The Best 6 Places to Get a Cup of Tea in Pittsburgh

The quiet rise of Pittsburgh's tea scene gives us a few favorite gems.



In the last few years, Pittsburgh has seen an impressive number of independent coffee stores open. More quietly, the city’s tea scene has been growing in tandem, as newcomers join old standbys. Pittsburgh has a wide variety of tea shops for a midsize city — options run the gamut, from small tea bar to large, multi-faceted tea house offering hundreds of varieties.

The perfect cup of tea means something different for everyone, but it always has a few dimensions. The tea itself should have a balance of nuanced flavor and aroma and be steeped at the proper temperature for the right length of time to make the most of high-quality leaves. Atmosphere also is key: A good tea shop is inviting and has spaces that are well suited to working alone or for casual meet-ups. Whether it serves coffee and tea or is a standalone tea shop, each spot on this list offers high-quality, loose-leaf tea in an atmosphere that fosters relaxation, conversation or focus.
 


Photos by brian trimboli

 

Dobrá Tea
For some tea drinkers, the act of steeping, pouring and drinking is as important as the tea itself. Dobra Tea puts the emphasis on the ritual of drinking tea, pairing it with a charming tea room and a staggering selection of tea — if you want to try a variety of green tea beyond the typical Sencha, like Hojicha or TamaryokuchaDobra is the place to look. Dobra has the deepest selection of tea in Pittsburgh, including varieties and niche teas you won’t find anywhere else in the city. Dobra also serves a variety of snacks to accompany your tea, from mixed nuts to dolmas (stuffed grape leaves).
[1937 Murray Ave., Squirrel Hill; 412/449-9833, dobrateapgh.com]
 



 

Arnold’s Tea
Located on the North Side’s East Ohio Street, Arnold’s Tea has a wide selection of tea and light fare (sandwiches, soups, salads, etc). Natural light floods the store through its plate-glass storefront, and the seating area is large enough to simultaneously accommodate both light conversation and quiet study, along with a comfortable couch and wall-recessed fireplace for those looking to truly relax. Arnold’s also has a moderate selection of tea paraphernalia, if you’re looking for a new electric kettle or teapot. Try a cup of ginseng green tea, or, if you’re in the mood for something sweeter, lavenade — lightly sweetened lavender tea, lemonade and basil.
[502 E. Ohio St., North Side; 412/322-2494, arnoldsteapittsburgh.com]
 


 

21st Street Coffee and Tea
Obsessive attention to detail is what sets 21st Street Coffee and Tea apart from its peers. At this coffee and tea shop, a barista will be steep your tea at the proper temperature for the proper length of time, saving you the imprecision of doing it yourself. You’ll also get the most out of your tea; the barista will steep your green and oolong tea for multiple infusions. 21st Street has a refined selection of Kilogram tea, sister brand to Intelligentsia Coffee, and a spartan seating area with hardwood floors and exposed brick walls. The minimal space is still inviting, and 21st Street’s baristas are well trained to meet your tea drinking needs or answer any questions you may have. Try the emerald spring for something earthy or the jasmine peach for something more floral.
[2002 Smallman St., Strip District; 412/281-0809, 21streetcoffee.com]

Tazza D’Oro
Tazza D’Oro is a community fixture in Highland Park, where it sits around the corner from Bryant Street’s strip of shops and restaurants. The coffee and tea cafe lives up to its name, which, translated literally from Italian, means “cup of gold.” When Tazza D’Oro opened in 1999, the cafe focused on serving high-quality coffee and almost completely locally sourced food. More recently, Tazza has added a selection of Rishi loose leaf tea, allowing coffee and tea lovers to coexist in the welcoming space. In the warmer months, you can enjoy your tea in the sunlight on the store’s patio in the peaceful neighborhood.
[1125 N. Highland Ave., Highland Park; 412/362-3676, tazzadoro.net]
 


 

Bantha Tea Bar
Bantha Tea Bar is a relative newcomer to Pittsburgh’s tea scene; it opened in September 2015. The shop’s well-crafted tea bar itself is a standout feature; it fits in perfectly with curved, earthen walls and a mosaic tile floor. With names like “Who Isn’t Sick?” and “Gentle High Vitamin,” Bantha’s tea selection is as down-to-earth as the space itself. Part of Bantha’s charm comes from its Garfield location; as the weather gets warmer, try getting a cup of herbal tea to go and taking a walk through the peaceful nearby Allegheny Cemetery.
[5002 Penn Ave., Garfield; 412/404-8359, banthateabar.com]

Biddle’s Escape
Walking into Biddle’s Escape actually feels like an escape — the lavender-colored store’s door is marked by a stained glass sign, and the shop’s interior is filled with an eclectic array of seating, natural wood and the occasional hanging vine. An enormous chalkboard lists the tea selection, which includes tea drinks like the Mate Latte, a latte made with Yerba mate tea. Biddle’s Escape is a good place to camp out with your laptop; the cafe’s isolated ambiance is a natural fit for focused work. Be sure to visit Biddle’s Escape when the weather improves — when the sun comes out, one wall rolls up to join the interior and the spacious patio.
[401 Biddle Ave., Regent Square; 412/999-9009, biddlesescape.com]
 

