If you haven't thought about tea since you studied that rebellious party in 5th grade social studies class, you may want to spend some time getting to know the Atlanta hot tea scene.
The classy cuppa tradition is getting lots of love in Atlanta, from lavish "high teas" served in fancy dining rooms to cozy boutique tea parties to bustling teahouses that include to-go menus.
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Cream or lemon? Herbal, black, green or white? Those are just a few of the pleasant questions to ponder when you take up a tea habit. But first, consider these teahouses in and around Atlanta:
Jayida Che Herbal Tea Spot
East Lake: 566 Fayetteville Road; East Atlanta: 749 Moreland Ave. Suite A 101, Atlanta. 404-424-4069
Steeped herbal or caffeinated tea blends are the signature at Jayida Che, along with treats they've dubbed "tea desserts." You can also host a tea birthday party here, as long as you plan well ahead.
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Dr. Bombay's Underwater Tea Party
1645 McLendon Ave NE, Atlanta. 404-474-1402
High tea at this Candler Park mainstay is by reservation only, but it will not disappoint. If it's just atmosphere you're looking for, Dr. Bombay's has parasols, books and pastries galore.
Mary Mac's Tea Room
224 Ponce De Leon Ave NE, Atlanta
Officially considered "Atlanta's dining room," the venerable Mary Mac's is more restaurant than teahouse, but it does serve hot tea as a beverage option. It's perfect as a Southern afternoon pick me up, maybe with some Mary Mac's cobbler.
Ivy Tea House
23 Holcomb Bridge Road, Atlanta. 470-424-4715
Elegant and cozy, Ivy Tea House is set in a historic cottage and serves afternoon tea, first come, first served. It's known for custom blends and updated southern, British, and French teatime fare.
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Swan Coach House
3130 Slaton Drive NW, Atlanta. 404-261-0636
This teahouse is part of the Atlanta History Center. It offers seasonal teas in December and schedules private afternoon teas for groups from 20 to 200 throughout the year, served from vintage English china teacups and teapots.