Tea is commonly culturally associated with the British, known for the ritual of afternoon tea or a hot morning cuppa, but Texans also take their tea very seriously. Sweet tea is distinctly southern, a must-have for social gatherings, and it’s even more essential in the sweltering months of summer. A Texan tradition filled with nostalgia is making sun tea, a method using the heat of the sun to draw out the flavors in the tea leaves. All you need is some black tea, sugar, water, and a glass container. Leave the tea outside on your porch in the sunlight, and a few hours later, you’ve got Texas in a glass. Whether you’re drinking it hot or cold, Houston’s tea game has a little something for everybody.
With one of the more unique takes on a cup of tea, Tea + Victory in The Heights serves local craft beer and wines, locally-roasted coffee, and a huge array of loose-leaf teas. Their light food menu that features finger foods, dips, sandwiches, scones, and even snacks like the gummy bowl (full of gummy bears and worms). They also serve proper tea sandwiches to compliment your beverage of choice. Grab your favorite board game and enjoy a blue mango tea, a purple-hued butterfly pea flower and hibiscus tea, a green Limerick Latte, or the crowd favorite, the London Fog with a slightly smoky aftertaste.
The Yellow Cup Coffee & Tea on Washington is a favorite amongst tea enthusiasts, with a built-in wall of loose-leaf teas behind the counter that you can smell before ordering. With traditional crowd-pleasers like matcha lattes, chai, and earl grey, The Yellow Cup offers “summer shaken” teas that are precisely the nostalgic Texan summer throwbacks to sun tea we love so much.
Fix Coffeebar may have coffee right in their name, but don’t sleep on their tea game. Legend has it, if you mention the hashtag #MatchaMonday at the counter on a Monday, you get a little discount on a matcha latte. Fix is known for being inventive with flavors, as seen in their lavender latte, smoked rosemary cortado, and thin mint latte, so swing by when you feel like switching it up and trying new things.
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True to its name, Matcha Cafe Maiko in Chinatown specializes all things matcha—from ice cream to shaved ice to hot and cold teas. Get ready to strike Instagram gold if you order a cone of matcha soft serve ice cream draped in edible gold leaf, because the photos will look amazing. Chinatown is full of amazing tea shops serving boba milk teas in every shade of the pastel rainbow.
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For something totally original and super healthy to boot, check out Vibrant’s menu of potions and elixirs. While they serve organic coffee and teas, they also concoct one-of-a-kind drinks like the Sesame Rose Elixir with house-made sesame milk, rose essence, vanilla, cinnamon, and various health powders like tocos and lucuma. Their Cocao Potion is spiced like a dream with cinnamon, cardamom, and cayenne, plus the health boost of chaga, reishi, and moringa. Pair with one of their vegan dessert options like walnut cardamom bliss balls or pistachio thumbprint cookies with rose cashew creme for a fancy little tea time that would make any social media influencer green with envy.