Stopping for a hot cup of tea can really turn around a day. It can remedy a cold, it can help you unwind after a long day, and it can serve as a pick-me-up to start the morning. Whether you’re craving gunpowder tea or a wonderful herbal elixir, these Michigan tea shops have it all. Here are our favorites.
Birmingham's Eli Tea Bar can offer tea in a wide range of options. Not only can you come in for a fresh-brewed cup for drinking there, you can also pick up bulk tea to go. With over 70 different teas to choose from, grouped by rarity (rare, premium and everyday), your craving for a hot cup of calm will not go unanswered. Black tea, bubble tea, even in-house kombucha, it's all available right here. Oh, and best of all; both milk and sugar are compatible with almost every tea on the menu, so whether you have it hot or iced, your tastes are covered.
Off in the Kalamazoo Mall, home to a wide variety of shops and a slice of history as the nation's first outdoor pedestrian mall, is tucked Tudor House Tea & Spice. Tudor House takes a unique approach to tea, exhorting shoppers to “be your own guru” and “drink what you like.” That's not the kind of thing you normally hear, so it's particularly worth a shot. Most interestingly of all, though, is that once you've had your tea, you can also get some insight if you'd like, as Tudor House offers tea leaf readings.
Chocolatea in Portage asserts that tea goes better with food and declares this assertion to be a fact. Even if it's a bit subjective to be a fact, Chocolatea backs this assertion with the kind of force you probably wouldn't expect from a tea shop. Baked goods abound here, with muffins and cookies and cake and pie, but there are also full lunch options here too, ensuring that, no matter how much you agree with Chocolatea's assertion, you'll be able to put your money—and your tea, and food of choice—where your mouth is.
Head out to Ann Arbor to check out the Tea Haus, which offers up more than 175 individual blends of tea for drinking. A range of pastries—including French macarons—are also on hand to further round out the experience. It gets more interesting from there, as Tea Haus absolutely does not stock coffee. Its “strong aroma” actually interferes with the taste of tea, says the Tea Haus, so they don't serve it. Moreover, don't bring your laptop on the weekends; it's forbidden on the main floor as part of their “Weekends Unplugged” operation.
Grand Rapids' English Cottage Tea is wholly unique in the space as it doesn't have set hours. It offers a space to have tea tasting parties, as well as a parlor available by request for private Afternoon Teas with friends. Go here if you've got a group of friends looking to try a little something different, and you can make reservations a week in advance. Since all the tea available is either USDA-certified or a German import, you'll know the quality is right up there as well.
Houghton is home to the Four Seasons Tea Room, which offers up 33 separate strains of black tea. Black/green hybrids, herbal tisanes, rooibos and even white teas are on hand here as well, featuring such unexpected concepts as toasted coconut chocolate and gunpowder. Throw in a range of sandwiches and baked goods and you'll find Four Seasons a match for most any tea shop around.
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Hanna's offers up a six-question quiz that will help you track down exactly what kind of tea you want based on aspects like strength, flavoring and more. The Winter Herbal Elixir is a particular favorite, with a blend of ginger root, orange peel, mint, eucalyptus, and ginger orange flavor to help tackle a cold or cough.
Part of the Grand Hotel, the Fort Mackinac Tea Room will likely catch patrons' attention with one key feature: the view. An easy view of Lake Huron is almost within arm's reach, and you'll even get to sit in on soldiers in 1780s garb demonstrating rifles and cannon over the harbor. You'll need admission to Fort Mackinac to get in on the Tea Room, but that's really more of a feature than a bug. Supplements to your tea, meanwhile, include a range of options from danishes and muffins to sloppy joes and all-beef kosher hot dogs.