Tea'se Tea Shoppe

The best places to buy and drink tea in Chicago

By Nicole Schnitzler

Sorry, Chicago—we may have seen 70 degrees this February, but rest assured: We’re not in the clear from winter’s wrath just yet. The good news is that this frigid city is also home to a handful of on-point teahouses, all of which are committed to warming up Chicagoans in the best way possible: with mugs that are flavor-packed, globally sourced, and best of all, piping hot. Here are six of the best in and around the city.

Rock and roll meets R&R at Madame Zuzu’s
Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan is behind this Highland Park tea shop and parlor, where a menu features vintage as well as its own house offerings (e.g. 2010 Sicilian Blood Orange Pu-Erh and French-Kissed Moroccan Mint). Have a seat and pair up a pot with any of the hangout’s sandwiches, from banana and almond butter to tomato avocado.
Neighborhood: Highland Park MAP

A tea institution at The Coffee & Tea Exchange
This independent corner spot for coffee and tea in the heart of Lakeview has been doling out caffeinated and herbal fixes alike since 1975. Expect a solid selection in teas and tisanes, from black and green, to mate and rooibos.
Neighborhood: Lakeview MAP

Obscure options abound at TeaGschwendner
Only the best quality will do at this tea shop, which calls upon the same exacting measures in European tea standards at both of its Chicago locations. Think more than 250 kinds of premium, organic loose-leaf selections, all sourced directly from tea gardens worldwide. We’ll drink to that.
Neighborhood: Lincoln Park MAP Gold Coast MAP

Embrace your inner Zen at Nada Tea & Coffee House
Head to this Japanese-style tea house for authentically sourced leaves; its entire green tea selection comes from Kyoto, while all black tea on tap is from England. Be sure to sit and stay a while, too. An inviting room ushers in patrons for house-made sandwiches and scones, which match up magically with a round of matcha mochas—a house favorite.
Neighborhood: Lincoln Park MAP

Make time for tea time at Tea’se Tea Shoppe
Grab a tea to go while perusing the selection of more than 80 blends of tea at this family-owned shop, which will be celebrating its third anniversary this summer. They even have tea-infused accessories like candles and body scrubs, all made by local businesses. Mason jars supplied by the team means you can take your tea home in the freshest—and best looking—way possible.
Neighborhood: Portage Park MAP

A legacy in tea love at Coffee Tree & Tea Leaves Co.
Opened in 1987, this indie shop may be small, but its reach is as big as it gets—it scours the world for the best teas on offer, from the delicate to the full-bodied.
Neighborhood: Lakeview MAP

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