I know it's hard to believe, but sometimes, I overdo it with the coffee. That's when I mix it up, by ordering tea. Truth is, like most of my family, I used to hate, loathe, and detest tea. (For the record, I drank multiple cups of coffee at every single high tea the last time I was over in London. #humblebrag) Until, that is, I read an article a few years back about detox teas heralded for helping with everything from weight loss to keeping skin clear. Nicole and I actually spent that summer in Watch Hill drinking yogi detox tea 2 times a day (LOL). That's when I started to have a change of heart (It works. #wink). One of the biggest problems with being a tea drinker in the OS though is finding places that have a real variety of great tasting options above and beyond those big box brands. Sure, it sounds easy peasy and then, you meet a friend for lunch, ask the wait person about the tea selection, and he or she tells you proudly that they have Lipton. Errrrr, that's not exactly what I had in mind. Precisely why I spent an entire weekend driving around in search of the most outstanding spots for tea. This my list, which, psssst, I'm pretty damn proud of:
4. Tealuxe on Thayer in PVD
Students with laptops abound! No matter - if you can grab a seat facing Thayer Street, Tealuxe* is a fab place to go, drink lots of tea (hot or cold), and people watch. So many options that I can't even...begin to list them. Just trust me that they have a tea to make everyone and anyone feel happy and glam (Detox blends, remember?). And for you tea neophytes out there who maybe LOVE yourself some hot chocolate? Uh, I found the PERFECT drink, which btw I haven't seen on a single one of those Top 5 Hot Chocolate lists floating around this winter. It's a tea-infused hot chocolate and it's absolutely delicious! Make sure to order it with the caramel tea and your day will be made. (You're welcome. And remember you read about it here.)*
*Their other (original) location is Harvard Square.
3. The Duck & Bunny on Wickenden Street in PVD
Sure, you probably already know and love Duck & Bunny for their cupcakes and their brunch. Or maybe you spied them on one of those Top 5 Hot Choc lists? But did you know that it's an absolutely awesome place for afternoon tea anytime? They have at least 2 dozen options to choose from and you can even get your very own pot. Great for those who only like to share on Facebook or Instagram. If you're looking to engage in a tea drinking meditation, on your own or with a bff, I do recommend going during the week, in the afternoon, since they are usually mobbed (and I don't mean that in a Sopranos kinda way!) on the weekends and there's a pretty long-ish wait for a table.
2. The Elephant Room on Broad Street in Pawtuxet Village
The Elephant Room has a zen vibe that's welcoming and not at all 'We're too hip for you!' It's also a favorite of so many who've appeared in the My RI Life series that runs on PattyJ.com every Tuesday. (I'm so not kidding when I say that people are reluctant to rave about it on the blog because they're afraid it'll then be overrun and get so crowded they won't be able to get a seat anymore.) But I digress...Their tea selection, what I really came here to talk about, puts the aaahhhh in A-mazing. Mark my words, you will not find a better menu for loose leaf tea and tea-based drinks anywhere else in the state. Thus, making it the perfect place to hide out and chill out when people are texting you about picking up their dogs from doggie daycare or picking them up from work in Downtown PVD. "Oh, I'm sorry! I must've had the ringer turned off on my phone."
*Their hot chocolate is also kick-ass.
1. Tea In Sahara On Governor St In PVD
I drank mint tea at Tea In Sahara last Saturday and no lie, looooved it! Now, normally, I cannot stand any drink with even a hint of mint in it. Saying. Something. Furthermore, the owner does one helluva Moroccan high pour when he serves you your tea (Kicking myself because I tried to tape him doing the pour thing via my I-Phone, but instead, ended up spazzing out. Ugh. #nerdalert). Extra points for the interior which is dim (but not too dim) and decorated in such a way that you can't help but feel as though you're enjoying your tea somewhere exotic and far, far away from Governor St. I'm also recommending their hot chocolate in a may-jor way. So, take your friends or frenemies there soon and they'll start thinking you're totally in-the-know in RI.
***Their other location is in Spain...Yeah, another reason to plan a trip there.
Ciao For Now,
Photo Credits: All photos courtesy of the PattyJDotCom Instagram, except for the Duck & Bunny ones which are by Ashley Farney