[Flickr/World to Table]
The mention of cafes in New York's East Village likely brings to mind images of very serious thinkers downing very serious cups of java, but downtown's coffee shops have lately been supplemented by a newer breed of over-caffeinated hotspots. The East Village, home to hip hotels like The Cooper Square and Thompson LES, is ground zero for New York's trendy tea movement, and these are three of the most popular stops.
Podunk Tearoom: Despite the name, this little shop has one of the lengthiest tea lists around, featuring everything from homemade chai to hot tea punch and custom blends like sage apricot. 231 E. 5th St.
Cha-An Tea House: A cutesy Japanese-style teahouse serving everything from Earl Grey to $12 imported matcha, plus green tea incorporated into tasty treats like macaroons and truffles. 230 E. 9th St.
Saint's Alp Teahouse: The Asian bubble tea trend never quite caught on in NYC, but for those addicted to the Tapioca ball teas, this quirky Hong Kong import offers hot and cold varieties laced with flavors like sesame, peanut and ginger. 39 3rd Ave.
- Brendan Spiegel of Endless Simmer.