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Tea Embassy

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900 Rio Grande St, Austin, TX 78701, USA 512 330-9991 Website Owner?

Sun closed Mon 10:00am – 5:00pm Tue 10:00am – 5:00pm Wed 10:00am – 5:00pm Thu 10:00am – 5:00pm Fri 10:00am – 5:00pm Sat 10:00am – 5:30pm
The Tea Embassy is quietly nestled in an historical home in downtown Austin, Texas. With a selection of over 150 fine loose teas from all over the world, you are sure to find a tea to match your cup of choice. Countless teapots of all styles are available for the practical tea drinker or teapot collector as well as tea accoutrements, gadgets, and tasty treats. Find thoughtful gifts as you shop the relaxing and tranquil house and sip complimentary samples from our teas of the day. You may also order a cup of any tea from our menu of over 200 teas and sit down in several seating areas, however, no milk/cream is served. Tea Embassy does not offer food service, but those seeking afternoon tea service can buy tickets to the monthly catered afternoon tea events, check website calendar for dates. The space is also available to rent for private parties, bridal showers, baby showers or special events for up to 30 guests.

Recent reviews

    • Beth Patterson

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      Sadly the brick and mortar shop is closed. They are now only available on line.

    • Forest

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      Maybe because it was so hot out, or that the young lady was newer and learning but the tea knowledge was very low and the preparation of the fine Oolong we tried was not brewed correctly and had a hint of chemical to it. Perhaps very poor city water, not sure. Disappointingly as well was very poor parking. And a lot of crammed retail space. Hard to see much of anything. All in all an average tea shop, not a tea room.

    • Rebecca Cragg

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      Tea Embassy staff are so knowledgeable - and truly wonderful resources! I have enjoyed making a special trip to Tea Embassy each time I visit Austin!

    • Flora

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      Looked like they have afternoon teas for particular occasions (Valentine's, Mother's day, etc.), rather than regularly scheduled. However, their gift shop was definitely worth spending some time to browse.

    • Katie

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      The Tea Embassy is a 'must visit' place for tea fans living in or visiting Austin. The staff is very knowledgeable about their teas, and they are all passionate tea drinkers themselves. They usually have 3-5 teas brewed, so you can try them in the store. And there's a very relaxed counter atmosphere, where you can take your time ordering and asking about different teas. The teas are whole, loose leaf blends. My favorites are their Black Currant (flavored black - very good iced and everyone seems to like it), Jade Oolong, Capuccino Rooibus (flavored rooibus - excellent iced or hot and goes well with green melons), and Allergy Soother (herbal). Jonathon, one of the owners, often works the counter. He taught one section of a 3-part class, which included how to prepare different teas and a 15-tea tasting tour. That was fun, and inspired me to learn even more about tea! I recommend it highly. One of the other owners is interested in tea etiquette and accessories, and the rest of the store reflects that. There are a wide selection expensive tea pots, sets, etc. They have a small selection of less expensive teapots, and they seem to go to a lot of trouble finding the best products available.

    • Darlene

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      A friend of mine recommended Tea Embassy to me. I was impressed with the variety of teapots/teacups, etc, and I am quite hooked on the Cream Earl Grey as well as the Strawberry Cream Green Tea. I also tried the Hot Cinnamon Spice Tea - very tasty, amazing how sweet it is without any sweetener. I will definitely be back!

    • Jim T

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      In response to Joshua's review: It is true that real Bai Hao (“Oriental Beauty”) has small insect bites on the leaves caused by the Tea Jassid (Empoasca flavescens Fabricus). This bite damage causes localized areas of the leaves to turn brown, and die. This is readily seen on examining Oriental Beauty leaves after steeping. Excellent photos of the bite marks on processed and unprocessed leaves can be found at http://teamasters.blogspot.com/2007/09/hsin-chu-county-oriental-beauty.html. Besides having great photos, it is also an excellent article on Oriental Beauty. Joshua writes that “There are no bite marks left as the leaf hoppers are too small to leave any visible evidence. The leaf does change in appearance though, becoming withered; like a fallen leaf.” However, the Indian agricultural-portal, Ikisan.com, describes Tea Jassid damage thus: “Nymphs and adults suck sap usually from the under surface of the leaves and inject toxin causing curling of leaf edges and leaves turn red or brown.” It is precisely this bite damage… this visible damage… that causes Oriental Beauty to have its prized fruit-like flavor and aroma. I don’t want to debate whether the leaves are bitten, punctured or injected with a toxin. I want to make it perfectly certain that everyone reading these posts will understand that genuine Bai Hao (“Oriental Beauty”) has visible damage to the leaves, caused by the Tea Jassid, and that these damaged areas of the leaves give the tea its intoxicating flavor. While not all teas damaged by Tea Jassids are Oriental Beauty, Oriental Beauty must have damage from Tea Jassids. The Oriental Beauty that I purchased from this vendor did not show any of the visible signs of Jassid damage that one typically sees. More importantly, the tea did not taste like Oriental Beauty. I do not attribute any malice to the vendor. However I think that vendors should be able to discern the authenticity, if not the quality, of the teas that they are buying and then selling. I would know if someone passed off aged baozhong for sheng puerh. Don’t you expect your tea vendor to know too??? A word regarding the ratings that I gave to this vendor: Variety – marked low because of the quality of the loose-leaf teas that I purchased. If this is any indication of their stock as a whole, then having more of it won’t make the problem any better. Artistry – marked med-low because the tea sampled on location was vapid. Service – marked as excellent because the proprietor was very helpful and anticipated my every need. The owner was warm and pleasant to talk to. Food – marked medium because I was hoping to discount any high or low scores because this vendor does not serve food to my knowledge.

