Having been a tea fan since birth (literally, my mother has this documented), I was not so sure that I would be able to feed my tea house addiction in Arizona. After all, the pickings were pretty slim and mostly disappointing in the NoCal bay area, so I didn’t have my hopes up.
Never prejudge a place by its weather! After all, while living in SoCal, I did find two favorites. Although I am very sad that one of them – Tea and Sympathy in Costa Mesa, California, has closed after an unsuccessful ownership change – the tradition of full menus, great tea selections and a drop in anytime atmosphere is still in force at the Vintage Tea Leaf in Long Beach. I hope to get there in July to see how it compares to my memory.
So far I have been to two tea houses in Arizona, and both have been a ton of fun.
The closest one to my home is the English Rose Tea Room in Carefree, Arizona. I’ve been here several times (have even been successful in getting my husband to come with me!) and have never been disappointed. My favorite point here is that the scones are the hands down best that I have ever had anywhere. Also, you can buy the tea that is served, and there is quite an extensive list. Rose-infused black tea is my favorite, although I have become partial to an earl gray/lavender/cornflower mixCustomers have a selection from a lunch or tea menu, sweet and savory, and there is even a ploughman’s lunch selection for those more interested in heartier fare.
Today the adventure continued with The Spicery in Our 1895 Home in Glendale, Arizona. It touts being the oldest home built in Glendale, and is impeccably preserved with period decorating. We were comfortable in our window-side table for three. Modern lunch selections are served from 11AM-1PM, and a full tea service is served at a reservations-only 1PM daily seating. There is a limited selection of tea and the menu is fixed, but they are more than accommodating if you have diet issues that need to be addressed. I have to give them 100% for atmosphere. Scones and sandwiches were served warm, which was a nice touch. The shortbread cookie presented with the buttermilk scone was to die for – it melts in your mouth and is the perfect balance of flavor. Their signature tea is Queen Victoria, which is a black/green/floral blend. Very smooth. Both my friends loved the experience, and we were the last to leave – the staff was really nice about our lingering. You know how it is when you get hot on a subject and lose track of time!
Don’t worry, my fascination with tea will never crowd out my occassional yearning for the coffee shop stop (there are two great places in Cave Creek). But I am excited at the prospect in checking out all the offerings in the Phoenix metropolitan area!