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Tea and a snack from Te Company.
Tea service at Te Company.
Caroline Shin/Eater NY

15 Places to Try Tea in NYC

Whether it’s green, black, white, or pu’erh tea; matcha, chai, or tisane: Here’s where to find teas

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Tea service at Te Company.
| Caroline Shin/Eater NY

Whether your preference is black or green tea, oolong or pu’erh tea, New York has some spectacular spots for tea for a fun tea-tasting date, a group outing in lieu of coffee, or a tranquil pause in a serene setting.

But first, a primer: Tea leaves all come from the same plant, the Camellia sinensis, that can exhibit an infinitude of notes — floral, grassy, bitter, umami — that reflect terroir and cultivation. They grow on the highest mountains of Taiwan to the humid valleys of Assam, India; the shaded bushes of Japan; and the volcanic soils of equatorial Kenya.

Once plucked, tea leaves are heated right away for green tea or left to oxidize into black tea in the same way avocados turn brown; oolongs fall anywhere along the oxidation timeline. White tea is cultivated from new buds still covered by fine white hairs, and pu’erhs are fermented for decades. Herbal teas, or tisanes, are not actually derived from tea leaves but rather the fruits and roots of other plants.

Where to find tea in New York? Read on.

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Cuppa Tea 廣芳園

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This small casual corner shop specializes in strong, zippy Hong Kong-style milk tea. At the perennially packed Cuppa Tea inside the Tangram mall, you can catch dramatic pours of steaming hot tea from as high as the brewer’s arm can reach. The signature milk tea is strong: If that tea’s bitterness doesn’t wake you up, the posted warnings of the caffeine level will. The Flushing location is one of two U.S. outposts for the 800-plus store franchise from Hong Kong, and waits can be long not just for the tea, but also the pineapple bun and egg waffle.

The Tea Pavilion at Genesis House

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Stately yet comfy, the tea pavilion inside the Genesis House restaurant ushers in an abundance of rare-in-New York Korean tisanes. They’re not made with tea leaves but rather herbs and fruits like mulberry leaf, wild pear, and quince that are curated by the Seoul-based Arumjigi Culture Keepers Foundation. Take off your shoes, step up into the tea room, and sit back on the floor chairs with a book and a tisane. Get a fresh air break at the patio among panoramic views of the Hudson River and the High Line.

Té Company

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Taiwanese-American co-founder Elena Liao sources directly from small farmers in the mountains of Taiwan, where terroir encourages intense aromas and flavors, as compared to sea-level leaves. Pair any of those oolongs with a sweet pineapple linzer or a flaky, buttery sesame bun.

Paquita

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This cozy West Village tea room sports a cottagecore charm and about a hundred teas where its proprietary blends like Young Hyson green tea with blueberries or an Assam black tea with cacao and dates stand out. Copper tea canisters come with handwritten labels for ingredients, instructions, and caffeine levels. Decaf teas line the left wall; a small showcase of snacks like tahini chocolate chip cookie stands at the back. Only a couple green marble tables allow for quiet indoor sipping, but the outdoor structure invites more lively conversation.

The shelves of a tea room.
The tea room at Paquita.
Caroline Shin/Eater NY

In 2004, Tomoko Yagi opened the doors to Cha An, and to this day, people line the stairs to get to a Japanese haven of tatami benches and washi-paper lamps. It has a global tea catalogue but specializes in sencha and matcha. The latter gets whisked in bowls and also makes its way into beloved desserts like ice cream, mochi, tiramisu, affogato, and even a matcha sake cocktail. Cha An takes prepaid reservations for the savory afternoon tea set; otherwise, expect a wait. Or get drinks and some sweet snacks to go at its sister cafe, Bonbon, a few stores down.

Setsugekka East Village

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Setsugekka is narrow, tranquil, and steeped in tradition under the direction of co-owner and certified Japanese tea ceremony master, Souheki Mori. Sourced from farms in Japan, the tea leaves become matcha in the store’s own stone grinder. At the matcha counter in the back, take your pick of matcha, viscosity, and preparation: straight, cappuccino-like with foam, or an affogato of milk gelato drizzled with koicha, a super thick matcha. In the summer, a cold matcha drink is made with juice scooped straight out of a watermelon or honeydew.

The tea room at Setsugekka.
Setsugekka in the East Village.
Caroline Shin/Eater NY

Physical Graffitea

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Led Zeppelin fans may recognize the tea shop’s exteriors from the cover of the 1975 Physical Graffiti album. Inside, wooden shelves are packed with hundreds of bins of tea that can be brewed to-go, sip-in or packaged up. The menu runs an extensive spectrum of infusions — caffeinated yerba mate from Argentina, decaf rooibos from South Africa, and a whopping 45 black teas. Tell the staff what you’re looking for: caffeine level, flavor profile, type, origin, and they will brew it for you.

