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New York City

Tea Industry

Tea Sales Spike in New York City—Thanks to Mariah Carey

February 12, 2018

Mariah Carey is used to packing concert halls and stadiums, but now she’s filling a new kind of space: tea rooms.

This New Year’s Eve, Carey attempted to redeem herself from a technical snafu that ruined her televised performance the previous year. As she took the Times Square stage in freezing temperatures, she told the crowd that she “was told there would be tea,” but, alas, there was no hot tea to be found on the stage. She soldiered on, and after a performance that silenced the haters, the world waited on baited breath to see if the “Honey” and “Sweetheart” songstress would find that elusive cuppa. Find it she did, posting a picture of herself sipping tea on Instagram with the caption, “Found my tea!”

New Yorkers took a collective sigh of relief, and then, apparently, dashed out to get their own tea.

The New York Post reports that the city that never sleeps is experiencing a tea surge, dubbed the “Mariah Carey effect.”

The Whitby Hotel, the Peninsula Hotel, the Plaza, and the Taj Hotel in New York City have all recorded increases in patrons ordering tea service.

While the record low temperatures in New York are likely a big contributor in the rising high tea bookings, Carey put drinking tea on the minds of millions of New Yorkers at the start of the year, and her influence is not to be discounted.

For those thirsty for tea in other cities, here’s a list of high tea services that we dare say would be Mariah-approved:


The Getty Villa

Thursdays and Saturdays @ 1pm

Enjoy “tea by the sea” at the world-famous Getty Villa. The Mediterranean menu features the produce grown at the Villa’s recreated first century Roman gardens. Served in the beautiful Founder’s Room, come here to enjoy tea and baked goods in an iconic setting.


The Lobby at The Peninsula Hotel

2:30 pm, 4:30 pm (Mon – Sat)  | 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm (Sun) 

Treat yourself to sweet and savory snacks and teas of all varieties at the Peninsula. Teas include black Mandarin rose petal tea from China, genmaicha from Japan, and orchid oolong from Taiwan. Bites to look forward to include: wild mushroom quiche, chocolate citrus lollipop, and homemade scones with clotted cream, lemon curd, and raspberry jam.


The Arizona Biltmore, a Waldorf Astoria Estate

Thursday-Sunday, 12pm and 2pm

Refresh with Grand Afternoon Tea at the Biltmore, or bring your child to one of the Biltmore’s child-friendly, themed teas: Gingerbread Tea, Mad Hatter Tea, Princess Tea, or Ooh La La Tea.


The Rittenhouse

Daily, 2-5pm

Relax with a cuppa and a plethora of sweet and savory bites at The Rittenhouse’s Mary Cassatt Tea Room. Teas include: Floral Jasmine Green, Organic Peppermint, and the Rittenhouse Blend which features Ceylon bergamot, rose petals, cardamom, and borage. Sweets include a pistachio cheesecake and almond and poached pear cake. Savory delights include scones and radish served with edamame hummus.

If you’d rather stay at home than dress up and shell out for a fancy afternoon tea, you can still exhibit the Mariah Carey effect by drinking out of a mug bearing the phrase “I was told there would be tea,” now for sale on Carey’s website.







Tea Travel

Ten Cool Tea Parlors To Check Out

November 10, 2016

From sea to shining sea, there are some great places to grab tea.  From parlors you should hit up to relish in their history to parlors you should visit because they are simply stunning, here are 10 tea spots  to plug into your GPS:

1) Nom Wah Tea Parlor – New York City 

Smack dab in the middle of a street shaped like a boomerang, this tea parlor’s been pouring the good stuff since 1920. Back in the day, the street was known as “The Bloody Angle” for all the Chinese gang violence that plagued the street—its curvature made it perfect for sneak attacks. Nom Wah serves a plethora of teas to go with its famed dim sum. From oolong and Tie Guanyin to Long Jing and Chrysanthemum, Nom Wah serves teas that offer a variety of flavors and benefits, like boosted weight loss and antioxidants. Peek inside for a 360 degree view HERE.

Nom Wah Tea Parlor

13 Doyers Street
New York, NY 10013
(212) 962-6047

2) Palm Court at The Plaza Hotel – New York City

For the fanciest afternoon tea of your life, head to New York’s most famous hotel: The Plaza. Inside on the first floor, architect Thierry Despont did his best to bring Central Park indoors with the Palm Court. Palm trees, plants, marble, and a stained glass dome blend nature and luxury. Tea aficionados young and old will delight in the setting and menu. From scones and sandwiches to pastries and baked goods, there’s plenty that’s savory and sweet to go with your tea. For children who want to be like Eloise, there’s Tropical Garden or Vanilla Iced Tea, and for adults there’s a selection of teas and champagne. Children 16 and under can get Afternoon Tea for $50, while adults will need to shell out $110.

