We asked freelance writer and tea blogger (teapages.blogspot.com) Katrina Avila Munichiello to take a break from developing her new tea anthology to share her five favorite New England tea spots. She says that choosing just five was daunting, but her list of the best tea houses in New England includes “something for everyone.”
1. Clipper Merchant
While Jacqueline’s in Freeport and MacNab’s in Boothbay get more attention, this new Maine arrival deserves mention. In a 180-year-old, impeccably decorated Carpenter Gothic home, this cozy setting (open April through mid-December) offers an impressive tea list and homemade food. Reservations recommended.
58 Main St.
2. Swan’s Cafe
As one of the world’s few tea sommeliers, Cynthia Gold has infused every part of the Boston Park Plaza Hotel’s tea service with her love of the beverage. Excellent tea, tea-infused cuisine, and even tea cocktails; a memorable experience. Reservations recommended.
50 Park Plaza at Arlington St.
3. Savvy Tea Gourmet
Hip cafe or tea university? Owners Philip Parda and Judith Guard do more to educate consumers than any other shop I’ve visited. Don’t miss their elaborate tea tastings and information-packed biweekly afternoon tea. Reservations required only for events.
28 Durham Road
4. Kaji Aso Studio
For nearly three decades, this “Institute for the Arts” has been offering a Sunday-afternoon Japanese tea ceremony in a fully appointed teahouse installed on the ground floor of this Fenway-area brownstone. Reservations required.
40 Saint Stephen St.
Comfortable and casual, boasting a menu of 80 teas and herbal tisanes, this is the shop that introduced me to loose-leaf tea. Also in Cambridge and Boston, MA.
231 Thayer St.
What are your picks for best tea houses in New England?