Before I knew any better, I thought that Tazo was as good as tea got. One day, my friend Jennifer gave me a gift card to a loose whole leaf tea vendor and I realized that I’d been living under a rock.
There is nothing wrong with Celestial Seasonings and Twinings. For the price, they’re good. But that’s a bit like passing up a steak because hot dogs are good for the price, or like passing up a trip to Fiji because Panama City Beach, FL is more affordable. Sometimes, higher quality is simply worth it.
And higher quality spoils you. I’m a bit bourgie now. I’ll drink store bought, boxed teas yet I’ll be lusting after my whole leaf collection at home.With the price tag comes a higher quality leaf (not just the dust the bottom of the bin), finer blends, more complex flavors, and greater variety. You get all of this on top of the other benefits of tea.
Here are my favorite tea rooms and tea shops in Atlanta. They’ll spoil you rotten:
Dr. Bombay’s Underwater Tea Room is effortlessly cool. It’s full of comfortable couches and old world charm, great for passing a few hours with friends. I enjoy the library area the most. I feel smarter just sitting there. As for the tea, there are about 30 varieties to chose from in addition to a delicious bakery. They serve high tea from 3:30pm-5:30pm!
If you’re near the Chamblee Antique District, try eZenTea. It’s an intimate venue that relaxes you the instant that you walk through the door. They offer tastings almost daily. They’ll also connect you to yoga, tai chi, and meditation classes.
TeaFuse in Vinings has earned a place in my heart. I’m rarely in Vinings but I try to stop in when I can. TeaFuse is so cute and quaint but it’s also quite girlie so I have difficulty dragging my boyfriend there.
Speaking of that dude, I’m in Lawrenceville a lot because of him. That’s how I discovered Aristeacrats. The owners are super cool and the shop is always quiet and comfortable. And I think they know everything about tea.
Though it’s a chain I’d be amiss not to mention Teavana‘s locations. The one in Buckhead/Lenox has terrible reviews so I’ve stayed away but the one in Perimeter is pretty cool. You can also order online. The teas are amazing though the prices are a bit steep.
Adagio.com is more affordable but they don’t have any brick and mortar stores so you’ll miss out on the tea room experience and you won’t have someone to answer your questions. They’ve got versatile sample packages for those who’re getting their feet wet in the tea world.