By Mason Braasch | Photos: Left photo courtesy of Yeng Yang; Right photo by TeaCora Rooibos on Unsplash
When the air is chilly, there’s nothing like wrapping your hands around a warm cup of tea or sipping on a flavorful bubble tea. Tea lovers of all kinds — milk tea; bubble tea; or the classic varieties of black, green and herbal — will have no problem locating a tea shop in Madison. The only issue is deciding which one to choose first.
Jade Mountain Tea Company
Opened by a group of friends from Taiwan and the U.S., Jade Mountain Tea Company is rooted in a passion for quality tea, and serves up delicious bubble teas, also known as Boba tea or pearl milk tea, which are made with sweetened milk and tapioca pearls, as well as tea smoothies. Their unique menu offers classic loose-leaf teas, such as Taiwan Red and Roselle Flower, as well as tea options you won’t find anywhere else, such as their Taro Milk Tea, a beautiful purple-red drink that has a creamy, coconut-like flavor. The owners of the tea shop make frequent trips to Taiwan to work with tea farmers, ensuring that any drink from Jade Mountain is fresh, unique and authentic. jademountainteas.com
Formerly known as The Macha Tea Company, Teasider began as an art gallery, and has since become a tea shop focusing on high-quality loose-leaf tea and gorgeous teaware. While their retail storefront on East Johnson Street is currently closed due to COVID-19, their collection of teas can be ordered via their website — and they taste just as delicious at home! They offer local pickup as well as nationwide shipping. Their selection of hand-picked Japanese matcha — the nutritious green-tea drink that is made by whisking a fine powder into water — is a must for matcha lovers. machateacompany.com
Le C’s Patisserie & Tea House
If you’re a bubble tea lover, Le C’s Patisserie & Tea House is the place to go. With a sprawling menu of more than 45 tea options, there is something for everyone. Le C’s offers uncommon options, such as their Pineapple Orange Green tea; Ancient Brown Sugar Bubble Milk Tea; or tea with Cheese Top, a yummy foam made from sweet cream cheese, milk and whipped cream. While you’re there, enjoy their warm, cozy atmosphere, admire their beautiful cakes and savor their delicious pastries, including their Chocolate Oreo Big Bun and custard bread. lecsmadison.com
Founded by Yeng Yang, a southern Wisconsin vegetable farmer who had always dreamed of opening his own bakery and tea shop, Yummee serves up mouthwatering bubble teas. Their vibrant, classic milk teas include boba pearls (which are made from tapioca) and flavors such as Creme Brulee and Cantaloupe. Don’t forget to peruse their selection of decadent spicy cheese bread; Yummee buns; and huge “Ooey Gooey Cookies,” which are ranked as the best chocolate chip cookies in Wisconsin by Yelp WI. yummeetreats.com