According to recent research, New York has over 500 places to enjoy a cup of tea. While there is an abundance of options, not all tea establishments offer the same quality.
In this article, we will explore the top 11 tea spots in the city. We won’t limit ourselves to traditional tea houses. We’ll also highlight regular cafes and even coffee houses where you can enjoy an exceptional cup of tea.
Located in East Village, New York, Prince Tea House offers a variety of teas and light fare in a setting that blends traditional tea house elements with a touch of modernity. The establishment is particularly known for its tea selection, emphasizing both classic and innovative blends.
Among their tea offerings, the Rose Milk Tea and Mango Black Tea are notable for their distinct flavor profiles. The Rose Milk Tea appeals to those who prefer sweeter beverages, while the Mango Black Tea is appreciated for its fruity undertones. The Lavender Milk Tea, often described as slightly bitter, is a choice for patrons who favor a more traditional tea experience.
The afternoon tea service, available from 12 pm to 6 pm, includes a range of freshly prepared scones, diverse finger sandwiches, and assorted desserts, with smoked salmon eggs benedict also featuring on the menu. The tea house takes care in presenting these items, though the focus remains primarily on the teas themselves.
The interior of Prince Tea House presents a quaint and comfortable environment, suitable for relaxed conversations or solitary tea enjoyment. For those who prefer outdoor seating, the cafe also provides an outdoor dining area.
In addition to teas, the menu includes a selection of desserts with Asian influences, such as the purple yam mille cake and a green tea variant. The service at the tea house is generally attentive, aiming to enhance the overall experience for visitors.
Prince Tea House in East Village offers a space for tea enthusiasts and those looking for a light snack or dessert in a serene setting, with a tea selection that caters to various tastes and preferences.
- Delicious and varied food options, especially desserts and scones.
- High-quality tea with a wide selection.
- Friendly and helpful staff.
- Cozy and picturesque ambiance.
- Good for socializing and events.
- Late-night availability for tea and desserts.
- Inconsistencies in service, including slow or inattentive waitstaff.
- Some teas and dishes may not meet expectations regarding flavor or temperature.
- Limited bathroom facilities.
- Occasional issues with overly attentive service.
- Some beverages and food items may be overly iced or watered down.
Location: 204 E 10th St, New York, NY 10003
Physical Graffitea, situated in New York’s East Village, is a tea shop known for its extensive selection of loose-leaf teas and herbs. Established in 2011 in a building famous for its appearance on the 1975 Physical Graffiti Led Zeppelin album cover, the shop has since become a destination for tea enthusiasts.
The interior of Physical Graffitea is compact and simple, reflecting the focus on the teas themselves. Visitors are greeted by shelves lined with approximately 80 varieties of tea, ranging from traditional oolongs and greens to more unique blends like pu-erh and mate. This diverse assortment caters to a range of preferences, whether one is looking for a classic flavor or something more unconventional.
A notable feature of the menu is the matcha latte, alongside various other tea lattes that can be made from any tea available in the shop. For those seeking non-caffeinated options, teas like the Serenitea offer a floral and calming experience. The staff at Physical Graffitea are knowledgeable and can provide guidance on tea selection and brewing techniques.
The shop’s size means limited seating, offering a more intimate setting for enjoying tea. For those on the go, teas can be purchased by the ounce for home brewing, and to-go cups are available for those who wish to enjoy their selection while exploring the East Village.
In addition to teas, Physical Graffitea also offers a range of tea accessories, catering to both casual drinkers and connoisseurs. This makes it a practical stop for those looking to explore the world of tea or expand their collection of tea-related items.
- Large and diverse selection of teas.
- Knowledgeable and friendly staff.
- Cozy and unique ambiance.
- High-quality tea offerings.
- Offers both traditional and innovative tea varieties.
- Limited seating.
- Lack of additional amenities like Wi-Fi or restrooms.
