On a recent visit to Danbury Connecticut, I went to several cafés to get some work done. Most were nice, but I don’t generally drink coffee, only tea, and the tea they had was not great. They were just using teabags and putting it in hot water. Considering that, the price of almost 5 dollars was way too high.
On my last day, though, I found an actual tea shop. It was not just a tea shop but also a tea store. They sold actual loose leaf tea and they had a lot of seating areas where you could order some of that tea freshly made.
They also served snacks, mostly cakes and other baked goods. It reminded me a lot of some tea shops you see in Asia, in terms of selection of teas and some of the cafés in Europe, in terms of the baked goods. It didn’t quite match up to any of those, but it was quite good for the US, especially for a small town.
What I really loved was the vintage record layer they had in one corner. They also has a fairly large vinyl record collection and seemed to always have a record playing on the turntable. The music was great and seemed to be mostly jazz and classical. It was all in all very appropriate music for a coffee shop.
Another thing that caught my eye was a state of the art security system, with high-tech security cameras. At first, I thought it must be due to the record player, but I eventually realized that it is because of the coffee and espresso machines. I had no idea how expensive those things are! I guess good coffee costs money. As does good home security.
I do not remember where this tea shop was located exactly, but it was somewhere near the downtown area. There was a bookstore nearby. As for the tea selection, they had at all. The even had yellow tea, which is rare to find outside of China. Naturally, they had green tea and black tea, as well as oolong tea, white tea and two different pu-erh teas.
Of course, they also had various herbal teas and flavored teas. I’m not a big fan of those, but a lot of people like them. And, yes, I know that herbal teas are not really tea, they are tisanes, but they were calling them tea in the store, so I’m going to use the same word here.
They basically had everything, except for tea that was grown indoors under grow lights. Remember, I mentioned that in a recent post. But that’s not something I’ve ever seen in a tea store anyway, so you can’t fault them for not having indoor-grown tea.
The quality of the tea was pretty good. It’s the kind of stuff you would buy at a Walmart in China, so it’s basically some of the lower quality teas you would get in Asia, but for the West that actually puts it in the upper range of quality.
You will not find many exceptional quality teas in the US, especially in a small town like Danbury. Therefore I have to say I was quite pleased with the tea quality. I enjoyed my cup and I actually had several more after that one.
I tried a nice Big Red Robe oolong tea, which was served in an infuser mug. That’s not quite a gaiwan, but it’s as close as you can get. I thought it was pretty cool. The green tea in the black tea were served in regular cups. I did not try any other types of tea. 3 cups was enough for me.
I was definitely surprised to find this little tea shop on my trip through Connecticut, and you can believe that I will be back next time I’m in town. It has great food, great tea and great music streaming from that classic turntable.
In fact, the shop had quite a lot of space indoors, so it might make a good meeting point for the Danbury Hibernians, although they already have a meeting spot they’ve used for a long time, so I doubt they would want to switch. It’s just what I would want, because I love tea so much. So, if you’re ever in Danbury, make sure to check out the tea shop. I’m sure you’ll love it as much as I did.