The Palm Court at The Plaza Hotel

768 5th Ave, New York, NY 10019

3) American Tea Room – Los Angeles  

This Los Angeles tearoom features a wide array of iced and hot teas. The Cold Bar offers standouts like the Marrakesh Mojito (Marrakesh Green Tea with lime, mint, and syrup) and the Georgia Peach Sweet Tea. The Hot Bar features items such as the Himalayan Butter Tea (Nepalese Black, Oolong & Pu Er Tea Churned with Butter, Salt, Milk, and Honey) and the Okinawa Life Tea (Grand Jasmine Tea, Zingiber Tea, Turmeric, Ginger and Honey). There’s also a bevy of matcha options along with pastries, savory pies, truffles, and petit fours for hungry stomachs.

American Tea Room

909 S Santa Fe Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90021

4) Samovar Tea Bar – San Francisco

Who said a tearoom has to be kitschy and cute? Samovar in San Franciso’s Mission district is sleek and minimalist. No doilies or knick-knacks here. They’ve got chai teas, tea lattes, herbal teas, iced teas, and more, like Oolong, white, turmeric, and Chocolate Pu-er. On-trend toasts and sweets are available to pair. If you’re looking for sit-down service, the minds behind Samovar run three tea lounges in San Francisco.

Samovar Tea Bar

The Mission
411 Valencia Street
San Francisco, 94103
(415) 553-6887

5) Ching Ching Cha – Washington, DC

Proprietor Ching Ching named this DC teahouse after himself. Every year, he travels to China, Taiwan, and Japan to bring back the best teas for his customers at this Georgetown tearoom. Ching Ching Cha features over 70 different kinds of tea along with traditional Chinese deserts, dumplings, and snacks. Everything is served in a traditional Chinese way—no shoes, no service. The environment is serene; a Washington City Paper reviewer even said that sipping tea here was like getting a full body massage, a sentiment that the Washington Post echoed in 1999 when it wrote Ching Ching Cha “has such an aura of peaceful beauty that you feel as if you were shedding the outside world along with your coat.” So for some inner peace and a tasty drink, head to Ching Ching Cha.

Ching Ching Cha

1063 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W.
Washington DC 20007, USA

6) Tea Lounge at the Mandarin Oriental – Las Vegas

Enjoy a pot of your favorite tea while gazing at the Eifel Tower from this skyscraping Vegas tea lounge. Adults can enjoy Afternoon Tea for $38, treating themselves to a selection of loose-leaf teas, salmon, chicken, crab, scones, and pastries. Children 12 and under can enjoy Children’s Afternoon Tea for $28, which includes kid-friendly PB&J, turkey and cheese, scones, a cupcake, and pastries. The Mandarin offers additional on-trend alcoholic teas, like the Royal Tea, which blends vodka with chilled Osmanthus Oolong tea and lemon, or the Tea-tini, which combines bourbon with cold Jasmine pearl tea, apple juice, and agave nectar.

Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas

3752 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, NV 89158, USA
(702) 590 8888

7) High Garden – Nashville

Indoor branches and stools made from tree stumps put the garden in Music City’s High Garden. This East Nashville shop serves premium loose leaf teas from Japan, China, Taiwan, and India, as well as herbal infusions that promote energy, wellness, and relaxation. The Tea Flights special offers four teas served side-by-side for $10.

High Garden

935 Woodland St
Nashville, TN 37206
(615) 919-4195

8) Abigail’s Tea Room – Boston           

When you hear “tea,” you think Boston. Home of the Boston Tea Party, Beantown has a proud history of tea drinkers (and throwers). Abigail’s Tea Room is part of the Boston Tea Party Museum. After actors bring the story of the Boston Tea Party to life, you can settle in to celebrate the drink that is partly responsible for our independence. Abigail’s serves up five historic teas in a bottomless Tea Tasting cup for $2.95; a Tea Platter for four is just $12 and includes a pot of Abigail’s Blend to pair with scones.

Abigail’s Tea Room

Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum
306 Congress Street
Boston, MA 02210

9) Band of Bohemia – Chicago

This Chicago eatery bills itself as a “culinary brewhouse” and it’s known for its teas, which include black or green iced Tea and several premium blends, such as the Yame Kabusecha, described as a “Kabuse-style green tea from Hoshinumura Village” with notes of cucumber, untoasted nori, and sea salt. The Ruby 18 tea brings together Taiwanese and Indian Assam teas with notes of sassafras, menthol, and earth. Paintings by Chicago artist Elizabeth Webe decorate the space, giving it an artistic vibe.

Band of Bohemia

4710 N Ravenswood Avenue
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 271-4710

 10) Full English – Austin

England is known for its tea. But if you don’t have the dough to hop across the pond, you’ll love this Brit-owned and run café in Austin. It’s artsy and old school and there’s even legos to keep your hands busy in between sips of tea, of which they have plenty: leaf teas, bagged teas and tea lattes abound. Try the Zhi Egyptian Chamomile, the Tetley Masala, or the Full English London Fog Latte. High Tea is available by appointment 24 hours in advance for $15 and includes a selection of tea sandwiches, scones, and sweets. So put on your best British accent or red coat and get Full English.

Full English

2000 Southern Oaks Drive
Austin, TX 78745