New York has definitely benefited from the boom of specialty coffee shops. It’s virtually impossible to walk more than two blocks in the city without finding a place to get a quality latte. Now, the gourmet tea movement is started to gain popularity. A number of specialty tea companies have even started selling their beverages to upscale restaurants, and some tea companies have opened their own brick and mortar shops. Here are some of the best places in New York to get a cup of tea that you won’t soon forget.
Te Company is located on W. 10th Street near Seventh Ave. The tearoom is owned by husband-and-wife team Frederico Ribeiro and Elena Liao, who are known for being especially attentive and kind. The owners are also pros when it comes to tea. Liao sources loose-leaf oolong teas from her native Taiwan, and offers around 30 oolong teas, including Oriental Beauty, which is very popular. Ribeiro was once a sous chef at Per Se, and offers beautiful dishes to guests like the perfect Spanish tortillas with truffles, fresh bread and an outstanding chocolate cake. Te Company also offers flexible pricing. A cup to go starts at $3.50, and a pot of tea ranges from $6 to $10.50.
Tea & Sympathy
This tearoom is actually a British restaurant with an added-on tea shop. The facility opened in 1991, and still has the same look and feel. The restaurant may have been able to avoid becoming too modern, but it’s still pretty popular, and nostalgic items like Heinz baked beans remain on the menu. Tea & Sympathy also sells delicious desserts like scones with clotted cream, and tea selections include Yorkshire and PG Tips, vanilla, chamomile-lavender and rose petal.
NIKAI by Kettl
NIKAI is on Ainslie Street, and is located right above Okonomi, the Japanese breakfast restaurant. Some of the best Japanese teas are sold there, including soba cha, a buckwheat tea with a sweet flavor, and gyokuro, a green tea that is rare even in Japan. Kettl teas can also be found at fine restaurants like Per Se, Sqirl and Mission Chinese Food.
Visit the Grub Street website for more information on the best tearooms in NYC.