A tea room with shelves of tea.
The room of Physical Graffitea.
Caroline Shin/Eater NY

Kettl Tea

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Kettl brings the rarest of Japanese teas to a spacious and sunny Greenpoint shop. After a stint at Ito En, owner Zach Mangan cultivated years-long relationships with rural farmers to develop a menu that includes about 30 sencha and matcha varietals as well as 10 kinds of labor-intensive gyokuro (sheets are manually hung and adjusted to maximize sweetness), two pan-fried kamairichas sans bitterness, and a Yumewakaba black tea that releases a floral scent and sweet flavor. Each tea here is served in a pot or as part of a must-try tea tasting.

Matcha at Kettl Tea.
Matcha at Kettl Tea.
Caroline Shin/Eater NY

Sorate serves quality matcha and a handful of other teas like gyokuro (an umami-rich green tea) in a tiny, serene setting in Soho. It’s the brick-and-mortar counterpart of owner Silvia Mella’s online shop. All the tea is sourced from a generations-old farm of sencha tea creator, Nagatani Soenon, in Uji, Kyoto. The matcha here comes with options: warm and hand-stirred in front of you; iced; latte; and sparkling. A limited food menu includes six kinds of miso soups (like fried tofu skin and dried scallion) from Miso Maru, and wagashi pastries (like black sesame mochi macarons and yuzu pound cake) from Patisserie Fouet. Tea master Keiko Kitazawa, who had mentored Mella, hosts a traditional Japanese tea ceremony occasionally.

Three traditional tea cups filled with different teas.
Three teas from Sorate.
Caroline Shin/Eater NY

T Shop is a warm and cozy tea room in Soho that’s striking just as much for its calming gongfu style of brewing as its hard-to-find single-origin teas from Taiwan, China, and Korea. They’re all sourced by founder Theresa Wong, who you’ll catch breaking off pieces of a big cake of 50-year pu’erh or brewing premium oolongs and rare Korean back teas. She offers intimate guided tea tastings of three teas that can spark a million questions about where it’s from and brew temperatures.

Tea at T Shop.
Tea at T Shop.
T Shop.

Kolkata Chai Co.

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In 2019, brothers Ayan and Ani Sanyal followed through on their mission to bring “authenticity, respect and tradition” to masala chai in NYC with the opening of a small shop in the East Village. Their chai is a flavorful blend of organic Assam black tea, whole or oat milk, and aromatics like fresh ginger, rose petals, cloves, and peppercorn. It presents a sweet counterpoint to their savory samosas and breakfast paratha filled with eggs, amul cheese, tomato jam. The chai oat milk soft serve is another reason to head there.

Kolkata Chai Co. teas on a table.
Kolkata Chai Co. teas.
Caroline Shin/Eater NY

Matchaful

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What makes Matchaful stand out is not only its tasty, ingredient-packed concoctions — blue spirulina, camu camu, and reishi are just a few — but also its conscientious supply chain. Its matcha directly hails from a solar power-generating fourth-generation organic farm in Shizuoka Prefecture. Founder Hannah Habes diffuses the matcha in granola, miso soup, and mocktails, too. Plant-based from the start, any lattes are made with oat, almond, coconut, and cashew milks strained in-house. There are three Matchaful locations in Soho, Nolita, and Whole Foods at Hudson Yards.

The Hideout Chai Bar

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This is the spot to drink a hot cup of unconventional and tasty oat milk chai and listen to trap music in a minimalist setting that can be mistaken for an art gallery. French-Italian New Yorker Christopher Brunet has combined his experiences with service at Daniel and home decor at Bergdorf Goodman into Hideout. Among his five milk teas — which also include hojicha and rooibos — the chai is simmered and stirred in a large pot right before it’s poured into your cup.

Tea from Hideout Chai Bar.
Tea from Hideout Chai Bar.
Caroline Shin/Eater NY

The Chai Spot

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The Chai Spot is the pinnacle of loungy tea-sipping comfort. Vibrant handmade tapestries line the mattresses, and floors, drawing long lines of customers to chat, read, and (almost) take a nap. The traditional and decaf chais are popular, but the butter chai — a concoction of green tea, organic cream, cardamom, cinnamon that’s brewed in pots in front of you — is a distinctive offering among the city’s tea rooms. Here, they’re often paired with samosas.

