Destination Tea: The Café on Lumpkin

Where:  Athens, Georgia
Style: Modern cafe in 1920s home
Tea Selection:  18 loose leaf teas
Teatimes:  Monday to Thursday, 8 to 6; Friday to Sunday 2 to 6
Reservations:  Walk-ins welcome
Contact: 706-215-9240
Cost:  $30 Royal Tea; $25 High Tea; $20 Low Tea; $20 Afternoon Tea at Your Place; $12 Children’s Tea; $8 Cream Tea
Destination Tea Tip:  You squeeze down the cafe’s driveway to a small parking lot at back, so you may need to find alternate parking. From Atlanta, this cafe is roughly a one-hour drive, and certainly worth the day trip.

Prices and teatimes are subject to change. Please see our Georgia afternoon tea directory for the latest details.

Exterior of afternoon tea at The Cafe on Lumpkin in Athens, Georgia

Destination Tea Notes: Last year, in the midst of a pandemic, Luke Martineac did something bold: he opened The Café on Lumpkin. And a good thing he did. Spying the beautiful front patio and walk-up order window, we can guess that the cafe was a very welcome addition when it opened last May in the Five Points area, right around the corner from UGA’s campus. It is rare for teahouses to offer a walk-in afternoon tea service, but that’s exactly how things work here, happily. So, whenever the mood strikes, you can pop by for an afternoon tea, and if you prefer, take it to-go! Also, be prepared to expand your notion of the typical afternoon tea customer. Here we see 3-tiered trays served to college kids with laptops and hoodies, parents treating their student to a good meal, and girlfriends of my generation and older…or perhaps some of them are professors? While the teahouse’s crisp and bright interior feels youthful, only the most experienced afternoon tea hosts make their scones the way they do here (read on, you’ll see). Come to the cafe for a varied and high quality tea selection, friendly service and a delicious afternoon tea menu at a very reasonable price. We recommend it!

You choose your individual pots of tea at the walk-up window, and may order extra pots at your table for additional charge.
interior afternoon tea at The Cafe on Lumpkin in Athens, Georgia
Appreciating the soft and bright whites, the painted beam ceiling, the floral painting
afternoon tea guests at The Cafe on Lumpkin in Athens, Georgia
Laptops at afternoon tea! Kids today. Traditionalists may cringe at this combo, but we are happy to see younger generations becoming interested in afternoon tea. It would be cool for The Café on Lumpkin to hold an “Intro to Afternoon Tea Etiquette” event.
window seat at afternoon tea at The Cafe on Lumpkin in Athens, Georgia
Cool light fixture and window bench seat. Golden wooden tables echo the polished flooring.
dudes at afternoon tea at The Cafe on Lumpkin in Athens, Georgia
Naveed Asgari (pictured right) and his friend are new to afternoon tea, but, they say, as Iranians, they are not new to tea drinking. They remind me that Iran is one of the top 10 tea producers in the world, and their families drink Persian tea all throughout the day. I was so grateful they agreed to be photographed – love this pic!

Tea Service

tea selection at afternoon tea at The Cafe on Lumpkin in Athens, Georgia
We sample the Five Points Fog, Milky Oolong, Celebration and Berry teas. That’s hardly making a dent in exploring the tempting teas on offer here.
bubbly at afternoon tea at The Cafe on Lumpkin in Athens, Georgia
Our royal teas start with a bit of bubbly – delicious!
pouring tea at afternoon tea at The Cafe on Lumpkin in Athens, Georgia
We like that teas are steeped and decanted in the kitchen.
teaware at afternoon tea at The Cafe on Lumpkin in Athens, Georgia
The milk is still in the cow! Glossy white ceramic teaware suits the cafe’s vibe.

Scones & Spreads, Savories and Sweets

tea sandwiches at afternoon tea at The Cafe on Lumpkin in Athens, Georgia
When the 3-tiered trays are delivered, the courses are properly detailed by the server (during our visit, it may actually have been owner Luke). Tea sandwiches on soft white bread include House Chicken Salad, Apple Provolone and Honey, Cucumber with Cream Cheese and Basil, and Lox and Cream Cheese. The addition of basil on the cucumber sandwich is genius and as an Italian-American, I cannot believe I haven’t already tried that combination at home.
scones at afternoon tea at The Cafe on Lumpkin in Athens, Georgia
As the masters do, The Café on Lumpkin makes their own clotted cream and then bakes the remaining milk into their scones. They also make their own lemon curd (fabulously zesty) and preserves.
The housemade desserts include a moist Red Velvet Cake, Lemon Shortbread Cookies, Rosewater French Meringues (wow), and Orange Lavender Macarons.
Side note – aren’t these blue and white floral plates pretty?
tea tray postcard at afternoon tea at The Cafe on Lumpkin in Athens, Georgia
Love that the cafe sells these postcards picturing the 3-tiered tray and order of enjoying it. I may have bought a dozen or so.
bulldog outside afternoon tea at The Cafe on Lumpkin in Athens, Georgia
Part of the 2003 public art exhibit, “We Let the Dawgs Out,” this is one of 36 bulldogs (UGA’s beloved mascot) painted and installed throughout Athens. “Archie,” painted by members of the UGA Arch Society, stands outside the Georgia Federal Credit Union next door to The Café on Lumpkin, so you don’t forget you are in Dawg Country.
DestinationTea
Tea Voyageuse, discovering the world of afternoon tea, based in Atlanta, Georgia.

1 Comment

  1. We enjoyed lunch, afternoon tea and breakfast at the Cafe’ at Lumpkin while visiting the owners Luke and Rachael and their new daughter Kate. The food was fresh and well prepared. The afternoon tea was a surprise and an indulgence that everyone should experience. Our recommendation is the Cafe’ at Lumpkin is a must stop and visit when in Athens.

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