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

AFC Championship: What We’re Betting for a Win

AFC Championship: What We’re Betting for a Win

Rhode Island Monthly and Pittsburgh Magazine are making a friendly wager over the outcome of Sunday’s game, and we can’t wait to taste their quahogs.
See How Chess Made Le’Veon Bell a Better Running Back

See How Chess Made Le’Veon Bell a Better Running Back

Watch the video that reveals Bell’s talents that go beyond the football field.
Viral: Steelers' Most Famous Fight Song Synced to Lights

Viral: Steelers' Most Famous Fight Song Synced to Lights

See how a Leechburg man has transformed his home into the ultimate Pittsburgh Steelers shrine, but we must warn you, the song will be stuck in your head for the rest of the day.
RMU President Named to College Football Playoff Committee

RMU President Named to College Football Playoff Committee

Chris Howard will help decide which four teams will vie each year for college football’s national championship.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

The Best Bars in Pittsburgh Right Now

The Best Bars in Pittsburgh Right Now

Many Pittsburgh bars have solid beer lists, well-mixed cocktails or a bartender who's handy with a shot and a story. We need more than that. What makes these bars the best?
View Pittsburgh & Its People From The 1850s Through Today

View Pittsburgh & Its People From The 1850s Through Today

#pixburgh: A Photographic Experience features images from the Sen. John Heinz History Center vault, which contains close to one million images. The show features a sampling of 400 images from the 1850s through today — including landmarks, fun, folly and floods.
In Concert: What's Next for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra?

In Concert: What's Next for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra?

Melia Tourangeau, CEO and president of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, looks to lead the ensemble forward after a discordant strike.
Restaurant Review: Umami in Lawrenceville

Restaurant Review: Umami in Lawrenceville

Umami sets the bar for izakaya openings in Pittsburgh. But its owners still have steps to take to keep raising the standard.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


AFC Championship: What We’re Betting for a Win

AFC Championship: What We’re Betting for a Win

Rhode Island Monthly and Pittsburgh Magazine are making a friendly wager over the outcome of Sunday’s game, and we can’t wait to taste their quahogs.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Restaurant Industry Fundraiser to Aid Injured Chef

Restaurant Industry Fundraiser to Aid Injured Chef

Zach Behm was chef de cuisine at Cure in Upper Lawrenceville at the time of a July car wreck.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
The Best 6 Places to Get a Cup of Tea in Pittsburgh

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.

Comments


The Trendy New East Liberty Hangout ... Primanti's?

The Trendy New East Liberty Hangout ... Primanti's?

The latest outpost of the popular local chain is housed in the former Verde space in Garfield.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Tomlin Needs to Be Tomlin Against Brady, Belichick

Tomlin Needs to Be Tomlin Against Brady, Belichick

The Steelers are going to have to attack the game to survive it, to grab it by the throat and choke it to the desired conclusion.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Tantalizing Textiles for the Table

Tantalizing Textiles for the Table

Check out the chic decor from Pittsburgh-based artist and designer Janice Nelson.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Scorsese's Silence Proves Worth the Wait (and the Weight)

Scorsese's Silence Proves Worth the Wait (and the Weight)

Reviews of "Silence," "Live by Night" and "Patriot's Day."

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Pittsburgh Romance: How Their Love Survived Long-Distance

Pittsburgh Romance: How Their Love Survived Long-Distance

From coast to coast and continent to continent, these couples showed that absence really does make the heart grow fonder.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Urban Fit Co. Opening Flagship Shop in Sewickley

Urban Fit Co. Opening Flagship Shop in Sewickley

The locally owned active wear boutique is slated to open in March. Plus, get all the details on Pittsburgh’s new luxury residential real estate firm, Piatt Sotheby’s International Realty.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Pittsburgh Artist’s Work to be Featured at Thiel College

Pittsburgh Artist’s Work to be Featured at Thiel College

Benedict Oddi’s collection “Scouts and Nomads” will be on display in a campus gallery.

Comments