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Tea Shop in Hartford

Anyone know of a good tea shop in the Hartford area? I've been here a year and the best I've found so far is a halfway decent box of Assam from an Asian market.

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  1. Have you tried Teavana in Westfarms Mall? It's on the upper level near Williams-Sonoma.

    1 Reply
    1. re: kattyeyes

      I've only been to one in Chicago. Good to know it's at Westfarms, thanks.

    2. There's a eavana in Farmington. You can also mail order from Tealuxe.

      1. If you travel to Northampton at all, go to Cooks Shop Here, which may be changing it's name to Tea Trekker
        65 King Street
        Northampton, MA 0106.
        They have fantastic single estate teas of all varieties, and also sell from their website: http://www.teatrekker.com/main.htm

        1 Reply
        1. I just yesterday stumbled upon a new tea shop on Rt 79 - just off the Highway in Madison.....popped in quickly - - they have a good selection of their own teas - but no real information on the teas - - and the staff was not much help

          probably a great place t o go if you already know your teas.....I will try to remember the name and post it at some other time

          4 Replies
          1. re: few

            Thanks, I will look into it too.

            1. re: few

              Could you be thinking of Willoughby's? I know they have a location in Madison, but I'm not sure where and can't seem to find a list of locations on their website. Even though they're more of a coffee shop, they have the freshest tea I've been able to find in the state. The big problem I have with them is that they don't carry any green varieties I'm terribly fond of. The shop is New Haven is where I get all my black, oolong, and white teas.
              Aside from that, I've been highly dissapointed with every tea shop I've tried in the state. The corporate chains are overpriced and don't always have the freshest product. They also don't tend to be as knowledgeable as I would expect (if you don't know what Camellia Assamica is, you shouldn't be managing a tea shop). I'm sure I haven't tried the vast majority of the shops in the state, but I have tried the ones mentioned thus far. They're not bad, just not up to par with the tea shops you find elsewhere in the northeast (usually independently owned). They seem to thrive on the same mentality as a lot of the popular websites: style over substance.
              One other name worth mentioning is SpecialTeas of Stratford. As far as I know, they have no retail store, just the website. They are local, however, and one of the better websites. I'll also mention Tea Gschwendner, because no other online store comes even remotely close to their consistently perfect quality.

              1. re: danieljdwyer

                You wrote that you've tried all the tea shops mentioned. Did you find the owners at Cooks Shop Here in Northampton not knowledgeable enough? If so, I'm really surprised.. They have an extensive selection of all teas, including greens, and they literally have written the (a) book on tea.

            2. Find yourself a few hours north and hit up Licorice and Sloe in Newburyport, Mass. Walk through the doors and you're in a different world.
              Good luck in Hartford-

              1. As someone else suggested, Willoughby's is going to have the best selection. But I do not think they are in Hartford. New Haven, Madison...

                Really, I wouldn't focus on finding high quality teas locally when there are so many excellent places to find teas online. I'll recommend a few : www.AtlanticSpice.com (best prices and low, quick shipping from Mass), www.FrontierCoop.com and http://www.starwest-botanicals.com.

                1. I've held off on replying because the best tea place ever is over in Millerton, New York, just across the border from NW corner of CT. Not exactly around the corner from Hartford. But actually, in nice weather, a pleasant ride away. It's Harney's, which has an extensive tasting room, and a tea shop with pricey but delicious sandwiches and cream scones, etc, and gorgeous accessories. All the teas in the world, it seems like when you're there. They are also on line:
                  They are a very large and reliable Internet ordering firm. Some locations that would be on your way are Lakeville and Salisbury and perhaps even White Flower Farms, all of touring interest. An idea for the spring, perhaps?

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: BerkshireTsarina

                    Am I crazy, or did Harney and Sons used to be a lot closer to Hartford? I could swear that it was more in the area of Bristol when I was a child. I distinctly remember stopping there on the way to Boston back when I still took my tea with sugar (which translates roughly to 1995 at the latest).
                    Either way, an excellent suggestion.

                    1. re: danieljdwyer

                      DJD, I don't know about their location before 2002, when we moved to the Berkshires. Harney was then in Lakeville, CT. They moved to Millerton maybe 3 - 4 years ago. It's farther away from us now (bad) but the tea shop was added in the move (good). Their catalogue (the actual paper one) is great to have, filled with all kinds of information about tea. It's a liberal education!

                  2. Have you tried Tisane on Farmington Ave in the West End? They have a nice tea selection to drink "in" and I believe you can purchase loose tea as well.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: citybrunette

                      I've eaten at Monte Alban quite a few times next door to Tisane. How's the food at Tisane?

                      1. re: katcraig

                        The food is not bad, I've had dinner there only twice and both times was very nice, not jaw-dropping. Brunch on Sunday is fantastic. And I did confirm with a friend who was just there that they do serve loose tea to purchase and brew at home.

                    2. Sorry I didn't post this sooner...but, here's a little known gem nestled in Higganum, CT, not too far from Hartford. They offer lots of interesting and superior-quality teas, as well as high-tea events and demonstrations.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: luvarugula

                        I wonder if this is the smae kind of tea that the old Coventry Gardens used to do

                      2. I asked my grandma who likes tea, and she suggested a place in Old Wethersfield. I've driven by it probably 20 times on my way to DMV, never stopped in though. www.mainlytea.com has the info.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: ratbuddy

                          @ratbuddy: Thanks for the info about mainlytea! As for the OP, you mentioned an "Asian market." Sadly, the Asian markets in the Hartford area, and that includes the venerable A. Dong, all purvey stale tea. Even the high-priced teas are mediocre at best. With all respect to the suggestions posted above, I want to recommend a cyber-trip to the place I visit in person at least once a month; McNulty's of Christopher Street, in NYC at www.mcnulty's.com.

                        2. Another one is The Herbery in Old Saybrook. She carries Harney and Sons. If you bring tins in for refills, you get a buck off. Here's the URL:

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: germay

                            Great tip--thank you! I have lots of Harney Tea tins that need refills. :)