I had posed the question to the Teatra.de forum where would one have or find tea in “The Big Easy”. I took the responses to my hubby and sent him on a New Orleans tea mission. Surprisingly he invited me to accompany him on his trip. With the initial suggestions in hand I proceeded to search tea in the city.
Founded in 1718 and named after the Regent of France, Philippe d’Orléans La Novelle-Orléans is an amazing city, the pomp undiminished by the circumstance.
Historically coffee is the main hot beverage of choice here, although you will find most places serve iced black tea or sweet tea, the tea used is generally not identified.
In my search I found this notation from an excerpt from An Irresistible History of Southern Food by Rick McDaniel interesting.
I set out on my journey and my findings and a few other special treats are as follows
Day 1 Magazine District: Heygal Coffee & Tea-no longer at the location stated in google search
Royal Blend Coffee & Tea House 621 Royal St
Located near the Vieux Carre historic district, this intriguing venue has a haunting approach as you walk through an off the street courtyard towards the cafe.
Brick walls and antique cases of tea and tea wares partially line the entryway.
As you enter the main outdoor seating area of wrought iron tables and chairs and climbing leaf covered brick, you see many patrons working diligently on their laptops (a starbucks scene)
There are also several tables in the interior of the shop where readers can escape the heat. They have a basic selection of tea both traditional and herbal and these can be accompanied by a selection of sandwiches, salads or sweets.
For my tea tasting experience I chose their Rare Black Dragon Oolong the liquor honey colored with a flowery subtleness and delicate peach like aroma.
This choice seemed fitting for the environment. Totally enjoyable and satisfying, I imagined what life must have been like in the early days on the Vieux Carre. Great place for tea inspired daydreams.
Antione’s Annex 513 Rue Royal
This upscale almost retro-chic deco is inviting with its pink, white and black decor. They have a very small selection of tea, black, green, red and the feature of the day lemon grass/mint. I chose the red tea. A simple rooibos very uncomplicated soothing. They also have a selection of sandwiches, salads, pastries and chocolate.
The staff is very upbeat and lively adding to the feel of the environs.
The Bottom Of The Cup Tea Room 327 Chartres St
Established in 1929, entering this establishment you are welcomed by glass cases of healing stones, and mystical statues and artifacts.
Once inside the seating area is an array astrological tables which face a counter and behind it a wall of tea jars. They have one of the largest tea menus I have seen with 92 teas listed. The wide assortment contains Assams, 28 Flavored Blacks , Darjeeling, Fruit and Herb, Green, Green Flavored, Herbal, Oolong, Rooibos, White and Special Blends. One special blend in particular, 9 Blend Black Dragon commands a $19.98 price for a 2 oz sample. They also offer tea leaf reading, in the curtain covered booths down the hall. I opted for Japanese Bancha sans tea reading. The Bancha with its notes of toast and haunting finish, was very appropriate for the setting. I also bought samples of their Japanese Bancha, Fukujyu, and two Assams, Tarajulie and Gingia. Purchases prompted by my reading of “The Empire Of Tea” chapter “TEA MANIA: Assam 1839-1880”.
Sucré 3025 Magazine Street
This sweet boutique has a wide assortment of fine chocolate, artisan pastries, gelato and signature drinks. What attracted me was the photo of macaroons in the magazine ad I viewed. Tea and macaroons are one of my favorite treats. The bright orange and white decor is pleasing to the eye. The case of fine chocolates were extremely tempting. They feature Harney & Sons Tea and have a good selection. The macaroons are awesome. Many featured correspond to the typical sweet offerings of New Orleans for example, Bananas Foster, and Café Au Lait.
I chose Harneys Dragon Pearl Jasmine, full of floral and sweet aroma delightful and with a side of Macaroons, heavenly.
PJ’s Coffee & Tea Cafe Airport
Finding a tea cafe at the airport was a gift. The mere thought of getting on a plane for 4 hours without a decent cup is daunting. I had my own stash for the flight but I thought quickie would be great. It was unfortunate that the counter was unmanned for almost 10 minutes and I had to go.
This establishment features Mighty Leaf Tea and has a good assortment.
For those of you who are still reading, you might have noticed I left off days 4 and 5. Well, on those days I went to my favorite tea serving venues in New Orleans and will need another post to review.
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