Nearly all American tea rooms were owned by women. They would often open up spare rooms in their houses or set up tables in their gardens. In the early 1900s, tea rooms were ideal for single women who desired some sort of career. Fast forward to today and the appeal of tea rooms remains. A quaint atmosphere with fine china and silverware makes for a pleasurable social experience. What really sets the tea experience apart is its emphasis on conversation and connection. Have you ever sat down with a friend only for them to be consumed with their screen over the conversation? In our world of smartphones and Zoom calls, this is becoming increasingly more common. For the perfect way to catch up with a friend after a long hiatus, here are 12 tea rooms in New Jersey, separated by region.
HighSocieTea House – Wayne, NJ
HighSocieTea House is designed for guests to travel back in time and rediscover the lost art of conversation. It is located in the historic part of Wayne, even being listed on the Wayne Historical Society as the first official post office in 1895. Every guest is served their own pot of tea in a handmade cozy. This ensures the first and last cups taste equally delicious. They use locally grown farm-fresh and organic produce to prepare all food in the kitchen. If the tea experience is so good you want to take it home with you, check out the gift shop in person and online for all things tea related.
Harmony Tea Room – Westwood, NJ
Harmony Tea Room is inspired by afternoon tea times in England. The quaint and calming dining experience is complemented by over 35 varieties of tea from around the world. The menu also offers a wide array of warm scones, finger sandwiches, soups and salads. Reservations are required and the dining limit is up to two hours maximum. Harmony Tea Room offers to-go as well as fabulous private parties and children’s parties.
Tshikovi Tea House – Phillipsburg, NJ
Tshikovi (Chi-KO-vee) Tea House is tea with a modern twist. Owner Yvette Natalie Brown’s inspiration for her business was the prevalence of tea in her household growing up. They specialize in fresh loose-leaf tea blends. These blends celebrate black women important to the culture like Madame C.J Walker (Sarah’s blend), black women that hold personal significance to her like Zaura’s Blend (named after her daughter), and of course, blends that celebrate hip hop and r&b classics like the “Electric Relaxation” blend. Read more about the incredible story and the origins behind Tshikovi here and shop online here.
Lorraine’s Cake Shoppe & Tea Room – Lafayette, NJ
Lorraine’s Cake Shoppe & Tea Room is owned by pastry chef Lorraine Howarth Perry. She has a specialty in cakes but offers a variety of cookies and macarons to accompany tea. Her tea room is temporarily closed, so while you can’t go sit down, you can have the tea brought to you as private parties and special tea events are still being offered. Here you can view booking info and contact for these packages.
Prince Tea House – Princeton, NJ
Prince Tea House is a European and Asian fusion tea experience. The menu is what sets it apart with green, oolong and milk teas offered both hot and cold alongside classics like black and white teas as well as fruity teas. The drink options are truly endless with over 100 variations to choose from. They offer traditional afternoon tea with scones and cakes, but also its Asian counterparts like boba and matcha mille cakes. While closed on Tuesdays, unlike many of the other tea houses on this list, Prince Tea House does welcome walk-ins. If you are a die-hard boba fan above all else, here is a list of bubble tea locations in New Jersey.
Teaberry’s Tea Room – Flemington, NJ
Teaberry’s was created in a restored Victorian home meant to be a refuge from the outside world. Susan and Sarah Peterson believe it is enriching to add beauty and charm to the little details of our lives. The Teaberry House, built in 1822, is one of the oldest homes in Flemington. The tea house was opened in 2005 by Susan Peterson and is now a business run alongside her daughter Sara. “Tea is a wonderful catalyst for precious human interaction and we promote that at Teaberry’s. You’ll never feel rushed or ignored— instead you will feel far away from the outside world, at least for a little while,” says Susan. Support Flemington history and this mother-daughter business for lunch, afternoon tea or catering at your next event.
The Peacock Inn – Princeton, NJ
Known as Princeton’s only luxury hotel, The Peacock Inn also offers splendid afternoon tea in the garden. It’s a classic tea experience with sweets, scones and savories. The tea range is strictly black, white, green or herbal. While reservations are required, you can also upgrade your package to the champagne experience which includes a flight of champagne and sparkling wines with five other dishes that can be viewed here.
Mulberry House – Westfield, NJ
The Mulberry House brings a unique ambiance for cocktail receptions, birthday parties, corporate events and christenings to name a few. While they are a tea room, they are also a restaurant that offers indoor and outdoor dining along with takeout and catering. Their tea party catering is their biggest hit and is available on and offsite.
Boukakuan Japanese Tea House & Garden – Mansfield, NJ
Boukakuan focuses on the traditional Japanese tea ceremony. It was opened in 1997 and features a four-and-a-half tatami mat tea room with a small preparation room and sunken hearth. Because of the detailed nature of the Japanese tea ceremony, Boukakuan offers lessons, lectures and off-site demonstrations for those interested in learning more. Private demonstrations are available to be booked at your convenience a week in advance for up to five people. Arrive early, feed the koi, and stroll through the garden before entering the tea house, where you will be served a traditional Japanese confection before receiving a bowl of green tea.
Nutty Duchess Tea Room – Collingswood, NJ
The Nutty Duchess opened a catering service due to the pandemic. They drop off teacups, teapots, children’s jewelry and all food necessary for your party as part of the “Queen’s Tea To-Go” package. Other private events available are garden parties, bridal and baby showers, themed murder mystery nights and the classic afternoon tea parties. They have a wide variety of tea selections, including decaf and rooibos, making this selection ideal for celebrations.
Lady Magpie’s Tea & Curiosities – Tuckerton, NJ
Lady Magpie’s is a steampunk tea room. It combines owner Phyllis and Grant Buford’s love for the Victorian era and retro-futuristic creations. The steampunk aesthetic is also part of their desire to preserve local history. They have an ever-changing menu with freshly baked scones, homemade bread and various desserts. Their gift shop contains upcycled creations, repurposed china and other curiosities. Reservations are required for this positively deviant tea experience.
Mathis House – Toms River, NJ
Mathis House is a Victorian Bed & Breakfast as well as a Tea Room. It is meant to provide the ultimate relaxation with overnight stay, afternoon tea, or wedding venue options. You can celebrate a special occasion, or curl up with a book by the fire in the luxurious parlor. The dining room and library are all open and readily accessible to the public. Enjoy the afternoon tea, cream tea service, or extend your stay into an overnight weekend trip.
From family owned, to black owned and the majority being female owned, there are plenty of tea establishments to support across New Jersey. Whether it’s catering for your next special event or slowing down and delving deep into conversation with a friend, a cup of tea is sure to bring it all together.