I had already sworn of Pickwick upon my first visit to the modern Tea Bar a few years ago. Nevertheless, experiencing the art of tea-making at Formocha, inspired me to lead your way through Amsterdam’s world of teas.
Formocha is the first Chinese tea house in the Netherlands, but tea and Amsterdam go way back. In the 18th century, the Warmoesstraat in Amsterdam was the European epicenter of tea trading. The tea and coffee shops 't Hofje van Wijs (1792), Geels & co (1863) and 't Zonnetje (1642) are still open for business.
Nowadays, there is renewed interest in quality teas and here's where to go if you too are swearing off tea bags filled with an aromatized sandy-like substance.
Also see: best tea rooms in Amsterdam (to be uploaded soon).
Tea in the City
Why you’ll love it: If you love ‘cute things’, then this is where you will feel most at home. At Tea in the City, tea is a lifestyle. Thus besides a large selection of Betjeman and Barton teas (marchant de the a Paris depuis 1919), they offer has got everything you need for an ultimate tea break. Obviously, there’s a wide selection of tea mugs, cups and pots, but also a-ny-thing you need for a proper tea party, including whole cup cakes baking kits. The cutest, lively decorated napkins, table cloths, biscuit tins… if it’s mildly related to tea, they’ve got it!
Wait there's more... Upstairs you can enjoy a cup of tea and coffee, and you can even reserve it for a private party. This is also where various workshops are held, such as: masterclass tea tasting, cupcakes making, mother/child (7+ y.o.) cake baking and these superb ‘tiered cake stand’ for high tea parties.
Good to know: they sell Christmas crackers here! It’s anyhow a good place for Christmas shopping.
Where: Tea in the City, Beethovenstraat 23, Amsterdam Oud Zuid. Open during regular shop hours.
What: Tea and coffee shop dating from 1642.
Why you’ll love it: Small coffee and tea shop filled with still-in-use antique: emaille signs, weighing scale, giant tea cans and a traditional black announcement board. From traditional Dutch biscuits Jodenkoeken sold in those cute tin cans to traditional marmalade from the far-away country of England - ‘t Zonnetje is always on the outlook to serve their loyal clientele well.
Please note: Upstairs you can enjoy a cup of tea and coffee.
't Zonnetje coffee/tea/spices, Haarlemmerdijk 45, Amsterdam.
What: First and only Chinese Tea house in NL.
Why you’ll love it: Beautiful teas - you can see the tea leaves! Personal Service by owner who turns a cup of tea into a moment of calmness and relaxation.
Please note: You can’t rush in and out for a cup of tea.
Another note: Read about the Hongkongese owner’s favourite Asian food places in Amsterdam.
Formocha, Binnen Dommersstraat 22 (side street Haarlemmerdijk).
Geels & Co
What: Tea and coffee shop dating from 1863.
Why you’ll love it: A historical shop with an unchanged interior since the opening 140 years ago. Loose tea, quality coffee and most friendly service.
Please note: Upstairs is a coffee and tea museum, which is open on Saturdays.
Geels & co, Warmoesstraat 155, Amsterdam.
What: First tea-only shop in Amsterdam
Why you’ll love it: Endless range of tea melanges and infusions to choose from. Two sweet ladies (owners) who’ll help you make a choice if you feel lost.
Please note: the green walnut tea.
Teabar (select language at bottom of page), Haarlemmerdijk 71, Amsterdam.
Hofje van Wijs
What: Tea and coffee shop dating from 1792.
Why you’ll love it: Nostalgic feel, many different kinds tea brands are offer. From loose tea to herbal infusions. Most reasonable pricing.
Please note: The shop is going to move to a yet to be decided new location.
Hofje van Wijs, Zeedijk 43, Amsterdam.
What: Modern tea and coffee shop.
Why you’ll love it: Owner Noortje is a most ambitious and friendly young lady. She’s always thinking of new ways to improve her shop and offering. She takes time to properly serve each and every customer. Pop in to see what’s the coffee of the week or enjoy a chai!
Please note: There are a few tables where you can drink coffee and tea.
Kaldi, Herengracht 300, Amsterdam. Open daily.
Trakteren Koffie & Thee
What: Coffee, tea and home made cakes!
Why you’ll love it: Quality, home-feel and friendly people all in a modern setting.
Please note: the carrot cake.
Trakteren Koffie & Thee, JP van Heijestraat 119a, Amsterdam.