Two cups of tea from the Chai Spot.
Teas from the Chai Spot.
Caroline Shin/Eater NY

Brooklyn Tea

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This cool, comfortable tea spot sources tea leaves from Asian mainstays China, Japan, Sri Lanka, and Taiwan, but its infusion of African teas and herbs from South Africa and Kenya stand out among NYC’s tea purveyors. Try a malty Kambaa Kenyan black tea, vanilla rooibos, or minty buchu — with Biggie-shaped cookies from BCakeNY. Canarsie-born co-owner and certified herbalist Ali Wright grew up brewing tea everyday for his Jamaican family, and is now bringing global tea culture to Bed-Stuy’s Black community with a tea-smelling wall, nutritional wellness labels, and a nook for reading or doing work. Brooklyn Tea has expanded to a second location in Brooklyn and an outpost in Atlanta.

Cuppa Tea 廣芳園

This small casual corner shop specializes in strong, zippy Hong Kong-style milk tea. At the perennially packed Cuppa Tea inside the Tangram mall, you can catch dramatic pours of steaming hot tea from as high as the brewer’s arm can reach. The signature milk tea is strong: If that tea’s bitterness doesn’t wake you up, the posted warnings of the caffeine level will. The Flushing location is one of two U.S. outposts for the 800-plus store franchise from Hong Kong, and waits can be long not just for the tea, but also the pineapple bun and egg waffle.

The Tea Pavilion at Genesis House

Stately yet comfy, the tea pavilion inside the Genesis House restaurant ushers in an abundance of rare-in-New York Korean tisanes. They’re not made with tea leaves but rather herbs and fruits like mulberry leaf, wild pear, and quince that are curated by the Seoul-based Arumjigi Culture Keepers Foundation. Take off your shoes, step up into the tea room, and sit back on the floor chairs with a book and a tisane. Get a fresh air break at the patio among panoramic views of the Hudson River and the High Line.

Té Company

Taiwanese-American co-founder Elena Liao sources directly from small farmers in the mountains of Taiwan, where terroir encourages intense aromas and flavors, as compared to sea-level leaves. Pair any of those oolongs with a sweet pineapple linzer or a flaky, buttery sesame bun.

Paquita

This cozy West Village tea room sports a cottagecore charm and about a hundred teas where its proprietary blends like Young Hyson green tea with blueberries or an Assam black tea with cacao and dates stand out. Copper tea canisters come with handwritten labels for ingredients, instructions, and caffeine levels. Decaf teas line the left wall; a small showcase of snacks like tahini chocolate chip cookie stands at the back. Only a couple green marble tables allow for quiet indoor sipping, but the outdoor structure invites more lively conversation.

The shelves of a tea room.
The tea room at Paquita.
Caroline Shin/Eater NY

Cha An

In 2004, Tomoko Yagi opened the doors to Cha An, and to this day, people line the stairs to get to a Japanese haven of tatami benches and washi-paper lamps. It has a global tea catalogue but specializes in sencha and matcha. The latter gets whisked in bowls and also makes its way into beloved desserts like ice cream, mochi, tiramisu, affogato, and even a matcha sake cocktail. Cha An takes prepaid reservations for the savory afternoon tea set; otherwise, expect a wait. Or get drinks and some sweet snacks to go at its sister cafe, Bonbon, a few stores down.

Setsugekka East Village

Setsugekka is narrow, tranquil, and steeped in tradition under the direction of co-owner and certified Japanese tea ceremony master, Souheki Mori. Sourced from farms in Japan, the tea leaves become matcha in the store’s own stone grinder. At the matcha counter in the back, take your pick of matcha, viscosity, and preparation: straight, cappuccino-like with foam, or an affogato of milk gelato drizzled with koicha, a super thick matcha. In the summer, a cold matcha drink is made with juice scooped straight out of a watermelon or honeydew.

The tea room at Setsugekka.
Setsugekka in the East Village.
Caroline Shin/Eater NY

Physical Graffitea

Led Zeppelin fans may recognize the tea shop’s exteriors from the cover of the 1975 Physical Graffiti album. Inside, wooden shelves are packed with hundreds of bins of tea that can be brewed to-go, sip-in or packaged up. The menu runs an extensive spectrum of infusions — caffeinated yerba mate from Argentina, decaf rooibos from South Africa, and a whopping 45 black teas. Tell the staff what you’re looking for: caffeine level, flavor profile, type, origin, and they will brew it for you.

A tea room with shelves of tea.
The room of Physical Graffitea.
Caroline Shin/Eater NY

Kettl Tea

Kettl brings the rarest of Japanese teas to a spacious and sunny Greenpoint shop. After a stint at Ito En, owner Zach Mangan cultivated years-long relationships with rural farmers to develop a menu that includes about 30 sencha and matcha varietals as well as 10 kinds of labor-intensive gyokuro (sheets are manually hung and adjusted to maximize sweetness), two pan-fried kamairichas sans bitterness, and a Yumewakaba black tea that releases a floral scent and sweet flavor. Each tea here is served in a pot or as part of a must-try tea tasting.

