It's not about the tea, per se, it's about the ritual. Tea is a great way to enjoy the aroma, health benefits, and memories made with other tea drinkers. If you are a tea lover, tea enthusiast, tea dabbler, or tea oblivious you should gander at this list. Also this:
Tea contains antioxidants.
Tea has less caffeine than coffee.
Tea may reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke.
Tea may help with weight loss.
Tea may help protect your bones.
Tea may keep your smile bright.
I realize not all locations on this list are limited to the Denver area, but after careful consideration of each tea room and its quality, it's worth a visit if it's made this list. I took the liberty of ensuring it's still open during COVID-19 restrictions as well. If this isn't the case, you are welcome to notify me. Click the map or here to visually see the best locations and the honorable mentions.
Also, as I was compiling this for you, it broke my heart to see
SO MANY TEA HOUSES PERMANENTLY CLOSED DESPITE THEIR BADASSERY
due to COVID-19 hardships. Please support your local businesses and teahouses whenever possible.
It's no secret I am "beverage-obsessed". There is nothing like a damn good cup of tea, coffee, cocktail, smoothie, etc. As a Colorado native, event planner of 18 years, and insanely curious human being I am bringing the best places to find your cup! This was a trickier than the Best Damn Cup of Coffee of Denver or the Top 8 Destinations for a Great Cocktail evaluation due to the diverse personal taste, inconsistency with other Denver top lists, a wider location range, and amount of patron reviews. I have done my absolute best to bring you the most sophisticated Tea Houses regarding quality, atmosphere, and popularity. Even though my obsession strained my brain on this one, never fret over my dedication to bring you a masterful option list. Who has the time to visit every tea house? Who wants to be let-down when you have a warm cup in front of you? Who wants to look like an amateur- even if you are faking expertise? No one. No one- that's who! I've got you.
As always. I am including a map of the best and the honorable mentions. Try them all or try the winners during your next networking meetup or rendezvous. Also, be confident that I haven't been paid by any establishment for my selections or persuaded in any way. This isn't even entirely based on my opinion. This is researched and paired with a Colorado native's "street smarts". Your welcome.
Before we get started, just know that I didn't realize how many varieties of tea there are in Denver: Boboa, Japenese, Vietnamese, Victorian, High Tea, etc. and yes... I am delivering a variety to you in this article. Why? Because I'm a sucker for variety, I'm insanely curious, and my obsession is benefiting you. Stop asking weird questions.
1st Place: Capital Tea
Capital Tea takes first due to intense ranting reviews and amount of times it's mentioned or won other top lists. It wins by a landslide everywhere. The people know what they want and Capital tea gives it to them! You can buy loose leaf tea, reserve a tea time, or view their tea selections online. They offer delivery & takeout at your convenience. It's a family-owned business nestled in the Antique Row District. A friendly and charming establishment with a real passion for tea. Try it inside the shop while tying some home-made treats or order loose leaf online. They have been serving up wholesome goodness since 2006. "I have grown up drinking English Breakfast tea, and I am very particular about how it is served." says Anne K. from Denver. "It was served in a warm tea pot and the tea leaves were carefully removed after the perfect steep ensuring the tea would not become bitter after the first cup. The sandwich selection is classic - egg salad and curried tuna, both wonderful. I also had an almond shortbread, which was lovely. The atmosphere is also charming. I will certainly be back!"
" I've always preferred to shop local when possible, and I've made even more of a conscious effort to do so during the craziness of COVID-19," explains Sarah K. from Denver, "I wish I could give Capital Tea 10 stars. Absolutely love this place. Cute little local shop, good tea selection, affordable prices, and super friendly staff. [...] I selected the black ginger peach tea and the elderflower citrus oolong tea. I am obsessed with the black ginger peach tea. The peach flavor is a little more pronounced than the ginger, but it's really nice that the ginger flavor isn't overwhelming. The elderflower citrus tea is also really lovely. I think it will also be really refreshing as an iced tea.