Location: 96 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009
3. Café Grumpy
Café Grumpy, located near the bustling area of Grand Central in New York City, presents itself as a quaint and unassuming destination for coffee and tea enthusiasts. This café distinguishes itself with its selection of teas, prioritizing quality and variety. The highlight of their tea offerings is the organic Chinese matcha, a finely ground, bright green tea known for its rich flavor and health benefits. Alongside this, Café Grumpy offers a selection of other teas, including the delicate Mao Feng Green and the robust Yunnan Black, catering to diverse palates.
The ambiance of Café Grumpy is described as quiet and cozy, providing a welcome respite from the busy city life. Its interior, characterized by low ceilings and a simple décor, contributes to a relaxed and intimate atmosphere. The café offers a small seating area, suitable for casual meetings or a solitary retreat. Despite its limited space, the environment has warmth and inviting nature.
In addition to its tea offerings, Café Grumpy serves a variety of coffee options, including classic lattes and cold brews. Their iced vanilla latte, in particular, has a sweet and creamy taste, ideal for humid summer days. For those seeking a light bite, the café also offers an assortment of pastries, with occasional gluten-free options like the lemon loaf.
Customer service at Café Grumpy is friendly and attentive, contributing positively to the overall experience.
- Good coffee quality.
- Friendly and attentive service.
- Cozy and quiet atmosphere.
- Unique and convenient location.
- Appealing pastries and drink options.
- Limited seating and space.
- Lack of Wi-Fi and power outlets.
Location: 200 W 39th St, New York, NY 10018
Three Jewels Cafe, located in the vibrant heart of New York near 5 E 3rd St, offers a unique blend of tranquility and urban energy. This establishment is not just a cafe but a part of a larger meditation and yoga studio, creating an atmosphere that is both peaceful and invigorating.
The cafe’s focal point is its exceptional tea selection, showcasing a variety of high-quality, loose-leaf options. Tea enthusiasts can indulge in various flavors, from the classic and robust to the exotic and nuanced. Each cup is carefully prepared, ensuring a rich and satisfying experience. The Mystic Mint and Masala Chai teas are particularly noteworthy, offering comforting and warm flavors with an option to customize the sweetness to your liking. The Genmaicha tea stands out for its meticulous preparation, delivering a unique taste experience.
In addition to teas, Three Jewels Cafe also serves Counter Culture coffee, a favorite among those who appreciate a more traditional caffeine fix. The coffee is complemented by a selection of vegan snacks, making it a welcoming spot for health-conscious and eco-friendly patrons.
The interior of the cafe is thoughtfully designed, with an abundance of natural light, light wood furnishings, and an array of plants that add to the serene ambiance. It’s a conducive space for those looking to work remotely, equipped with Wi-Fi and outlets, while the comfortable seating invites guests to relax and unwind.
As part of a meditation and yoga studio, the cafe naturally attracts a crowd interested in wellness and mindfulness. The fusion of a cafe and studio creates a unique environment where patrons can enjoy a delicious cup of tea or coffee and then participate in yoga or meditation sessions in the adjoining space.
Three Jewels Cafe is more than just a place to grab a drink; it’s a sanctuary in the city, offering a harmonious blend of relaxation, community, and mindful indulgence.
- Great selection of teas.
- Friendly and welcoming staff.
- Relaxing and comfortable atmosphere.
- Availability of Wi-Fi and outlets.
- Presence of a yoga studio.
- Limited seating.
Location: 5 E 3rd St, New York, NY 10003
Mille-Feuille Bakery, a gem in New York City’s vibrant café scene, offers an authentic slice of Parisian indulgence. Established in 2011, this local, family-owned business has built a reputation for its dedication to quality and traditional French baking techniques. The bakery’s founder, Olivier Dessyn, brings a wealth of experience from prestigious Parisian establishments, ensuring each pastry is a work of art both in appearance and taste.
