Accoustic Java – As the name implies, coffee is a major item on the menu at Acoustic Java – and the coffees and coffee drinks I’ve had there are fine. However, another major component of the menu is tea! They have teas in the black, green, rooibus, herbal, oolong varieties, and hot chai latte. Yang can attest that their Chinese Sencha is a wonderful green tea, while I have several favorites amongst the black teas. The Darjeeling is appropriately crisp, and if you want something brisker Continental Tradition, English Highland, and Early Morning Broken will do the trick. Some even have a touch of sweetness to them, but not so much as to cloy. Their Irish Breakfast and Lapsong Sochong will also appealing for black-tea drinkers. Our favorite of the foods are the whipped feta/olive oil drizzle, with avocado added on toast – and the toast is thick and delicious. It’s an addiction for Yang and I. Acoustic Java has three locations. We usually congregate after a morning walk (or while I work on a novel) at the Brussel Street shop, behind Rotman’s in Worcester. It’s a comfortable, casual setup in a factory building with wooden tables perfect for chatting, writing, or studying. Friendly atmosphere. There’s also a location on Main Street near Clark University in Worcester. The third location, joy of joys, is in Providence, taking over the old Cable Car Restaurant space to continue the tradition of showing movies in addition to serving great food! If you click here, you’ll link with their FB page that provides better info on all the locations and menus. The Brussel Street shop serves mostly breakfasty items – but all day, and that includes the heavenly avocado toast! The others have a more extensive menu of sandwiches and such. Enjoy!
The Tea Leaf – 487 Moody Street, Waltham. This is a lovely, cozy tea room. Here you’ll find pleasing Victorian decor and plenty of tea items and teas for sale to take home with you. There are a few tables, so you need to call for reservations, but doing so is well worth it! There is a nice selection of black, green, oolong, and herbal teas – many are by Harney and Sons. My favorites are the vanilla and the Darjeeling. If sweets are your game, then there are plenty of delicious choices. If you’re up for savory, those are right there for you as well. The woman who runs the tea room is friendly and interesting, so you will definitely have a nice visit!
Pleasant Street Tea Company – Situated just off Main Street in Gloucester, Pleasant Street hosts this small but comfortable oasis for caffeine, snacks, and/or lunch. The cafe is long and a bit narrow, but has plenty of seating, especially nice in the sunny picture window. There are plenty of hot drinks, including a respectable tea menu of black, green, white, and herbals. My favorite is Go Amoretto, with the refreshing and slightly sweet flavor of the liqueur. This is the only place where I can find that flavor now. I made sure to buy 50 grams to bring home. Yang enjoyed their green tea. The food menu is a delight as well: sweet snacks, bagels and breakfast sandwiches, paninis, wraps, and salads provide an extensive choice of comestibles to suit your and your stomach’s mood. I had a strawberry, apple-cinnamon, brie pannini. It was a bit goopy but well worth a few sticky fingers. I’ve also had their turkey avocado to my delight. Yang enjoyed his turkey,cranberry, and cheddar panini. After your tasty treat, enjoy strolling down Pleasant Street and checking out the numerous antique stores and bookstores. Hmm, do you think any of those bookstores would like to carry Bait and Switch?
Crepes Tea House -This restaurant has two locations, one in West Springfield and one in Enfield. The first is the larger venue, with the second one a bit smaller and in a mall next to Sears. I highly recommend both! First, let me tip my hat to Kayleigh Berger for recommending this tea room. How can you go wrong: tea AND crepes?! Plus, they have many other items on the menu, including breakfast all day! The food is delicious and the tea is savory. There’s as excellent and extensive tea menu, which is brewed loose leaf in a large glass mug, a pot, or a samovar (!) depending on how many will share the same brew. Yang was particularly taken with their green tea. A girl who loves caffeine, I went for the black. We hit both restaurants in one day, having lunch before out bicycle ride on the Windsor Locks trail and dessert (for me), dinner (for Yang) afterwards. The crepes are yummy, whether savory or sweet (I had bananas and honey), and there is a pancake sampler that is to die for (potato, zucchnni, farmer’s cheese)! The ambience in both is pleasant, especially in the West Springfield location, and the folks who work in both are friendly and capable.
Burdick’s – Cambridge (52 Brattle St.) and Boston (220 Clarendon St.). This place specializes in hot chocolate and coffees, but sells several nice teas by the pot or cup, brewed from loose leaf. They also have the most decadent desserts, as well as French macaroons (love the lavender, pumpkin, or pistachio the most, myself!). Unfortunately, the shops are tiny with limited seating. The Boston shop offers a better chance to sit down than the Cambridge one does. Only sweets are available to eat. Your best bet is to come in during off hours or off-season, when tourists and students aren’t thronging about.
Dado Café – 50 Church Street, Cambridge. There isn’t a huge list of teas, here, but what they have is good stuff. You can order by the pot or by a huge mug, and it’s loose leaf. I especially like their Keemun, Darjeeling, and Ceylon. They also have hot and cold tea specialties, as well as coffee. The food is wonderful, with an Asian influence: sandwiches, soups, salads, noodles, dumplings, and rice bowls. Vegetarians will see good stuff from which to choose. My husband loves the noodle soups. Dado is a great place for a quick and filling bite before a movie at the Brattle, a concert at Sanders Theatre, or a play at ART.
