Where to Find Afternoon Tea in Atlanta

Huzzah! Destination Tea is today unveiling our first online directory for afternoon tea — in and around Atlanta. Whether you live in the area or are visiting, we’ve assembled details about the where, what, how much and when of taking tea in Atlanta to simplify the search for your next destination tea.

You can either browse by map or scroll through our sortable list of afternoon tea venues. Where available, we’ve also included links to menus, so you can get excited about the delicious journey on which you are about to embark.atlanta tea venues

If you have an update to the information provided or would like to see your favorite tea venue listed in future directories, please do email us.

Check back periodically, as we will update this directory of Atlanta’s ever-changing afternoon tea scene, as well as add links to our reviews as we visit these venues.

What to Know Before You Go

  • You’ll see that many tea hosts require advance reservations. This makes sense as afternoon tea menus are fairly elaborate with many offerings, some of which, such as fresh scones and breads served warm, are prepped in advance to be ready to pop into the oven when you arrive.
  • Each menu reflects the tastes, culinary background or heritage of your host. Your server will typically identify the goodies on your tea tray upon delivery. Today it is not uncommon for tea venues to offer vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free or allergen-free substitutions. Don’t be afraid to ask when you reserve. See Afternoon Tea 101 to get a feel for the variety of afternoon tea menus. When possible, forward the online menu to your tea companions to determine their preferences because you will typically be asked which tea you’d like to reserve (cream or light tea, high tea, full tea, champagne tea, etc.). Most often all guests share the same level tea, but in some establishments, guests can individually select their tea menus.
  • There isn’t typically a dress code for afternoon tea save some of the ritzy hotels which ask for business casual. We at DestinationTea.com encourage showing yourself off a bit, something elegant or fun, as you like.
  • The first business of afternoon tea is choosing your tea. Each afternoon tea host proffers a unique tea selection. While some offer bottomless pots, allowing you to try several teas in one sitting, others ask each guest to choose one pot which is replenished as requested. As one pot generously supplies three to five teacups, we suggest choosing a variety of teas to share around the table.
  • Most afternoon tea hosts respect the social nature of going to tea, and will graciously allow you to remain at tea for the time it takes your conversation to unfold. Because this doesn’t allow them to seat as many parties in a given business day, you may take this into consideration and help keep your favorite tea venue prospering by patronizing its gift shop, purchasing teas for home and/or tipping your server generously.
  • If you love a certain tea venue and would like to invite a group of friends for an occasion, ask about the possibility of reserving the space for a private party. Many will say yes!
  • Have the most fun! We wish we were there!

 

Remembering Our Faded Rose

We would walk up a stone path, through fragrant bushes of rosemary, lavender and a flowering butterfly garden, to enter the historic 1882 home that was the Faded Rose Tea Garden in Chamblee, Georgia. Faded Rose Tea Garden

It was only after more than a year of ordering off the à la carte menu of freshly made salads, soups and sandwiches, that we discovered the bottomless pots and delectable treats of afternoon tea at the Faded Rose. This world was foreign to us three girls, coming from Italian, Dominican and Vietnamese cultures. No matter; the Faded Rose gradually acquainted us, promising to be “an oasis of calm, gentility and impeccable service,” and it so was. It was our place for a time. We became regulars. We had much to discuss, we knew we would laugh and sometimes cry over our tea. Does memory exaggerate the Faded Rose’s vast tea selection? We were eager to get there and reluctant to depart.

In fiction, mystical places can wink in and out of existence and time after they have served their purpose. With hindsight, we see just how magical the Faded Rose was and how precious our time there. As the Faded Rose closed its doors and was ultimately torn down, that time passed and along with it, that “us”:  that new young mother, that job-seeker who was moving home to New York any day now, that about-to-be Match.com favorite.

The Faded Rose lives still, surely in many fond memories, but also here at Destination Tea, because it is there that we first began playing with the idea of helping others learn about afternoon tea and where to find it.

Faded Rose Green Room Chamblee, GeorgiaThank you Faded Rose and all the local business owners who give free reign to their imaginations to create beautiful and whimsical afternoon tea rooms and menus. Your hard work creates a home:  for friends to gather, for time to slow, for stories to spill and for senses to wallow in delight.