2nd Place: The Brown Palace
" Pinky's up - it's tea time! Fall is in full swing at the Brown Palace and they're ready to provide you with a classy outing unlike anything else offered in Denver - where the tea is piping hot, the champagne abundantly flows & the ambiance is grand. #somuchyes. We attended the Brown Palace's Witches Tea on Halloween and we were v ready to get costumed up & imbibe at this historic Denver jewel." giggles Alisha Alexandra H. "We started off our tea with a fall champagne cocktail - a twist on the standard Kir Royale Chandon Brut. These cocktails were a 10/10 and I loved the festive orange sprinkles that adorned the rims of the flutes. It's little things like the orange sprinkles that truly show Brown Palace's attention to detail and commitment to holiday festivities - & I freaking live for it ."
"Then we chose our teas!" she continues, "Brown Palace has numerous tea choices and currently has some great fall options. Kenzy and myself went with the Autumn mix - which is pure fall goodness in a cup! Hints of cinnamon and nutmeg filled this tea and we each went through two pots. #moreplease Nothing beats a hot fall tea on a chilly afternoon - nothing!"
It's worth mentioning that I have been lucky to hear the above gentleman playing piano on Sundays. It's typically a mix of classical and classic rock covers. It won my heart over immediately and I visit just to grab some tea, read a book, and listen to the piano ballads- it's one of my favorite leisure activities.
3rd Place: Boulder Dashanbe Tea House
1770 13th Street, Boulder, CO 80302 boulderteahouse.com
delivery, takeout, outdoor seating, sit-down dining, curbside pick-up
"I grew up having tea and I am a massive tea lover , addict and love trying teas. I'd heard so many things about this place but finally made it today and I must say Completely Worth it!" says Shruti J. from Denver .
"We stopped by for some high tea and snacks." she continues, "I got the snowy blossom - Amazing! I asked for recommendations for a cold tea and was suggested the rose garden - pretty good. Also got the basic chai they serve, I was surprised how close they came to actually making a proper chai like how I'm used to having back home! I've never ever seen a place outside of India serve such amazing (Indian like) tea! Their chai is definitely a must try!! Their samosa and pork belly bao were pretty epic too! This place is very pretty and they have a nice green patio - going for the Dushanbe vibe! They observe covid regulations quite strictly. The guy at the counter who swiped my card for payment sanitized my card and pen before returning it back to me; definitely appreciate that and I haven't seen other places do it!..."
This tea house is also known for it's history. In 1987, during his first visit to Boulder, Mayor Maksud Ikramov announced that Dushanbe planned to present the city with a Teahouse to celebrate the establishment of sister city ties. From 1987 -1990, more than 40 artisans in several cities of Tajikistan created the decorative elements of this Teahouse, including its hand-carved and hand-painted ceiling, tables, stools, columns, and exterior ceramic panels. Often these skills are handed down from generation to generation within families. Lado Shanidze served as chief architect.
Babe's Tea Room
(formally House of Commons) babestearoom.com
2401 15th Street, Denver, CO 80202 (303) 455-4832
They host events. Outdoor seating, sit-down, and curbside. They provide hand sanitizer, sanitizing between customers, it's limited capacity, and all staff wear masks. Their most popular dishes are the finger sandwiches, curried chicken salad, Prosecco, and sugar cubes upon request. "Totally love the updated aesthetic here and really enjoyed the food and tea selections. I appreciate the customer service since I tried probably at least 8 different flavors of tea during high tea with no issue. My friend did order gluten free options which tasted Uber good based on what she said. Can't wait to go back for Prosecco next time!" Melissa N.
We went for Afternoon Tea and it was great! The finger sandwiches were adorable and the desserts were delicious. The selection of tea to choose definitely exceeded expectations." says Cait Z. from Denver. when she visited in January 2021. "We also ordered the bottomless bubbly but I'd recommend, at least with Covid restrictions, to skip this just because you are on a time slot! I think with the tea I refilled my mimosa glass only once. It is street parking so I'd leave a little early to find a spot and walk! Especially due to having a reservation slot. There are two lots very close that offer paid parking. This is a great place to bring a guest visiting Denver or have a cute birthday celebration. I'll definitely be coming again."