The bakery’s menu is a delightful showcase of classic French pastries, each made with high-quality, natural ingredients without added sugars or artificial flavors. Their namesake mille-feuille, with its delicate layers and rich cream, stands out as a testament to their craftsmanship. However, it is their tea selection that truly complements the pastry experience. Carefully curated, the tea menu offers a variety of blends that pair beautifully with their sweet and savory offerings, enhancing the flavors and adding to the overall dining experience.
The bakery’s interior exudes a charming and inviting ambiance, perfect for a quiet afternoon of savoring exquisite pastries and sipping tea. For those who wish to enjoy the outdoors, the bakery also provides a pleasant outdoor seating area. This space becomes a little oasis in the city, ideal for relaxing and enjoying a moment of European elegance.
Located just a few blocks from the subway line, Mille-Feuille Bakery is conveniently situated for both locals and visitors. Its proximity to Washington Square Park makes it a perfect stop for those exploring the area or seeking a tranquil spot to unwind.
Beyond its offerings of pastries and teas, Mille-Feuille Bakery is also known for its engaging baking classes. These classes offer a unique opportunity for enthusiasts to learn the art of French baking under expert guidance, adding an educational and interactive dimension to the bakery’s charm.
- Knowledgeable and patient instructors in baking classes.
- High-quality and diverse range of pastries.
- Friendly and welcoming staff.
- Clean and pleasant environment.
- Opportunity to take home baked goods.
- Convenient location.
- Limited seating availability.
Location: 552 Laguardia Pl, New York, NY 10012
Kobrick Coffee, situated in the heart of New York’s bustling Meatpacking District, presents a unique fusion of a traditional coffee shop ambiance with the sophisticated touch of a cocktail lounge. This two-part venue caters to a variety of tastes, offering both coffee aficionados and cocktail enthusiasts a place to enjoy their favorites.
The cafe prides itself on its expertly crafted tea selection, which stands out for its quality and flavor. Patrons will enjoy the chai tea latte, known for its aromatic blend and perfect balance of spices. The hibiscus iced tea is another popular choice, appreciated for its refreshing and distinct taste, even if some find it a bit on the bitter side. Seasonal offerings, like the gingerbread latte, add a delightful twist to the menu, catering to those who enjoy trying new and unique flavors.
For coffee lovers, Kobrick Coffee does not disappoint. The establishment is renowned for its exceptional espresso, with options ranging from a bold cold brew to a creamy mocha, each crafted with care and precision. The venue also offers a selection of alcoholic coffee beverages and signature cocktails, like the sage and matcha cocktails, that have garnered acclaim for their inventive combinations and well-balanced profiles.
The cafe’s interior, characterized by its cute decor and comfortable seating, creates a cozy atmosphere that encourages visitors to linger. The space also includes a charming back room, providing a more intimate setting for those who seek it. While the ambiance shifts smoothly from a daytime coffee shop to a nighttime bar, the quality and attention to detail in both the drinks and the service remain constant.
Kobrick Coffee’s prime location near Chelsea Market and The High Line makes it an ideal stop for both locals and tourists. Whether one is looking for a morning pick-me-up, a relaxing afternoon tea, or an evening cocktail, this establishment offers a delightful experience in the heart of New York City.
- Great ambiance and decor.
- Friendly and hospitable staff.
- High-quality, delicious coffee and drinks.
- Convenient location.
- Offers both coffee and alcoholic beverages.
- Comfortable seating available.
- Unique and tasty menu items.
- Occasional long wait times.
- Limited milk alternatives for coffee.
Location: 24 9th Ave, New York, NY 10014
7. The Bean
Established in 2003, The Bean has become a beloved part of the East Village’s vibrant café culture. With several locations around New York City, it offers a cozy, inviting space ideal for everything from a quick coffee on the go to a leisurely afternoon of work or conversation.
At The Bean, the focus is on delivering high-quality drinks and snacks. The café’s extensive tea selection is particularly noteworthy, featuring a variety of blends to suit every palate. From classic options to more exotic infusions, each tea is brewed with care, ensuring a delightful experience for tea enthusiasts.