Nu Café – 335 Chandler St, Worcester. Another place that is more café than tea room, but they still have some nice tea and chai. For tea, they use Mighty Leaf in sachets. I really like the Darjeeling. The chai is great, and the food is superb! They have all kinds of neat sandwiches, wraps, salads, etc. My husband likes the pulled pork sandwiches and I enjoy this one sandwich that has sweet potatoes, cranberries, walnuts and honey-feta in it – yum! Their coffee is nice, too, especially the dark roast. The place has a nice coffee-house vibe. It’s near Worcester State, so you often see students and professors relaxing or catching up on their work with the inspiration of tasty comestibles and refreshing potables. One of my favorite students works there: Hi, AnnaLisa!
Dunbar House Tea Shop – Sandwich. Another favorite of mine. There’s a hefty tea list, which includes one of my all-time favorites: Ice Wine Tea. Serving it at home, I have caused colleagues from Worcester State to develop an addiction to its delicately sweet/tart flavor. The sandwiches are filling and deliciously crafted, while the Afternoon Tea has a nice balance of sweet and savory. The decor is elegant but not off-putting. One room is wood-paneled, like a country inn; the other, larger one, is sunny with large windows and light-painted walls. Either room is comfortable and cheery, as cheery as the people. I really like the Blue Willow, multi-tiered trays. Where can I get one?
Molly’s Tea Room – 227 Main Street, Falmouth. The decor is country-kitchen, the people are friendly, and there’s plenty of sunlight. There’s a good selection of sandwiches and soups, all tasty. There’s also a good selection of teas, as well. I had Darjeeling on my last visit, and it was excellent. My husband enjoyed his curry-chicken sandwich, and I had a treat with my turkey/apple./cheddar sandwich. Sandwiches offer the option of pasta salad or chips. Go with the pasta salad; it’s yummy. This is a nice place to stop for lunch after some shopping or before you take off on a rail-trail ride. They also have tea to go.
Beth’s Special Teas – 16 Jarves Street, Sandwich. More a sandwich café than a tea room, Beth’s is still a pleasant place for lunch. The light-painted walls and the large windows make the setting bright and friendly. The sandwiches are filling and delicious. The tea is perhaps not as strong as at some other tea rooms, but it is still good.
Boston Public Library – The afternoon tea is a nice treat in elegant surroundings. I could do with a bit more savory; however, if you have a light, early lunch (e.g. small salad or soup) then come here for the tea in the early afternoon, you will have a sufficient supply of food energy to satisfy you. If you check out their tea menu on the website, you will see that the sandwiches and sweets are all yummy! The tea menu is not huge, but what they have is choice! I recommend the Ceylon, Darjeeling, or Assam; however, the other black, green and herbal teas also look good. Adding pleasure to the experience, the wait staff are friendly and informed. My husband and I found afternoon tea here a nice experience on a cold winter’s day. Other seasons should be enjoyable, too! The architecture and murals of the library are a marvelous pleasure for a pre- or post-tea stroll.
Java Room – 14 Littleton Rd, Chelmsford. Another place more café than tea room, but the teas and food make it well worth visiting. The tea selection isn’t huge, but what they have is good stuff: I especially love their Blue Flower Earl Grey and Keemun. Their chai is excellent! I haven’t had any of the coffees or steamers, but people who have give them a thumbs up. They have some great sandwiches and soups. I especially enjoy their chicken salad and tuna salad sandwiches. My husband goes for the chicken Caesar. There are also vegetarian offerings, as well as a breakfast menu. Some evenings and Sunday mornings, they have live music: quite enjoyable. The people are amiable, and the decor is a pleasant, slightly funky moderne.
Heath’s Tea Room – 43 South St., Rockport. Lovely tea room outside of the touristy part of Rockport, with a warm, bright, and comfortable decor. They have an extensive sandwich, salad, and soup menu; and their Afternoon Teas are nice. I tremendously enjoyed the Queen Catherine Tea. This tea room has a healthy menu of black, green, white, herbal, and rooibos teas. The people here are amiable. There’s even plenty of parking out front!
Jolie Tea Company – 105 Essex St, Salem. This tea room is a tiny place not far from the Peabody-Essex Museum. The corner shop is elegantly Victorian in decor with a limited amount of seating space. However, there are almost no limits on the various black, green, white, red, herbal teas and tisanes. I had an Oolong tea that was lightly sweet and mightily refreshing. My husband was more than happy with his green tea and my friends loved their herbals. The shop also sells great sweets. I enjoyed two French macaroons. The flavor of the lavender with honey cream was exquisitely lavender and the pistachio truly conveyed the flavor of that tasty green nut. A huge array of loose teas are available to buy by the ounce. The people are friendly and welcoming.
Last revised 2/07/2020