Tea Lee's Tea House & Bookstore
The wait was short and great service. "The high tea experience here was so delicious! I didn't eat breakfast beforehand and I'm glad I didn't because there was so much food (we took half our sweet pastries to go cause we couldn't finish it, we were so full). The service that day included a quiche, soup or salad, and a tiered tray of other snacks. We made a reservation by phone the night before, so our table was ready to go when we arrived." Marie S. TeaLee’s Tea House and Bookstore is located at the gateway of Denver’s Historic Five Points. In an afro-centric atmosphere we provide high quality loose leaf teas, food and specialty drinks, including beer and wine. They are a safe, congenial, relaxed teahouse – (they move to the Rhythm of Tea). You can enjoy hanging out and a variety of books, chocolate, and selected sundries. They strive to leave you better than when you came into the teahouse.
" Great little place!" shares Tyler S. "Still operating during Covid w/out any loss of its uniqueness. I am visiting a friend that lives across the street and TeaLees gave me the opportunity to re-center myself w/some delicious tea. I had the floral earl grey w/a little bit of honey. Wide selection of fresh tea!! Will be back before I leave. Highly recommend if you are in the area. Very friendly staff as well."
Tea Cloud & Poke
Two of my favorite things come together to make a baby: Tea Cloud Teahouse. Modern teahouse serving an array of tea flavors & boba drinks, plus loose leaves & teapots. You can utilize their delivery option with Grubhub, Postmates, or call ahead for a to-go order. This is the designated Boboa Tea spot! They are especially proud of their seared shrimp poke bowl, Strawberry Boboa (black tea +coconut milk), and Morning Dew Tea with egg cream and Hershey's Chocolate.
"This ain't your regular boba shop! My friend and I walked in last week and we were looking to get some tea. We didn't expect much at first but the owner blew us out of the water! He took time to explain each type of tea on the menu to us, gave us a sample of the tea we wanted and gave us suggestions as to what kind of flavor ( mango,peach,vanilla or strawberry etc) would go with the type of tea we picked. James (the owner) was extremely knowledgeable about his tea, and I could see he is passionate at what he does. Go on, check this place out! You won't be disappoint[ed]!" -Gladys C. from Denver.
"I love this place so much! While I've been coming here with my girlfriend primarily for the boba (can't go wrong with the Thai Tea), James and his mom have been running an incredible shop that has an awesome selection of hot and cold drinks, and fresh poke. I really can't say enough about how friendly the service is at Tea Cloud. They really make me feel like family whenever I visit. James consistently goes out of his way to make sure the drinks are made right, from providing a sample tasting before sealing the cup, to letting us try his latest batch of black sugar boba. Tea Cloud is hands down the best spot for boba and poke in the Denver downtown area. It hangs right off the 16th Street Mall so is conveniently located for anyone visiting the Denver area." - Isaac L.
589 Google reviews and a 4.8 rating on Google, I had to check this out for myself. They have outdoor seating, curbside pickup. sit-down dining, and delivery available. iN-TEA is a family owned business who started in 2008 with big dreams to bring tea and tea knowledge to Colorado. An eclectic tea house in the heart of Historic Downtown Littleton, we feature over 170 teas and blends, tea-infused cocktails, beer, wine, sake, locally produced baked goods, all-natural organic sandwiches, salads, and paninis. We offer tea classes, flights, tastings, community events, open-mic poetry nights, private parties, and a knowledgeable staff.