Brewing Loose Leaf Tea at Home

The many delicious teas of the world come both in individual bags or sachets and in loose leaf form. Once you are comfortable making loose leaf tea at home, there are that many more teas for you to taste. While most teas come with clear instructions, some don’t, like the bulk teas you’ll find at Your DeKalb Farmers Market. That’s no reason to miss out on a great tea. Here’s Angela’s four-step method to brewing tea at home.

Ultimately you’ll develop your own method and “tea tools,” but in the meantime, feel free to copy my style! You will need:  

  1. Something in which to boil your water – kettle, pot, electric kettle
  2. Something in which to steep your tea – glass or metal, make sure it pours without dripping
  3. A teaspoon to measure your tea
  4. Loose leaf tea (surprise!)
  5. Hand strainer or tea infuser (see Infusion Steeping Option)
  6. Something in which to serve your hot tea – teapot, non-plastic pitcher or just mugs or cups if you’re planning on using it all on the first pourloose leaf tea brewing equipment

Step One: Boil Your Water
Obviously. There are actually a couple of details worth knowing about your water:

  1. Temperature Matters. All teas are not steeped in boiling (212 degree) water and there are simple tricks you can use to get around relying on a digital, temperature-controlled kettle. More about this in a following post.
  2. Oxygen-Rich Water Brews the Best Tea. Water that has been left boiling too long or reboiled will have a lower oxygen content. Also, several teahouse owners have emphasized the importance of using filtered water.Boiling Water in Electric Kettle

Step Two:  Measure Your Tea
I use a general guideline of one teaspoon per (8 oz.) cup of water, plus one teaspoon for the pot. So when I boil a 7-cup pot of tea, I measure out 8 teaspoons into my bowl.Measuring Loose Leaf Tea

Step Three:  Time Your Steep and Prep Your Tea Service
When the water is at the right temperature, pour it over your tea leaves into the bowl you’ve readied. You can set a timer or if you trust your short-term memory, glance at the clock. Note that different teas have different steep times (more on this in a following post).2016-02 Brew Loose Leaf TeaIMG_6292

This is when I typically lay out the tea service, which is what we call the set of dishes you will use to serve tea. For guests, you may line a tray with a tea towel or decorative linen or placemat, then add your tea cups, saucers and spoons, fill a creamer with milk, half-n-half or cream by your preference and check that your sugar bowl has been replenished, possibly with sugar cubes, cane sugar, palm sugar or turbinado.

When it’s just me, I skip the full service and simply choose a favorite pottery mug or tea cup and saucer. You might choose to steep more than you know you’ll drink, pour yourself a large mug and filter the rest into a glass pitcher to refrigerate for future ready-to-go iced tea. Teapot, pitcher or cup at the ready

Step Four:  Strain Your Tea and Enjoy!
Pour your tea through a hand strainer either directly into tea cups and mugs, or into a pot or pitcher. Because this whole process takes less than 10 minutes and freshly brewed tea is tastiest, it’s okay to wait until guests have arrived before you put the kettle on for tea.

Infusion Steeping Option
I don’t usually choose to do this, because I find my infuser harder to clean and it can also limit space for the tea leaves as they are trying to open. Its benefit though is that you can simply pull an infuser out of the brewed tea, saving yourself the possibly messy step of pouring tea through a strainer. If you prefer this method, while your water comes to temperature, measure your tea leaves into an infuser and place the infuser inside your tea pot, pitcher or bowl, where you will steep your tea. Have a plate or bowl at the ready to catch your infuser as it emerges.Tea Infusion Method
Tea Savvy Tips:  

  1. Double Brew Your Leaves. While the second steep will have less caffeine (which may be desirable), don’t let those tea leaves go to waste. Simply empty the contents of your strainer back into your bowl and boil up another batch of water. If you have no need for so much tea at the time, strain it into a glass pitcher and refrigerate for iced tea for later.
  2. Compost Used Tea Leaves. They are a nitrogen-rich source of organic material for your garden. Simply add used leaves directly to your compost pile or bin.