Matcha at Kettl Tea.
Matcha at Kettl Tea.
Caroline Shin/Eater NY

Sorate

Sorate serves quality matcha and a handful of other teas like gyokuro (an umami-rich green tea) in a tiny, serene setting in Soho. It’s the brick-and-mortar counterpart of owner Silvia Mella’s online shop. All the tea is sourced from a generations-old farm of sencha tea creator, Nagatani Soenon, in Uji, Kyoto. The matcha here comes with options: warm and hand-stirred in front of you; iced; latte; and sparkling. A limited food menu includes six kinds of miso soups (like fried tofu skin and dried scallion) from Miso Maru, and wagashi pastries (like black sesame mochi macarons and yuzu pound cake) from Patisserie Fouet. Tea master Keiko Kitazawa, who had mentored Mella, hosts a traditional Japanese tea ceremony occasionally.

Three traditional tea cups filled with different teas.
Three teas from Sorate.
Caroline Shin/Eater NY

T Shop

T Shop is a warm and cozy tea room in Soho that’s striking just as much for its calming gongfu style of brewing as its hard-to-find single-origin teas from Taiwan, China, and Korea. They’re all sourced by founder Theresa Wong, who you’ll catch breaking off pieces of a big cake of 50-year pu’erh or brewing premium oolongs and rare Korean back teas. She offers intimate guided tea tastings of three teas that can spark a million questions about where it’s from and brew temperatures.

Tea at T Shop.
Tea at T Shop.
T Shop.

Kolkata Chai Co.

In 2019, brothers Ayan and Ani Sanyal followed through on their mission to bring “authenticity, respect and tradition” to masala chai in NYC with the opening of a small shop in the East Village. Their chai is a flavorful blend of organic Assam black tea, whole or oat milk, and aromatics like fresh ginger, rose petals, cloves, and peppercorn. It presents a sweet counterpoint to their savory samosas and breakfast paratha filled with eggs, amul cheese, tomato jam. The chai oat milk soft serve is another reason to head there.

Kolkata Chai Co. teas on a table.
Kolkata Chai Co. teas.
Caroline Shin/Eater NY

Matchaful

What makes Matchaful stand out is not only its tasty, ingredient-packed concoctions — blue spirulina, camu camu, and reishi are just a few — but also its conscientious supply chain. Its matcha directly hails from a solar power-generating fourth-generation organic farm in Shizuoka Prefecture. Founder Hannah Habes diffuses the matcha in granola, miso soup, and mocktails, too. Plant-based from the start, any lattes are made with oat, almond, coconut, and cashew milks strained in-house. There are three Matchaful locations in Soho, Nolita, and Whole Foods at Hudson Yards.

The Hideout Chai Bar

This is the spot to drink a hot cup of unconventional and tasty oat milk chai and listen to trap music in a minimalist setting that can be mistaken for an art gallery. French-Italian New Yorker Christopher Brunet has combined his experiences with service at Daniel and home decor at Bergdorf Goodman into Hideout. Among his five milk teas — which also include hojicha and rooibos — the chai is simmered and stirred in a large pot right before it’s poured into your cup.

Tea from Hideout Chai Bar.
Tea from Hideout Chai Bar.
Caroline Shin/Eater NY

The Chai Spot

The Chai Spot is the pinnacle of loungy tea-sipping comfort. Vibrant handmade tapestries line the mattresses, and floors, drawing long lines of customers to chat, read, and (almost) take a nap. The traditional and decaf chais are popular, but the butter chai — a concoction of green tea, organic cream, cardamom, cinnamon that’s brewed in pots in front of you — is a distinctive offering among the city’s tea rooms. Here, they’re often paired with samosas.

Two cups of tea from the Chai Spot.
Teas from the Chai Spot.
Caroline Shin/Eater NY

Brooklyn Tea

This cool, comfortable tea spot sources tea leaves from Asian mainstays China, Japan, Sri Lanka, and Taiwan, but its infusion of African teas and herbs from South Africa and Kenya stand out among NYC’s tea purveyors. Try a malty Kambaa Kenyan black tea, vanilla rooibos, or minty buchu — with Biggie-shaped cookies from BCakeNY. Canarsie-born co-owner and certified herbalist Ali Wright grew up brewing tea everyday for his Jamaican family, and is now bringing global tea culture to Bed-Stuy’s Black community with a tea-smelling wall, nutritional wellness labels, and a nook for reading or doing work. Brooklyn Tea has expanded to a second location in Brooklyn and an outpost in Atlanta.

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