when this tower of treats showed up at our table!

Tea treats tower

Yep, tea sandwiches, scones, and desserts. All of these and two different pots of tea — we were in tea time heaven. I’m pretty sure I was acutally giggling with excitement.

Tea & Scones

Wouldn’t you giggle with delight to see this cute container of clotted cream, raspberry jam, butter, & scones? I love tea, but I equally enjoy all of the treats that go along with it! Did I mention there were desserts too?

Tea desserts

Don’t worry, we saved a few sandwiches & desserts to bring back to Nick & Anthony. The guys got their Guiness & cake too.

So, after sharing all of these goodies, what is your favorite tea time treat?