Whether your preference is green or oolong, New Orleans is full of spots that cater to the needs of tea enthusiasts. Here are five worth visiting, whether you're looking for a full high tea spread (pinky-in-the-air style) or a more laid back, artistic ambience.
1. English Tea Room: Head across the lake to Covington for a tearoom that offers more than 150 loose leaf teas from around the world, including an impressive collection of chai. High tea is served daily and includes scones, finger sandwiches, miniature quiches and small cakes.
2. Byrdie's: Tucked away on St. Claude Avenue, Byrdie's serves a fine selection of teas in a low-key environment, surrounded by artwork and freelancers pecking on laptops. Teas range from Lady Londonberry to Gunpowder Green, and the tea room shares a space with a ceramics studio, where students learn how to operate a potter's wheel and make and fire their own goods. Bonus: All the teas are served in pots crafted by the owner.
3. Le Salon, Windsor Court Hotel: If you're looking for one of the city's most elegant tea experiences, look no further than Windsor Court. The daily afternoon tea offers 26 loose leaf teas, tea sandwiches and some mood music from a pianist or harpist. Different themed tea offerings, including Halloween and Prohibition, take place throughout the year.
4. Hey! Cafe: This Magazine Street favorite has a wide selection of herbal teas, each with health benefits. One standout is the "sencha green" tea, which is said to boost immunity and help strengthen teeth. (Hey! also has the most entertaining tea website, hands down.)
5. The Ritz-Carlton: Afternoon tea (complete with tiny sandwiches and snacks) occurs on the third floor of this regal hotel each week Wednesday through Sunday, with a harpist joining during weekend teas.
Where is your favorite tea spot in the city?