A warming cup of tea is the afternoon pick-me-up every freezing cold, winter day needs. (And since most brews are filled with antioxidants, it provides a nice health boost, too.)
Thankfully, New York City is filled with all kinds of adorable tea houses and cafes where you can linger over a steaming cup with your laptop (or a good book) or pick up some leaves to steep at home.
We’re talking indie gems that ooze cozy charm, sell organic, hard-to-find varieties, or focus on the trendiest, of-the-moment tea, matcha.
Here are nine amazing indie tea shops (listed in alphabetical order) to warm up in. —Lisa Elaine Held
(Photo: Bellocq Tea Atelier)
This Greenpoint shop is basically the epitome of the new Brooklyn, as in, everything about it is artisanal and gorgeous. All the teas sold in the hard-to-find atelier are sourced carefully from around the world so that they’re incredibly high-quality and mostly organic, and they’re sold in both pure form and in handcrafted blends. 104 West St., between Kent and Greenpoint Ave., Greenpoint, www.bellocq.com
(Photo: Bellocq Tea Atelier)
If you’re looking to take part in the matcha tea craze, what better way to do it than to grab a cup made by a nearly 300-year-old Japanese company based in Kyoto? (They probably know a thing or two about it…) Ippodo’s only New York City location is not quite a shop, occupying what’s essentially a counter at the front of Japanese restaurant Kajitsu, but regulars swear by its energy-boosting brews. 125 E. 39th St., at Lexington Ave., Murray Hill, www.ippodo-tea.co
(Photo: Facebook/Ippodo Tea)
The storied Parisian brand’s relatively new New York City boutiques, on the Upper West Side and in Soho, have a chic European vibe and they’re stocked with an almost overwhelming number of tea options (you can’t go wrong with their signature blends, like the green tea and berry The du Hammam). Plus, you’re greeted with a free cup of tea to sip while browsing, which is sweet and warming touch. 156 Prince St., between West Broadway and Thompson, Soho, and 194 Columbus Ave., between 68th and 69th St., Upper West Side, us.palaisdesthes.com
(Photo: Le Palais des Thes)
As suggested in the name, Lov sells teas that are certified organic, and it also takes steps to reduce its environmental footprint. Its tea bags are unbleached and made with organic corn fibers, and they come packaged in pretty, colorful tins that you’ll want to repurpose. The brand recently opened inside the brand-new Gansevoort Market, alongside Feelfood, so you can pick up a tin of Winter in Lov (spicy black tea with cinnamon, cocoa shells, and licorice), while grabbing a healthy lunch. Gansevoort Market, 52 Gansevoort St., at Greenwich St., Meatpacking District, us.lov-organic.com
Matchabar is Williamsburg’s trendy answer to the enthusiasm around the healthy powdered green tea, and it serves up lots of approaches, from a basic cup to a Lemon Ginger Matcha Latte and a Cinnamon Hemp Matcha Latte. You can order them hot or iced, and grab one to go, or sit and take advantage of the free Wifi. 93 Wythe Ave., at N. 10th St., Williamsburg, www.matchabarnyc.com
Press Tea is the kind of cool, downtown cafe you’ll want to cozy up in and never leave. It’s got comfy chairs you can settle into to sip and people-watch, and serves unique, house-pressed tea blends which can also be ordered in more creative forms, like a “Teapuccino.” Not to mention the insanely delicious Paleo baked goods stocked here. 167 Seventh Ave., at Perry St., West Village, www.presstea.com
(Photo: Yelp/Press Tea)
This super colorful shop is part of an international tea company that has over 60 stores in Australia, New Zealand, and the UK. It just opened this fall in Soho and stocks more than 200 teas from around the world. Don’t worry: a cool tea-tasting bar can help you decide what to go home with. 67 Prince St., at Crosby St., Soho, www.t2tea.com
(Photo: Jamie McKillop for Well+Good)
For a full tea experience, serious sippers love to duck into this small Alphabet City traditional Chinese tea house, where all teas are sourced directly from farmers and you can sit and share a pot of Pu Er or Oolong with a friend. They also host lots of classes and events and have a Sippers Club and tea subscriptions for regulars. 123 E. 7th St., between First Ave. and Avenue A, East Village, www.t-drunk.com
(Photo: Yelp/Tea Drunk)
“All things British” is the motto of this adorable tea cafe, which has a handful of super-coveted tables. While its food offerings aren’t exactly healthy (think English specialties like shepherd’s pie), the atmosphere and decor is beyond sweet, and it’s worth stopping in for a spot of Earl Grey, served in teacups—or for legit afternoon tea, with tea sandwiches and scones galore. Don’t worry, Equinox is right across the street. 108 Greenwich Ave., between Jane and Horatio St., West Village, www.teaandsympathy.com
(Photo: Facebook/Tea & Sympathy)
(Photo: We Heart It)
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