Coffee lovers are also in for a treat with The Bean’s array of coffee and espresso drinks. Signature specialties like The Frozen Mona Lisa, The Nutella Fitzgerald, and the famous Dirty Chai showcase the café’s creative flair. For those seeking something colder, The Bean’s Bam-Bean-O cold brew offers a potent, refreshing option.
The menu extends beyond beverages, with a full juice bar, exclusive smoothies, and an array of smoothie bowls, including acai, pitaya, and coconut bowls. For a more substantial option, the Smart’wich sandwiches stand out, challenging the notion of typical coffee shop fare with their freshness and quality.
The atmosphere of The Bean strikes a balance between spacious and cozy, creating an environment conducive to both productivity and relaxation. Whether you’re in for a quick snack, a catch-up with friends, or a solo work session, this café’s friendly vibe and diverse menu make it a notable destination in the East Village and beyond.
- Friendly and kind staff.
- Relaxing and cozy atmosphere, suitable for working or studying.
- Variety of drinks and food options, including healthy choices.
- Good quality coffee and other beverages.
- Spacious seating area.
- Occasional long wait times and slow service.
- Sometimes, the music can be too loud.
Location: 54 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003
The Sensuous Bean, situated just off Columbus Avenue on West 70th Street in New York, stands out as a unique destination for tea and coffee enthusiasts. This coffee roasting shop, revered as one of the oldest in the Upper West Side, offers an intimate and welcoming atmosphere that is immediately apparent upon entry.
What sets The Sensuous Bean apart is its extensive and carefully curated selection of teas. Visitors can choose from various flavors, with options like the Mango Blast being particularly popular for its aromatic delight. These teas are available for purchase in various quantities, starting from 1/8 pound, catering to both casual tea drinkers and connoisseurs alike.
The café also boasts a remarkable assortment of coffee varieties. From classic blends to more innovative flavors, there is something to satisfy every palate. The coffee, whether it’s a rich and smooth espresso or a light and refreshing iced latte, is crafted with expertise and care.
The Sensuous Bean is not just about drinks; it also offers a small selection of treats, such as cookies and biscotti, perfect for pairing with your beverage of choice. The shop, though compact, radiates a quaint charm, with its barrels of beans and tea adding to the overall sensory experience.
For those on the go, the café facilitates convenient payment options, including Venmo, making it easy to enjoy their offerings even during a busy day. It’s a place where one can quickly grab a cup of aromatic coffee or a soothing hot tea before a stroll through the nearby park, embodying the spirit of the vibrant New York City neighborhood it resides in.
- Wide selection of coffee and tea.
- Unique and enticing aromas.
- Friendly and helpful staff.
- Quality of the coffee and tea offerings.
- Small and cramped shop space.
- A $10 credit card minimum for credit card payments.
Location: 66 W 70th St, New York, NY 10023
Breads Bakery, established in 2012, has become a notable fixture in Manhattan’s bakery landscape with its locations in areas like Union Square and the Upper East Side. The bakery is recognized for its commitment to the art of bread-making and is particularly noted for its award-winning chocolate babka and baguettes.
The bakery’s focus extends to a variety of baked goods, including a selection of artisan breads and pastries, freshly made in small batches. Its menu also features a range of cafe items, with a notable selection of teas. These teas, including options like fresh mint tea, complement the bakery’s offerings and provide a diverse choice for customers.
Breads Bakery offers a limited seating area for customers who prefer to enjoy their purchases on-site. The staff are approachable and helpful, contributing to the overall customer experience. While the bakery is often frequented for quick grab-and-go options, it also serves as a modest spot for a more relaxed visit.
The bakery has carved out its place in New York City’s competitive food scene, balancing artisanal baking with a variety of menu choices to cater to different tastes. Breads Bakery presents a straightforward yet quality-focused option for those seeking freshly baked goods and a simple, pleasant cafe experience in the city.
- Delicious baked goods with a variety of high-quality choices like babka, croissants, and rugelach.
- Friendly service with staff being pleasant and helpful.
- Good quality coffee offerings.
