Destination Tea: Tea House Formosa

Update: Tea House Formosa has discontinued its afternoon tea service.

Where:  BuHi, Atlanta, GA
Style:  Modern
Tea Selection:  24 loose-leaf teas
Teatimes:  Saturday-Sunday 2-5
Reservations:  Walk-ins only
Contact:  470-349-8105
Cost:  $23.95 Afternoon Tea Set
Destination Tea Tips:  Though weekends see a steady business and Tea House Formosa does not take afternoon tea reservations, we had no trouble finding seats for the seven of us. Also, Tea House Formosa suggests sharing one afternoon tea set, which you will order at the counter. We split two afternoon tea sets amongst three friends and had leftovers to take home.tea house formosa exterior

Destination Tea Notes:  Tea House Formosa takes its name from Taiwan’s older moniker:  “Ilha Formosa” (beautiful island), bestowed by 16th-century Portuguese explorers. We found it deserving of the name, both because it is a beautiful space with its modern interior of smooth lines and warm wood tones, and because we were treated to renowned Taiwanese teas and fare. The one difficulty is choosing your tea because there are too many interesting options, from pots of hot tea to salted butter cream-topped tea, from monthly flavored teas to tea floats (yes, with ice cream) and teas con panna (yes, with whipped cream topper). In the end, we went the traditional route with hot pots of tea, but couldn’t resist going back to the counter to order a couple specialty teas to pass around for sampling.

Tea House Formosa interior
Upon entering, give yourself time to peruse the menu’s tea choices before approaching the counter to order your afternoon tea set. You may want to take a menu to your table, and go to the counter to order once you have strategized your tea selection. We found our hosts to be very helpful, happy to answer our questions and make recommendations.
Tea House Formosa tea bar
Servers bring out your order, but you can return to this counter to have your teapot refilled with hot water.

Tea Service

Tea House Formosa tea list
Each afternoon tea set comes with one hot pot of tea with one re-steep. We chose the Dong Ding oolong tea and Rose of the Orient green tea.
Tea house formosa tea menu
This is only the list for pots of tea! A la carte teas include signature base teas (black, green, oolong and TieGuanYin), flavor teas (flavored with infused simple syrup), milk teas (with creamer), latteas (with milk), tea con panna (with whipped cream topper), butter creamers (with salted butter cream) and tea floats (with vanilla ice cream). Try your best to choose!
Tea house formosa pots and cups
Tea is served in ceramic pots and cups, loose leaf tea steeping in sachet. Your afternoon tea set comes with one refill.
Butter creamer TieGuanYin tea art Tea House Formosa
We couldn’t resist, we ordered a butter creamer TieGuanYin tea – very rich, but tasty. Thankfully we shared it around the table so that one person didn’t have to take on this lavishness alone.
Flavored monthly tea at Tea House Formosa
For flavored monthly teas, you can choose your level of sweetness, but cannot go sugar-free because the syrups are infused with the seasonal flavors. I selected 25% and it was just right and heavenly scented. Warning:  these you may not want to share.

Scones, Savories and Sweets

Bamboo stacked baskets at Tea House Formosa
Servers deliver bamboo stacked baskets for the grand reveal.
Afternoon tea set at Tea House Formosa
If you view this afternoon tea in the traditional sense – as a mid-afternoon snack rather than the robust meal that would be a high tea — then this would certainly feed two. 
Savories at Tea House Formosa afternoon tea
The first basket includes a Taiwanese egg and cheese sandwich with ham, savory egg tart (a bit chewy), raspberry green tea mini muffin, strawberry and kiwi sandwich and three cookies: black tea, TieGuanYin and parmesan spice (loved this one). The sandwich bread is like that baked by nearby Korean bakeries, sweeter than a traditional American white bread.
Afternoon tea scones and sweets at Tea House Formosa
The second basket’s savory scallion scone, which while not served hot and soft, has great flavor. Tea House Formosa’s dessert offering includes oolong tea cake roll, black tea banana cake, TieGuanYin madeleine cookie, Taiwanese TieGuanYin macaroon and oolong white chocolate tart with blueberries. Favorites differ around our table, but the one thing we agree upon is that we appreciate that all these desserts are tea-infused.
Sweet potato fries at Tea House Formosa
If you are looking for more savories and less sweet in your meal, why not order one afternoon tea set and a couple of à la carte snacks from the menu? For example, the hand-cut sweet potato fries are not to be missed.
Tea Voyageuse, discovering the world of afternoon tea, based in Atlanta, Georgia.

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