Tea snobs, Unite! This is a fantastic tea venue. They have a great range of teas, pretty knowledgeable staff, terrific service and a great environment. We like to go at brunchish time on the weekend and have some food and some tea. They've even set aside my wife's fave breakfast when she called ahead to make sure they have it when we get there. The Phoenix Mountain Oolong is magnificent. We get one pot to share and usually take one free infusion. As if you couldn't already tell it's great, they DON'T serve coffee. It's enough to make a guy propose. Seems clear that if there were more places like this in the world, there would be less violence. Or more tea. Or I would just like it better. And, I got a shirt that says "Can't we all just get Oolong". Dan S. Denver
It's so hard to find a decent tea place in Colorado but In Tea in downtown Littleton exceeded all my expectations. It is THE tea heaven! So many different kinds you can try as well as purchase any of the loose tea and take it home. They have yummy treats that go perfectly with your tea and a super cool little store with unique gifts for the tea lovers.
I definitely recommend checking it out. I can't wait to go back! Irina R. from Lone Tree
The Brown Sugar Boboa and Taro Slush is, by far, their most popular beverages. Tea Street is definitely near the top of the list for having excellent tapioca pearls, and a great selection of teas and other toppings. I had the jasmine green milk tea while my husband had the tea street milk tea, both with brown sugar boba. Both were excellent, and the tapioca peals were just right, with the ideal boba consistency and texture. At Tea Street you can customize your sugar level and ice level. Clean, friendly staff, and cute tea decor. Only wish Tea Street was closer to where we live! Amber C.
I must admit, this place has a heart warming story behind it. Patrick and Victoria Lam are a brother-sister duo and Colorado natives. Ethnically, they are Cantonese with significant Vietnamese cultural influence. They frequently visited Hong Kong with their family as children. Their Vietnamese-born parents deeply valued their Chinese heritage and wanted to impart upon Patrick and Victoria the significance of retaining their culture. It was during these trips that they were introduced to Hong Kong-style Milk Teas. With each visit, their appreciation for the rich and bold brews of tea grew. Victoria’s adoration for milk teas eventually drew her to study abroad in Shanghai, and she would often travel to Hong Kong while abroad. Meanwhile, Patrick frequently visited Taiwan, where he was exposed to a different style of milk tea, the Taiwanese Bubble Tea. What’s the difference? While Hong Kong Milk Teas are typically served hot, Taiwanese Bubble Teas are served cold.
Premium tea is the core concept of bubble tea. Toppings, such as boba, are added to create an additional dimension of flavor and texture. The mixed tea is shaken and poured over boba or any other topping of your choice. After drinking milk teas almost daily for a year, Patrick and Victoria both felt a sense of detachment upon returning home to the US. They began brewing tea at home and mixing various fruits, milks, and toppings together. This experimentation led to the birth of Tea Street, a place where tradition has been blended with modern, quality flavors since 2018.
Stella's Coffee & Tea
We’ve been serving up lattes, iced matcha teas, tasty neighborhood coffee and treats since 1991. With a dog-friendly patio, friendly baristas and a wide selection of drinks and snacks it’s easy to see why Stella’s has become a staple of South Pearl Street in Denver. Friendly service is at the core of what we do. When you come to Stella’s you are a part of our family. We look forward to the opportunity to become your new favorite gourmet coffee shop in Platt Park. Unfortunately, they do not have delivery or curbside pickup unless you order it from Postmates. This is a popular spot for DU students so it can be challenging to find seating. The fire pits, dog-friendly attitude, and insanely great Chai make it a no-brainer option.
"This is the coolest, cutest coffee shop I've ever been to!" shares Sarah S. "I've come here 3 times today to sit and read and relax. Admittedly I've only tried one coffee which was like 3 stars, but the character and charm goes a long way. Complete with fire pits, a dog friendly patio and a basket of dog treats...this place is 5 stars in my book!"
