It’s no secret that I am a fan of tea. And why shouldn’t I be? It’s amazing. It’s so versatile, it’s like saying you’re a fan of sandwiches. You can have it any way you like, hot, iced, with cream or sugar, with nothing added, green, black, white, herbal (or as I like to call it, why even bother? I kid). Caffeinated, decaf, caffeine has never even breathed up on this fruit infusions, floral, smoky, sweet, chocolatey, caramel… Somewhere out there, there is likely a tea you’ll like.
And on top of this love of tea, I also have a deep love and affection for tea houses and/or afternoon teas, and have been since I first experienced one my first trip to London my senior year of college.
So when I come across a tea house that particularly gives me joy, I feel the need to share it with anyone I meet. Plus, I don’t post enough on Yelp to really have my reviews hang around and be useful, so this is my best way of showing appreciation. This post is, in no way, sponsored by the amazing women who run this establishment, I just wanted to share my experience with you. They’re hard-working ladies and they deserve the shout out.
I talked a little bit about my experience on my Instagram, but frankly, this place deserves more love than an Instagram post and the lack of formatting that usually means.
The Tea Room Experience is a reservation-only tea room in the heart of downtown Orlando. You’ll find it on Church street, hidden rather innocuously away between many other small boutiques within the large building that houses all of them.
I’ve been to my fair share of Tea Houses, and they all have their ups and downs, but this place truly won a warm fuzzy place in my heart. But enough gushing, let’s get down to the facts, shall we?
The first thing I noticed about this location was the great windows the space provided, which allowed for natural light to fill the room. While I wither in direct sunlight, I love a good sunlit room.
Normally white walls give me a sort of hospital sensation but these gave a soft bounce light that filled the room. It was also offset by spring colors. Saturated pastels of green and yellow lined tables, sunflower garlands intermixed with tiny tea cups, vibrant tea sets adorning every table, faux topiaries, and a very deliberate use of gold in furniture and fixtures. Did I mention there’s a chandelier made of tea pots and cups? There’s also a giant rack full of amazing hats the Queen of England herself would rave about if you don’t have your own and want to get in the spirit.
Now décor and aesthetic is a big part of afternoon tea, it does have a history of pomp and circumstance, but what are looks without substance, right?
Food & Drink
Afternoon tea came with three sandwich halves per person. The first was a wonderful twist on the traditional egg salad on a marbled rye bread, adding in sun-dried tomatoes which gave such a wonderful added zest. The second the classic cucumber sandwich with cream cheese and added dill for a little extra flavor on a whole wheat. The third was chicken, cream cheese and what might have been pineapple and a little dill. I admit, I forget all of the ingredients in this one, but it ended up being my favorite.
The traditional scones had their own flair with pineapple and honey, served with tart raspberry preserves and Devonshire cream. The preserves and cream gave the perfect contrast to the sweetness of the scones.
And the desserts. Oh goodness. Mint-chocolate tea cookies and coconut chai cupcakes, both made with REAL tea—everything but the actual bread for the sandwiches is baked in-house and the care to detail shows. Sweet croissants with chocolate drizzle and coconut sprinkles, and mini chocolate and vanilla Swiss rolls. At least, I believe that’s what they were. I do know they were delicious and well worth the lactose-pill use and risk of intestinal pain.
The tea selection itself may not be as vast as some tea houses but each is diligently selected by a certified tea sommelier, which is probably the best job ever and I’m now very curious how one becomes one and how lucrative it is as a trade. The care taken in selection was clear and each complimented the current menu in their own way. I chose a vanilla cinnamon black tea and paired it with a little honey and cream which brought out the tea’s natural creaminess more and complimented the scone and cupcake the best.
And all of that food and tea? Only $20 per person. Which, if you don’t go to a lot of afternoon tea services, is a steal.
Owned by mother-daughter team Flor Maria Velez, and Keishla Estela (the resident certified sommelier from the International Tea Masters Association), this amazing tea house is open from 11am – 3pm, Wednesday – Sunday.
So if you find yourself in the Orlando area, I know the theme parks are full of restaurants and great dining experiences, but give The Tea Room Experience a call. You won’t regret it.
The Tea Room Experience
420 E Church St Unit 109, Orlando, FL 32801
Reservations: Book Now!