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Tbar: An Urban Tea Bar Steeped In History


As the summer sun heats the air and the bustling city traffic buzzes even louder, we all seek a quiet haven where we can escape and discover a calmer and cooler state of mind. Local tea haven, Tbar, offers just that, as soothing aromas linger in the urban tea bar. The deep eggplant walls are lined with over seventy loose teas, tea ware and tea health/beauty products, enveloping you in everything tea.

Take a peek through their glass countertop that displays and labels an array of their loose tea, or page through their menu binder filled with names and descriptions of white, black, green, oolong or herbal. Although if you’re seeking a specialty drink, you might want to peruse their Steep, Shake or Fizz Menus that hang from the ceiling and offer details about their delicious blends or bubble teas. I highly recommend the honeybee latte or an iced honeydew bubble tea.

Beyond satisfying the palette, Tbar owners and aficionados (and might I add, sisters), Julia Rugg and Susan Chu, are also feeding your mind with their tea seminars, offered on a monthly basis. Each class explores the history behind tea, the origin of the leaves from the Camellia Sinensis plant, and the various types of tea to excite every taste bud. The seminars will consistently delve into the latter topics, although the focus will change on a monthly basis, highlighting anything from a specific type of tea (black) to a holistic herb. Before class is dismissed, Susan and Julia will assist you in discovering a steep that suits your personal tastes.

Inside TBarAlthough if group learning has never been your cup of tea, they offer one-on-one personalized sessions and tea tastings. Keeping your palette and wallet in mind, seminars start at $20 and can be created based on your taste and budget.

 Above all, Julia and Susan have created an urban tea oasis that takes you a step away from the traditional and often stuffy concept of “tea time,” and gives it a modern spin. They note on their site that, “Our goal was to showcase the flavorful, healthy, and versatile world of tea and herbs in a modern environment through our signature tea bar.” They have truly gone above and beyond that goal, by offering a plethora of delicious beverages and tea edibles, along with a monthly art series that feature local artists, tea pairings in their email newsletter, and my personal favorite, an inshore book swap. This literary endeavor revolves around a beautiful piece of furniture located in the heart of the store, that is filled with books from Tbar and it’s loyal customers. The purpose of such an idea? To offer a few words to soak in while you sip on a cup.

Julia and Susan are expanding and enticing Philadelphia’s tea enthusiasts’ palettes and minds one cup at a time.

Check their events calendar (http://www.tbarteas.com/tbar/index.php?Itemid=16)  as seminars are being added on a monthly basis.
For more information about Tbar and to take a peek at their menu, visit www.tbarteas.com


117 S. 12th Street (corner of 12th & Sansom)
Philadelphia, PA 19107

(215) 625-3936


Monday - Saturday:  10am – 9pm
Sunday:  Closed