In Northeast Ohio, you don’t have to travel far to find a great cup of coffee.
But where is a tea-totaler like myself to turn in a time of need? Luckily, with the recent opening of two great new tea shops plus an old favorite, I need not go far.
The Tea Lab
Where: 530 Euclid Ave. Suite 17 Cleveland, Ohio 44115
On a recent trip to the 5th Street Arcades I was excited to visit The Tea Lab and it did not disappoint. They offer some serious variety but unlike other tea shops I’ve visited, I wasn’t immediately overwhelmed by what I saw when I walked in. Everything is clearly labeled, and the label has a colored border around it coinciding with the type of tea it is (i.e. black, red, white, green, etc).
I am a hardcore Earl Grey drinker, so I decided to start there. The store associate was extremely pleasant, easy going, and lovely to talk with. She never showed the slightest bit of agitation as I asked to smell somewhere around 15-20 different flavors. She easily answered all of my questions about the varieties and shared with me her preferred blends. We walked through the blacks, greens and whites and I selected six flavors to take home with me plus a seventh flavor for the road. I will definitely be making a return trip soon.
The Sanctuary on Green (open seasonally)
Where:1936 S. Green Rd. Cleveland, OH 44121
To relax and truly enjoy a fantastic cup of tea, be sure to seek out one of NEO’s best kept secrets – The Sanctuary on Green in South Euclid. Nestled back behind the trees you’ll find this Bavarian Tea Studio in a historic home that was built in 1910.
You can wander through the gardens on the property or, by appointment, visit the sculptor’s studio inside the 140-year-old barn. If the weather permits, I highly recommend you dine on the patio.
The menu of teas is quite extensive. Once you make a decision, they include a timer with your tea to ensure the proper steeping time. The food menu at the Sanctuary is, if possible, even more engaging than the tea. Everything is fresh and homemade, and many of the ingredients are grown organically on-site. They have vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. I love the Quark-brot (Quark is a mild low-fat cheese) and the sweet and sour cucumber salad. Every dessert I’ve had there is to die for, especially the strudel. They have a huge assortment of gifts you can purchase, many of which are imported from Europe so you are sure to find something unique for your loved ones. The Sanctuary is open seasonally from March until early October, Wednesday through Saturday, so be sure to book a patio table soon.
Cleveland Tea Revival
Where:1434 W. 29th St. Cleveland, OH 44113
In Ohio City the Cleveland Tea Revival recently popped up at the corner of West 29thand Church Avenue. The atmosphere is bright and open and welcomes you right in to sit at the bar with a nice fresh brew of hot or iced tea. The Cleveland Tea Revival also provides a timer to ensure the tea steeps appropriately. I ordered the lavender tea and it was brewed to perfection. It was completely smooth, not bitter in the least, and not a stray leaf of tea was to be found. It was simply brilliant.
I took one ounce of Earl Grey and one ounce of Earl herbal home with me (apparently Earl Grey is my measuring stick by which all teas are to be measured) and it brewed deliciously at home as well. The Cleveland Tea Revival is adding to the momentum that’s rekindling this neck of Ohio City and it looks like this revival is well under way.
What are you waiting for? Go grab yourself a cup of fresh brewed tea, a good book and enjoy a relaxing afternoon in Northeat Ohio!
Keri is originally from the Monongahela Valley in Pennsylvania. She received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Marketing from Gannon University, and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Urban Planning Design & Development from Cleveland State University with a certificate in Economic Development. Her prior employment experience includes corporate retail sales forecasting, pricing and inventory productivity analysis, market research, and mystery shopping (as a client, editor, and shopper). Keri is passionate about historic preservation, local businesses, and the Rust Belt. She resides in Summit County with her husband, son, and twin daughters. Keri started her blog, I Buy Local in the CLE, to raise awareness of the importance of stimulating the economy within which you reside.
Do you have a favorite spot in NEO? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and you could become our next guest blogger!