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

New Study: Pittsburgh Drivers are The Worst of the Worst

New Study: Pittsburgh Drivers are The Worst of the Worst

Pittsburgh ties with one other city for having the worst drivers in the nation.
HGTV Series Pilot Focuses on Renovation of Pittsburgh Home

HGTV Series Pilot Focuses on Renovation of Pittsburgh Home

The pilot episode of “Steel City Rehab” follows a Pittsburgh couple as they flip a home in the city’s East End.
‘The Good Wife’s’ Zach Grenier Appears on the Pittsburgh Stage

‘The Good Wife’s’ Zach Grenier Appears on the Pittsburgh Stage

Grenier on playing the dream role of Willy Loman, coming to Pittsburgh and performing at the renowned Pittsburgh Public Theater.
Enjoy a Cocktail to Help Preserve Pittsburgh's Historic Murals

Enjoy a Cocktail to Help Preserve Pittsburgh's Historic Murals

The nearly 80-year-old murals by Maxo Vanka show an immigrant's’ perspective on important issues.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Health Care in Pittsburgh that Goes Beyond the Office

Health Care in Pittsburgh that Goes Beyond the Office

Innovations in Postpartum Depression Treatment, First-Aid Training and Food Security.
Looking Back: Dan Rooney, Remembered

Looking Back: Dan Rooney, Remembered

The builder of two stadiums, a billion-dollar football business, NFL labor harmony and racial sensitivity, and bridges between constituencies –– he was an everywhere man whose soft, steady hand was felt everywhere.
Restaurant Review: DiAnoia's Eatery Bridges the Gap

Restaurant Review: DiAnoia's Eatery Bridges the Gap

With a little work, the Strip District restaurant could become a Pittsburgh classic.
Pittsburgh at the Forefront of The Brain Revolution

Pittsburgh at the Forefront of The Brain Revolution

Alzheimer’s disease is the most expensive ailment to treat and the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States. Pittsburgh has become a battleground in the fight against the devastating illness, thanks to the decade-long quest of two Pittsburgh researchers whose work is on track to change the face of medicine and affect millions worldwide.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


New Study: Pittsburgh Drivers are The Worst of the Worst

New Study: Pittsburgh Drivers are The Worst of the Worst

Pittsburgh ties with one other city for having the worst drivers in the nation.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Scratch Food & Beverage Has a New Executive Chef

Scratch Food & Beverage Has a New Executive Chef

Brandon Blumenfeld introduces an American gastropub menu at the Troy Hill bar.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Five Inexpensive But Memorable Date Spots in Pittsburgh

Five Inexpensive But Memorable Date Spots in Pittsburgh

These spots are tailored for couples who are looking for a simple, chill night out on Valentine’s Day (or any other day). If your significant other isn’t the type to be wooed by expensive wines and chocolates, this is the list for you.

Comments


Dive Bar & Grille Expands to South Side, Remains Charming

Dive Bar & Grille Expands to South Side, Remains Charming

The latest outpost of the small, Wexford-born chain isn't flashy, but offers good beer and grub.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
‘Use Him Like ‘Troy Polamalu’ – Steelers Should Jump on This Pick

‘Use Him Like ‘Troy Polamalu’ – Steelers Should Jump on This Pick

If Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers is still available, the Pittsburgh Steelers would be wise to make him their first-round pick in the NFL draft.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Pittsburgh on a Plate

Pittsburgh on a Plate

The way to a beer lover’s heart is mapped out on notNeutral’s plate, which highlights Pittsburgh breweries (and other points of interest) across the city.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
A Refreshing Action Flick and a Redundant Thriller

A Refreshing Action Flick and a Redundant Thriller

Reviews of "Free Fire," "Unforgettable" and "The Promise," plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Beautiful Blooms: Twists on the Traditional Bouquet

Beautiful Blooms: Twists on the Traditional Bouquet

You’ll definitely want the story behind these stunning wedding flowers.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Rare Plants, Accessories, Up for Grabs at 2017 Garden Marketplace

Rare Plants, Accessories, Up for Grabs at 2017 Garden Marketplace

Hosted by the Penn State Master Gardeners, the free event, which includes the local daffodil society’s annual show, features exclusive and hard-to-find flowers, shrubs, fruit and vegetable plants and other garden accessories from a variety of vendors.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
A-Rod to Talk Baseball and Steroids at Slippery Rock

A-Rod to Talk Baseball and Steroids at Slippery Rock

Considered one of the greatest baseball players of all time, Alex Rodriguez also is one of the league's more controversial stars.

Comments