This teahouse has great atmosphere and room for groups to drink together even though the shop itself isn’t very big. The inside includes a rock waterfall, wooden tea chest tables, and bamboo shelves in a mix of organic and geometric design.
The full Tao of Tea menu is available in several serving styles along with nibbles. The Leaf Room is located next door if you wish to take some tea home. I haven’t found the staff here as friendly/helpful as in the Lan Su Garden location, but they also haven’t been rude.
This teahouse has a very alternative/Portlandy cafe/hangout feel.
There is a mismash of seating-from the traditional table for two to couches, with additional seating downstairs and a patio/garden out back. The place was pretty busy when I stopped by.
Their tea menu seemed very diverse, even including bubble tea and some sort of remedy section. It was available by the cup or pot and they also made it to-go.
Artwork was displayed on the upstairs walls and there were two small sections of tea and coffee paraphernalia for sale.
The staff is very helpful to the neophyte. I think this is where I first fell in love with tea and they have always been knowledgeable and patient with me here.
You have to pay ~$10 to enter the garden on top of any teahouse purchases, but the atmosphere is worth it. The garden the teahouse is located in was made in partnership with the city of Suzhou, China and is said to be the most authentic Suzhou-styled garden outside of China. On a nice day, you can look out upon the garden from the teahouse and listen to live music. Usually it’s classical Chinese, but the performer got bored one day I was there and, grinning at me, played “jingle bells” to see if anyone was actually listening.
Tao of Tea’s full menu is available to enjoy in several different styles. There are nibbles to take advantage of too. If you enjoy your cup, most of the teas seem to be available for purchase.