You meet a friend for lunch, ask the wait person about tea selection (because at one time or another, we all need to hit the pause button on our coffee obsessions), and he or she proceeds to announce proudly that they have Lipton. Not exactly what you'd had in mind.
Precisely what inspired me to spend an entire Saturday afternoon driving around the OS (That's Ocean State.) in search of outstanding local spots for enjoying some top shelf tea. There were places that said they were about (T) but nope, coffee was still the star. And another place where the wait person called me out for checking my phone (Haven't been back since. Just sayin.). After all those missteps, these three spots were the standouts.
If you're lucky enough to grab a seat facing Thayer (Students with laptops abound!), Tealuxe is a fab place to sip and people watch. So many options in terms of hot or cold brews that I can't even begin to list them here. What I will say is to trust that they have a tea to make just about anyone feel happier, healthier, and maybe a bit more glam too (Detox blends continue to be major btw.).
*Their other location is in fact Harvard Square.
2. Schastea (nee The Elephant Room)
With their new-ish space on Broadway in Providence, there are two locations for kicking back and decompressing over a nice hot pot of tea. And you won't find a more extensive menu anywhere in the OS - from more caffeinated to caffeine free, brews for energy and for chillaxing, and one that literally blooms before your eyes (It's called 'Halo' Blooming Tea, and I'm a fan.). And if you're a neophyte when it comes to all this, the servers are usually really great about recommending which blends to try. They're also known for their crepes, so by all means, do order from that part of the menu as well and enjoy.
*Their original location is on Broad Street in Pawtuxet Village (Cranston, RI).
3. Tea In Sahara
As a rule, I usually can't stand any drink with even the slightest hint of mint. I drank mint tea at Tea In Sahara though and looooved it! The owner does one heck of a Moroccan high pour when serving your tea too. The interior is dim lighting and exotic decor, just the right combination to make you feel as though you're somewhere far away from Governor Street in Providence. Morocco perhaps?
*Their other location is in Spain. Yet, another reason to plan a trip there.
Photo Credits: Pic from The Elephant Room in Pawtuxet Village are courtesy of Stacey Doyle Photography; pic from Tea In Sahara found on their site