    • Josh Chamberlain

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      In response to Jim T's review: It is not true that real Bai Hao has small insect bites on the leaves. How does the Formosa Oolong group get their wonderful flavor? An interesting article in the Taiwanese magazine gives an account: In the months of May through July tiny insects called leaf hoppers are at their highest concentration. During this time, tea farmers throughout Taiwan make preparations for their summer harvest of Formosa Oolongs. In the past, pesticides were used to discourage these little buggers, but in recent years the farmers have hoped that their crops are well attacked. It was discovered that the more highly concentrated the leaf hoppers, the more flavorful the tea. The leaf hoppers became a welcome pest, adding flavor to the tea throughout the island. Through several hundred if not thousands of years of evolution, the fresh tea leaf has developed a self defense mechanism. The threat caused by the leaf hopper resulted in abnormal metabolic rhythms being produced by the plant which in turn caused some sort of chemical reaction that results in “multiple tea polyphenols” (the powerful antioxidant found in oolong tea) and tea tannins. These polyphenols and tannins in turn attracted the leukoplakia wax spider, a natural predator of the leaf hopper. A full grown leaf hopper is no bigger than a fruit fly. It is as small as a spec of dust. They have a sharp beak poker mouth that resembles a shortened mosquito snout. The leaf hopper uses this poker to suck out the nutrient juices of the fresh and tender leaves of the camellia sinensis, or tea plant. There are no bite marks left as the leaf hoppers are too small to leave any visible evidence. The leaf does change in appearance though, becoming withered; like a fallen leaf. The leaf hopper threatens the sprout of the fresh leaf which looks like a toothpick. In a controlled experiment, researchers found that when artificially replicating the attack of the leaf hopper in a lab, the tea plant responded similarly, producing the same abnormal metabolic rhythms. But the degree to which the chemical reaction occurred was far less. When researchers tasted both teas the results showed clearly that the tea bitten by the leaf hopper was significantly sweeter than the tea that was artificially attacked. The conclusion of the research was that the classic honey taste associated with Formosa Oolong comes from the leaf hopper actually sucking from the tea sprout.

    • Susan Baughman

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      Note that this is a tea SHOP and not a tea restaurant. Yet it’s wonderful! Knowledgeable staff (owners) with a huge selection of loose teas. Antique and new tea cups & saucers for sale; pots, spoons, even jewelry. You will want to give yourself time to browse and relax and try the 3 or 4 samples that are always brewing. They’ve turned me on to many unusual teas I never would have tried otherwise (green tea with cherry/rose! Tea with almond!). It is a haven in the midst of a too-busy world – and it’s wonderfully decorated. If you don’t like this store, send me a complaint email!! ;-) susan@NoCheapShoes.com don't forget to try the monthly teas with food - they sell out early, so book in advance!

    • Cathy

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      We arrived first thing in the morning and enjoyed having the place to ourselves. Three teas were available for sampling; the owners and staff were very gracious. Was fun to listen to folks talk of their tea preferences ... would've been nice to have been able to purchase some of those by the cup. We'll certainly visit again.

    • kim

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      These people really know, and love, their tea. I'm usually not one for flavored teas, but their Winter Dreams won me over. They offer a wide selection of well-packaged teas. I've found them to be very helpful and friendly when I stop by during a quiet part of the day. Tea Embassy is the spot for serious tea lovers in Austin. My only wish is that they sold by the cup!

    • Teamuse

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      while the store was very lovely and the tea selection was astounding...i was a little taken aback by the quality of service. While at the store I waited at the counter 3 different times and was not once approached by the staff. Others came up while I was waiting and were helped. I had the same experience while looking at the teaware as well. I got fustrated and left. I may go back to try some of the teas...if I can get someone to help me. I hope that this experience was fluke.

    • Kia

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      I loved this store! I have bought two tea pots and love the tea. If you go make sure to try the Almond Cookie tea it is good!