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Tea and Whimsy at Alice’s Tea Cup in New York

For the young or young at heart, Alice’s Tea Cup offers a whimsical experience for tea lovers and those who are entranced by fairy tales. If you’re ever in New York, NY., pay them a visit and enjoy the playful atmosphere at one of their tea houses, where wonderland comes to life.

With a mission to provide a magical atmosphere for their guests, Alice’s Tea Cup mixes it up with fantasy-style décor and fanciful food comprising of a wide variety of scones, cakes and sandwiches, along with hundreds of teas and blends.

The Story of Alice’s Tea Cup

Haley Fox, her husband Michael and her sister Lauren founded Alice’s Tea Cup in 2001, making it the place to go for visitors who love afternoon tea with traditional Victorian goodies.

The sisters have known since childhood that tea is much more than a beverage and understand the unique art of hosting quality afternoon teas.

Their first location was opened soon after 9/11 on West 73rd Street, where they served tea all day on mismatched china, very much in keeping with the story of Alice in Wonderland, with passages from Lewis Carroll’s famous tale decorating the walls.

Since this first tea house was such a success, Alice’s Tea Cup branched out to East 64th Street and East 81st Street. A quirky reference to literature was used for these tea houses, making the original location Chapter 1, which has the largest store.

Then there’s Chapter 2 at East 64th Street, with space for private events and a tea-infused cocktail list. East 81st street is called Chapter 3, housing their main bakery, with space for events, such as bridal and baby showers, children’s parties and anything else you can dream of.

Once Upon a Time

Both sisters were in the film industry before deciding to chuck it all in and open their first tea house. Haley was a director and Lauren was acting, both in LA and often meeting for a spot of tea.

They fantasized about opening their own place, seeing as they were both tea connoisseurs with adventurous appetites. By 2000 they’d moved back to New York and when Haley and Michael walked past a building with a for rent sign on the front, he told Haley “There’s your teahouse!”

After securing a loan, chapter 1 was soon in operation, even though their friends and families were concerned, due to 9/11 having happened 4 days before signing the lease.

Since then, Alice’s Tea Cup has hosted countless afternoon teas and events, with famous clientele including Jennifer Lopez and delivering their delicious scones to studios and programs such as The Daily Show.

With a cookbook on offer, catering and tea accessories, Alice’s Tea Cup has created a fun-filled atmosphere for enjoying tea, whether traditional or their own quirky blends.

The Tea in Alice’s Tea Cup

  • Black Tea – Naturally caffeinated, fine black teas creating dark brews with complex flavors.
  • White Tea – Wonderfully mild due to being the least processed of the teas, with a subtle flavor (Note: here are some other exceptional white teas you can explore).
  • Rooibos Tea – From the African Red Bush with no caffeine, slightly sweet and earthy.
  • Green Tea – Mild grassy notes, high in antioxidants with slightly less caffeine than black tea.
  • Oolong Tea – Bold flavors and light in color; a balance between black and green tea.
  • Herbal Tea – Blends made with dried flowers, fruits and herbs to create an aromatic brew.

Alice’s Tea Cup also has a collection of their own house blends. Here is a sampling of the whimsical tea on offer.

White Champagne Raspberry

Full leaf white teas are blended with safflowers and flavored with natural champagne grape and a splash of raspberry. This tea is playful on the palate and Alice’s Tea Cup advises that it’s pure Nirvana in a cup.

Naturally caffeinated, it’s recommended that the tea should be steeped for 2 minutes with water between 170 to 180 degrees.

Chocolate Chai

A decadent blend made from black tea spiced with cardamom, cinnamon, clove, ginger and vanilla, which is then sweetened with chocolate. Serve with milk and honey to round out this sumptuous tea, after steeping for 3 minutes with water between 208 to 212 degrees.

Sparrow’s Soul

A delightful blend of chamomile, lemon verbena, linden blossoms and rose that is soothing and perfectly balanced. A house blend that is naturally caffeinated and best steeped for about 7 minutes with water between 208 to 212 degrees.

Alice’s Tea Cup offers a magical experience both in their tea houses and via their unique blends which are available to the public, as well as catering and fun merchandise ranging from gift cards and tea accessories to items such as their own cookbook.

Take a trip down the rabbit hole and lose yourself in a world of whimsy.

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