I must admit I rarely drink tea, despite living in a country that takes tea very seriously and despite growing up with a dad who drinks tea all day long. I love to drink tea when an Irish person makes it for me in their kitchen and it always tastes delicious, but when I make it in my house or order it in a cafe and it just isn’t the same and I can’t get through more than a few sips. I also like to drink one very specific kind of vanilla tea some afternoons when I think I shouldn’t have more caffeine. I always end up jittery, looking down at my shaking hands and remembering how much caffeine tea actually has!
But I’ve realized I’ve been neglecting the tea drinkers out there by talking about coffee so much (here, here, and here), and of all the places in the world to drink tea, Dublin is a pretty good one. So, I’ve compiled a list (with the help of a few tea-drinking friends) of lovely little spots to drink tea in the city.
First, I should mention that there are very few places you can’t get a cup of tea in Ireland. You can get regular tea in restaurants, cafes, hotels, even pubs at any hour of the day. And Irish people do order normal tea all day long, and they drink it with milk and sometimes sugar. When you see sugar packets on restaurant tables, typically brown sugar is for coffee and white sugar is for tea. Second, you should know that if ever you encounter a problem in Ireland, tea will likely fix it. It’s just the law of the land!
All that said, these are five spots in Dublin to find a special tea experience or fun, exotic teas. And all of the spots I’ve mentioned that are cosy cafes for coffee will serve you tea as well! Now, on with the show!
Open since 1927, Bewley’s Cafe in the middle of busy Grafton Street is where James Joyce, Patrick Kavanagh and Samuel Beckett chatted and worked over cups of tea. The Bewley family has been importing tea into Ireland since 1835, and they now produce tea and coffee for a ton of restaurants and hotels around the country. The cafe on Grafton Street has incredible Harry Clarke stained glass windows at the very back
Wall & Keogh
Wall & Keogh is filled with big jars of their own tea mixes – even their chai tea is their own blend. Wall & Keogh supply a lot of the other cafes in town, so you’ll see their name on tea all over Dublin. The cafe on Camden Street also does brunch all day, and if that isn’t something to smile about, I don’t know what is!
Clement & Pekoe
I’m realizing that Clement & Pekoe makes all my lists! The little cafe on South William Street is great for coffee, people watching, hot chocolate and now tea! They serve their tea with little individual strainers in each mug. You take the lid off the strainer and set the strainer in it when it’s strong enough for you. They also sell so many kinds of bulk tea in lovely black tins that would make such a nice souvenir for a tea fan!
I was in Sister Sadie right at the beginning of our clean and lean eating plan, so I skipped my usual coffee and opted for their “Sassy Sadie” tea blend. I usually make a face at fruity tea, but this was just the right blend of sass in my tea. I was calling it Zany Sadie until I double checked with them, but Sassy Sadie is probably a safer bet! Imagine what Zany Sadie might taste like?!
Nelly’s is a tiny cafe just up the block from Sister Sadie in Portobello, a slightly quieter option with a few little tables on the front stoop. I like Nelly’s because it feels like you’re having tea in your cool Irish older sister’s kitchen. They also have a pantry section where you can pick up teas and wholesome ingredients to bring back to your own kitchen!
Are you planning a visit to Dublin? These are great spots to try, whether you drink tea or not! If you’re looking for a place to stay, try Hotel Direct to find deals for hotels in Dublin.