- Tasty sandwiches, including popular items like the Tunisian and caprese.
- Enjoyable ambiance and atmosphere in the bakery.
- Limited seating.
Location: 18 E 16th St, New York, NY 10003
Brooklyn High Low, located in the vibrant area of Vanderbilt Avenue in Brooklyn, New York, offers a unique and memorable tea experience in the heart of the city. This charming café is known for its exceptional afternoon tea service, which features an extensive selection of teas accompanied by a delightful three-tier food menu.
At Brooklyn High Low, tea enthusiasts are treated to a vast array of tea choices, from classic black teas to more exotic blends. Each tea is carefully selected to offer a distinct and flavorful experience, making the café a haven for those who appreciate the finer nuances of tea. The “Grand Height” tea service is a popular choice, offering a comprehensive variety of teas and a full lunch, perfect for those looking to indulge in the complete afternoon tea experience.
The ambiance of Brooklyn High Low is a blend of vintage charm and relaxed comfort, creating an ideal setting for enjoying tea and conversation. The interior is thoughtfully designed to reflect the quintessence of a classic tea parlor, with a touch of whimsy and eclecticism that adds to the overall experience.
The food menu complements the tea selection perfectly. Guests can enjoy a range of scones, sandwiches, and sweets, each crafted to enhance the tea-tasting journey. From the savory finger sandwiches to the sweet pastries, every item is prepared with attention to detail and flavor.
The staff at Brooklyn High Low are known for their friendly and knowledgeable service, ensuring that each guest’s visit is a pleasant and memorable one. They are adept at making recommendations and explaining the nuances of different teas, adding a personal touch to the experience.
Brooklyn High Low is a reservation-only establishment, emphasizing an exclusive and intimate atmosphere. Whether you’re looking to catch up with friends or seeking a peaceful retreat from the city’s hustle, this café offers a unique blend of exquisite teas, delightful food, and a warm, inviting ambiance.
- Wide variety of teas.
- Delicious and diverse food options including sandwiches, scones, and sweets.
- Relaxing and comfortable ambiance.
- Friendly and attentive staff.
- Unique and beautiful decor.
- Special experiences like the “grand height” tea service.
- Offers both indoor and outdoor seating.
- Some food items, particularly scones, may be perceived as underwhelming or lacking in flavor and texture.
- Certain sandwiches are described as basic or similar to supermarket offerings.
- Limitations on tea selection with lower-priced sets.
- Time constraints during visits.
Location: 611 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
Cha-An, situated in the East Village of New York City, is a tea house that specializes in a variety of teas, with a particular emphasis on matcha. The menu showcases a range of matcha-infused beverages and desserts, each prepared to highlight the unique flavor profile of matcha. Alongside matcha, the cafe offers other tea selections like jasmine and rose green tea.
The dessert offerings at Cha-An complement the tea selections. Options like matcha mochi ice cream and black sesame crème brûlée are available, each presenting a mix of traditional tastes with a contemporary twist in presentation. These desserts are known for their attention to detail in both flavor and aesthetics.
The ambiance of Cha-An is quiet and cozy, featuring a decor that aims to create a tranquil environment for guests. The space is compact, designed to provide a more intimate tea experience.
While Cha-An is recognized for its quality offerings, it is important to note that the prices reflect this premium positioning. The cost of both teas and desserts is on the higher side, which is something to consider when planning a visit. The tea house provides an environment where guests can enjoy a variety of teas and desserts, particularly for those with a preference for matcha and Japanese-inspired treats.
- High-quality matcha products, with various matcha desserts and drinks.
- Beautiful and Instagram-worthy desserts.
- Cozy and aesthetically pleasing ambiance.
- Attentive and quick service.
- High prices.
- Long wait times and no reservations, often leading to crowding and discomfort while waiting.
- Small space, resulting in a cramped environment and sometimes rushed service.
- Some desserts and dishes falling short in taste compared to their presentation.
Location: 230 E 9th St, Fl 2, New York, NY 10003