Best Tea Shops in Washington, DC

Well it’s springtime in Washington, DC – which means the birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming, and the hot sticky humidity of summer is fast approaching. Find your spring and summer solace while sipping on a refreshing ice tea in DC’s best tea shops.

Capital Teas – Eastern Market


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Capital Teas is an ultra modern, beautifully branded tea shop featuring dozens of well organized jars of fruit blended teas for your smelling pleasure.  Mostly geared towards selling loose leaf teas and teas to go, tea novices can dip their toe in the water (nose in the tea) at this well organized and labeled tea emporium. The friendly staff served what some might call colorful tea flavored water rather than iced tea, but they served it with a smile and a welcoming tone.  The comfortable indoor and covered outdoor seating provides a comfortable work or relaxation conducive atmosphere.

If you’re in the mood for a sweet snack, the hazelnut macron might just be the best thing sold here (not an insult to the tea, but a compliment to the pastry). While not perfect for a traditional tea expert, Capital Teas is the perfect place to buy a well-designed gift for a budding tea connoisseur.

Teaism – Penn Quarter

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Known for their delicious dishes as well as their wide variety of teas and accessories, Teasim appeals to tea drinkers of all kinds.  The modern tea shop with traditional highlights (and a coy fish pond) offers a relaxed self-serve and self-seating atmosphere. With several locations in the DC area, tea lovers can enjoy Zhenzhou Pearl tea (Bubble Tea) in a to go cup or a Gunpowder green tea in a ceramic kettle while dining in.

Although the menu and atmosphere vary slightly from location to location, the Bento Box, Udon Noodle Soup and salty oat cookies are constants and absolutely delectable.

Calabash Tea, Tonic and Magic – Shaw

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Mellow jazz plays in the background while you sip your tea in this seemingly Moroccan inspired tea lounge in the rapidly changing Shaw Neighborhood.  As soon as you walk in the door, friendly staff immediately greet you and promptly offer samples of the Love Potion #10 Ice Chai blend and Kombucha on tap. A small shop with a highly visible owner makes Calabash feel like a home away from home.

With a small light-fare menu and a shelved tea smelling station with cleverly named tea blends, Calabash Tea is perfect for tea novices or someone looking to relax in a welcoming atmosphere.

Ching Ching Cha – Georgetown

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Fashioned after an authentic Chinese tea house, Ching Ching Cha teleports you from the hustle and bustle of Georgetown’s shopping district to a totally different time and place. The slight confusion over where to sit and how to order was immediately washed away by our amazing demonstration on how to properly rinse the leaves and warm the cup before drinking the perfectly steeped Dragon Well Green tea and Organic Strawberry Green tea.

With a strict focus on traditional tea drinking, Ching Ching Cha offers a no shoes sitting area and a no sweetener policy for their more than adequate selection of hot teas.  Sorry, no tea flavored sugar water for dine-ins, but they do offer a variety fruit-infused lightly sweetened iced teas to go.

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