We live just a few blocks" she continues, "from Stella's and frequent this neighborhood gem weekly (so missed them while they were closed for the lock down but they're now open again!) Stella's has a great *dog-friendly* patio space with ample seating and a fire pit for cooler weather -- it's perfect for sitting and chatting, working and studying. My one critique is the drip coffee. Light roast seems to run out quickly and lately they have only had the dark roast (once the light roast runs out), which is very dark and tastes burnt. I overheard someone say it tastes like diner coffee and I have to say I concur. Would LOVE it if they could make light roast a priority throughout the morning. Also, the chocolate chip pumpkin bread is the best I've ever had!"
Kung Fu Tea
Kung Fu Tea has three locations: the Holly Ridge neighborhood, on Belleview in DTC, and Aurora. I'm going to "nerd out" for a moment and say that I fell in love with their website. Whoever designed it for them is ON POINT with website design (and their APP!!!!) ... Ok. Back to the awesomeness of Kung Fu Tea.
It was founded by Michael, Ray, Allen, and Sean in Queens, NY on April 30th, 2010. They believe in high standards, tea that looks appeasing, and tastes memorable. Their mantra includes being 'Fresh, Innovative, and Fearless' in whatever you do, On their 8th birthday in business, they instilled National Bubble Tea Day to celebrate the tea that makes our lives bubblier.
Sonder Coffee & Tea
In Lugano Cherry Creek 9731 E Illiff Avenue, Denver, CO 80231 (720) 295-4674
The Honey Lavendar Latte was the most ranted about beverage at this establishment.
"My husband and I love Sonder! For so many reasons." claims Christina D. from Denver. "First the coffee: DELICIOUS! As Corvus fans we love being able to get Corvus coffee here, in lattes and pour over coffees. The honey lavender latte and the Rose latte are my personal favorites - sweet but wonderful flavor. The pour overs are also delicious - the Costa Rica especially. It's so rare you can have a cup of black coffee and love every drop without the slightest need for milk or sweetness 1 but you can at Sonder! I also really enjoy the variety of loose leaf teas they have - robust and full of flavor. And don't get me started on the Kimboucha! Some of the yummiest I've ever tried! Now a lot of coffee shops are sterile and boring. We really love the atmosphere at Sonder. It is very community based with so many nice regulars, and the owners clearly responsible for the warm and friendly environment. Lots of seating for groups or if you want to study by yourself. Finally they don't have a lot to eat but what they do have is amazing. My husband literally can't resist the donuts every time we come. Flavors like maple bacon, croissants, and other yummy options. One of the best parts of Sonder is their loyalty rewards program. So many coffee shops neglect to do this but for every 10 purchases here you get a free item! It's so fun to have a place to enjoy as regulars!"
"YES. I have been waiting for the minimalist coffee shops to make an appearance closer to the suburbs and SONDER is everything I have been waiting for!" laughs Tammy N. from Aurora. " The location is slightly hidden off of Iliff Avenue, but there are plenty of parking spots once you find it. The shop is bright and spacious; definitely enough room to spread out a bit and relax. The baristas are friendly and know their stuff, which was super helpful for me, since I'm usually that one person who is undecided on what to order whenever I get coffee. The coffee comes from Corvus Coffee Roasters (a local favorite of mine). The honey lavender latte I ordered was especially smooth and tasty, exactly how I like it. Extra bonus for in-house syrups to change up the latte options a bit. If you're a little bit more adventurous, they even serve kombucha on tap! Definitely a good place to hang out and soak in some of the positive energy here, while sipping on some tasty coffee. This place is certainly becoming a neighborhood go-to of mine."
All quotes are from real customers and patrons pulled from Yelp or Google. Photos are mostly pulled from Yelp or Google as well. This list was determined with several factors in mind: my personal experience, customer reviews, and combined Top Lists of Denver: Westword, Destination Tea, Foursquare, The Denver Post, Tea Map, Only In Your State, Yelp.
Written by: Jessica Gonzales, a Denver, CO local, with a background in event management, blog writing, and a master networker. Please contact email@example.com for additional questions or to feature your business.
Did your favorite tea house make the Ultimate Tea House House List? Do you agree with the choices? Let us know your go-to when it comes to tea. Leave a comment.