Philadelphia is chock full of coffee shops. But what’s here for us tea tottlers? Eh, not so much.
So I was pleased to see the arrival of Cups & Chairs Tea Cafe — a cozy place to enjoy a spot of tea.
There’s a world of tea here. From China, Japan, Taiwan, South Africa, and South America. The full stash adds up to 59 varieties, all lined up on shelves and nicely labeled so you can know exactly what’s in each jar — many hold a combination of goodies. Like Hawaiian Island, a green tea with pineapple and cornflower petals; or Cocoa Motion, which includes rooibos, cocoa beans, apple and chocolate.
If the plentiful array makes it tough to choose, feel free to chat up the proprietor Kylie Tsai. She’s happy to explain the various teas and their special properties. From her I learned oolong boosts the metabolism and is a favorite weight loss drink of women in Tsai’s native land of Taiwan. Cape Town made with green rooibos and sweet mango, has high vitamins and helps your immune system.
Every tea has a story, and an aroma – you’re encouraged to open jars and take a whiff. All teas are available hot or cold. Drink ‘em straight, or try one of Cups & Chairs’ special concoctions: Bubble teas, lattes and smoothies.
There’s a small selection of sandwiches and baked goods. During my visit I had a Cape Town tea and an oatmeal raisin cookie. The cookie was nice and moist and the tea most flavorful.
I’ll be back; to sit a spell and maybe buy tea in bulk for home brewing. Speaking of which, the shop sells teaware – to include a traditional Japanese cup with whisk as well as contemporary ceramics, in case you want to steep in style.
Cups & Chairs
701-03 South 5th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Cups & Chairs [Official Site]