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What Is a Tea Bar?

While tea is often on the menu at coffee shops, a new type of establishment is emerging that makes tea the focus. Tea bars have started popping up in urban areas, and their popularity is causing a growth of modern shops that are dedicated to tea service. Below, learn more about what tea bars do, how they differ from traditional tea houses, and why they're becoming so popular.

What Are Tea Bars?

Tea bars are similar to coffee shops, but these trendy establishments make tea the spotlight of their menus. Some tea bars transition from day to night with tea-centric cocktails that bring a new wave of flavors for bartenders to experiment with. A tea bar may also have a tea sommelier, or tea expert, who offers customers information on how to enjoy their chosen variety and how to pair it with food items on the bar’s menu.

Tea Bar vs. Tea House

Tea Bar

While tea-forward establishments have previously been seen with tea houses, tea bars tend to have a different aesthetic and purpose. Victorian-style tea houses are ideal for customers who want to experience a traditional tea service, while tea bars offer a contemporary alternative to coffee houses.

The customer base of a tea bar may look demographically different than a tea house as well. Tea houses generally have an upscale, formal atmosphere, which contrasts with the casual and relaxed environment found in most tea bars. As a result, tea bar patrons may be a generally younger crowd.

Why Tea Bars Are Growing in Popularity

There are a few main reasons that tea bars are quickly becoming more common.

The Health Benefits of Tea

With health and wellness foods trending, tea is showing up on more and more establishments’ menus. Many types of tea can contribute to your wellness, including varieties with digestive benefits, stress-relieving properties, or energy boosts. As a result, tea bars can serve as havens for health-conscious patrons.

Comfortable Environments

Often featuring cozy interior design and plenty of space to sit and relax while you finish a pot of tea, tea bars are also a great answer to the rising popularity of the Danish concept hygge, or the idea that contentment comes from comfort and quality time spent with loved ones.

Decor Worthy of Sharing

Plush seating, natural light, and rustic or minimalist decor may also contribute to an aesthetic that customers are eager to experience and share on social media.

Where You Can Find Tea Bars

Man drinking at a tea bar

For now, tea bars are mostly found in cities or other busy areas with high populations of young adults. Their similarity to coffee shops appeals to on-the-go professionals, while their comfortable space can accommodate remote workers or groups of friends looking for a meeting place. As their popularity grows and cities become saturated with tea bar options, these establishments are likely to begin appearing in suburban areas as well.


The tea bar is carving its own space in the world of beverage service establishments. Some tea bars offer a place for busy professionals to grab a cup before work, while others are pioneering tea-forward cocktails to be enjoyed at night. Overall, this trend offers tea drinkers a contemporary space to enjoy a pot of their preferred drink.

Posted in: Coffee & Tea | Bars & Breweries | By Christine Potts
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