When I say “tea,” what comes to mind? Little tea bags with a string attached hanging over your coffee mug to create a stiff brew that tastes like dirt? This was my first experience with tea. And throughout my childhood I always had a negative association with tea. Tea has changed a bit since the 80’s. While supermarket teas can be lovely and convenient, there is a whole world out there of fine loose leaf tea to enjoy on your own or with friends on these frigid days. While I love a good cup of coffee, never underestimate the the power of a really good cuppa.
Specialty Tea Shops in Lake County
In case you didn’t know, these teas are loose, like coffee grounds, and you spoon them into either a tea bag or into an infuser. Steep according to directions. Most of the following places allow you to purchase loose tea by the ounce to take home, but you may also need to purchase the accouterments if you do not already have them.
Here are a few must try locales:
Madame Zuzu’s Tea Shop and Art Studio
582 Roger Williams Ave., Highland Park | (847) 926-7437
Owned by Smashing Pumpkins front man Billy Corgan, this unique shop is situated near Ravinia. Serving up rare and global teas, coffee, and delicious vegan pastries. They are really excited to share their tea expertise with their patrons and the shop has a really cool vibe that includes an art studio showcasing local talent and some chic gifts.
20530 N. Rand #424, Deer Park | (847) 438-2382
122 Hawthorn Center #806 (in the mall), Vernon Hills | (847) 367-6807
This store features tea and tea accessories, but has an almost overwhelming variety of teas to choose from. Samples of many of their teas are available as you peruse the selection.
606 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville | (224) 433-6629
Along with great olive oil and vinegar, they also sell Tiesta loose teas, which is owned by local entrepreneurs and University of Illinois graduates. Be sure to check out their selection of other fun specialty food and gift items.
Beans & Leaves Coffee & Tea Cafe
320 Old McHenry Rd., Long Grove | (847) 821-0011
Located in historic downtown Long Grove and locally owned and recently remodeled, you will find a fine selection of loose teas (along with their great coffee). They also often have live music scheduled or musicians who just pop in to practice.
The Latte Cafe
1185 Main St., Antioch| (224) 788-5076
Along with their delicious coffee, this local gem also sells great loose tea and tea accessories. They will even put it together in a cute little gift package for the tea lover in your world.
High Tea with Gerri (Tea Room)
144 Old McHenry Rd., Long Grove| (847) 948-1724
This is a high tea experience, not a tea store. But it does provide authentic English tea with pastries, scones, light sandwiches, perfect for a girls outing. This tea room also hosts group functions such as baby showers and birthday parties.
The Green Teaist Salon de the Vert El L’atelier
647 Bank Lane, Lake Forest | (847) 735-0400
This shop specializes in Green Tea. Enjoy authentic Japanese green teas tableside and learn the stories behind the many types of tea that they stock. Tea, gift sets, books and accessories are also available for purchase.
Honey Hill Coffee Company
107 S. Main St., Suite B, Wauconda | 847-487-8484
An adorable coffee shop in downtown Wauconda that also serves and sells loose leaf tea. Their fresh made cakes and scones are also perfect add ons to your order.
275 Parkway Drive #315, Lincolnshire | (224) 676-1356
Not your average tea shop, it sells not only loose teas, but bubble teas and other unique drink selections. Liquid Fusion is open from 11:00 a.m. to midnight, and caters to a late night crowd.
Where do you enjoy a good cup of tea? Share with us in the comments below.