Philly seems to run on coffee, but tea — the second-most popular drink in the world after water — has its place here too, if you know where to look. In and around the city, these cafes and dedicated tea rooms are perfect for a simple cup of hot tea in the winter or iced tea in the summer, a monthly tea subscription to broaden your knowledge of tea from around the world, loose-leaf tea for steeping at home, or a posh afternoon tea experience with scones and champagne alongside herbal tisanes and house tea blends.Read More
Where to Drink a Sublime Cup of Tea in Philly
Elegant pots of Chinese green tea, iced Taiwanese bubble teas, herbal blends, and bold British-style high tea with scones
Mi ’N Tea
Along with fresh banh mis, this family-owned Vietnamese cafe in Manayunk serves made-to-order Taiwanese bubble teas and other inventive specialty drinks. Try Mi ’N Tea’s matcha hot chocolate, coconut Earl Grey, or Almond Soother, a blend of oolong tea, almond, cream, and a Vietnamese phin-drip espresso.
Sunset Moon Wellness Center
Sunset Moon Wellness Center is a superfoods cafe on Lancaster Avenue in Bryn Mawr. The shelves are covered with large jars of loose-leaf teas from Mountain Rose Herbs that you can take home in increments of 4 ounces, including black teas, yerba mates, red teas, and herbal blends intended to aid in digestion or provide fertility support for women. You can also grab a seat and order a specialty drink like the matcha latte with a hint of lavender syrup or the chaga chai latte with spiced syrup.
Just a skip out of the city in Ardmore, the Story’s an inviting place to grab a hot drink and stay for a while as you admire soulful vintage artwork and tucked-away corners. The cafe and bookstore’s menu sources Rishi Tea for specialty tea lattes, classic teas, and modern ones like Orange Blossom, Jade Cloud, and Rose Melonge, but the star of the show is the Blue Jasmine Tea. The butterfly pea flower is responsible for its deep blue-purple color and pairs well with the distinct aroma of the jasmine. Take it hot or cold with a light touch of honey.
The Random Tea Room
The Random Tea Room is a whimsical and lively tea house in Northern Liberties with knowledgeable staff happy to help you find the perfect selection for a freshly steeped cup in-store or to take home for later. The sustainability-focused and zero-waste tea room also offers $20 monthly subscriptions with categories like light or dark, low- and no-caffeine, or a surprise mix of teas.
The Painted Tea Cup
Located right outside of Philly in Delaware County, the Painted Tea Cup is a Victorian-style tea room and boutique. Thursdays through Saturdays, the British-inspired shop offers high tea reservations, loose-leaf retail teas, and house-made jellies and fruit butters. On warmer days you can enjoy a la carte tea services on the shaded outdoor patio. Headed to a fancy tea party? Dress the part with accessories like galleria umbrellas and fascinators from the boutique.
Prince Tea House
When you want an upscale yet reasonably priced tea experience, head to Prince Tea House in Chinatown. The chain’s Philly location offers two-hour reservations for a daily afternoon tea that blends French and Asian influences. Detailed teaware sets with a sophisticated floral aesthetic match well with a selection of beautiful blends like the popular Prince Passion Fruit Tea and Lavender Hot Milk Tea.
Ray's Cafe & Tea House
While Ray’s Cafe & Tea House is probably known best for its siphon-brewed coffee, the Chinatown staple has been offering delicious Taiwanese comfort food and a handful of gorgeous teas from Taiwan since 1989. You can take these elegant green teas, oolongs, and charcoal-roasted black teas home in loose-leaf form or by the cup, along with other tasty tea blends like lemon-ginger, bubble tea, and matcha smoothies.
Mary Cassatt Tea Room
The Mary Cassatt Tea Room, named for a renowned Impressionist painter from Pennsylvania, is tucked away in the illustrious Rittenhouse Hotel, providing a moment of serenity amid the city noise. Order afternoon tea Thursday through Sunday, a tasteful experience brimming with canapes and tea sandwiches, scones with Devonshire cream and chamomile curd, and sweets like matcha and yuzu macarons; posh upgrades include pink Champagne and caviar service. The tea list here is robust, from traditional teas like Chinese silver needle and earthy pu’erh to house tisanes like the Philly Special featuring peppermint, anise, and lemon balm.