Tea is delicious served hot or iced and, according to the Tea Association of the U.S.A., is the most widely consumed beverage in the world next to water. From steaming pots to scrumptious scones, Orlando is brewing with tasty tea houses.
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort
For a magical tea service, head to the Garden View Tea Room within Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort for an indulgent, three-course experience overflowing with flavorful surprises and waterfront views. Selections include sweet curried chicken and other finger sandwiches, buttery golden raisin scones with lemon curd, imported cheeses, caviar, French macarons and more, along with aromatic tea blends. Mrs. Potts Tea, for guests ages 3-9, delights, but little girls can drink up a truly royal experience. The Perfectly Princess Tea Party encourages youngsters to dress the part as Disney princesses to eat up decorative cakes and a character meet-and-greet. $35-$59.99; disneyworld.disney.go.com
The Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes
Located near the I-Drive tourist district, this resort offers afternoon tea selections served in its elegant Lobby Lounge overlooking the pool. Choose either a traditional tea or tea with a twist, like the Tea for Two, served with freshly baked fare plus a bottle of La Marca Prosecco and strawberries topped with Grand Marnier-infused whipped cream. Try a refreshing tea cocktail, such as Tea Time ($13), a mix of Enlightened Grain Earl Grey and Sage vodka, honey syrup, lemon and iced earl grey tea. For little ones, order the Peter Rabbit Tea with animal-shaped sandwiches, hot chocolate and desserts. $39-$59; ritzcarlton.com
The Tea Experience
Nestled in the heart of downtown Orlando, this new tea house brews a modern experience in an electric, Moroccan-inspired space adorned with gold and white décor, a one-of-a-kind brass and tea pot chandelier and vibrant striped and floral china. Owned by mother-daughter duo Flor Velez and Keishla Estella, a trained tea sommelier, the pair invite all─including children and men─to try their version of afternoon tea. Nosh on finger sandwiches, scones with Devonshire cream and preserves, sweet and savory pastries, loose-leaf teas and signature cupcakes baked with tea such as matcha, citrus mint, earl grey, chai and coconut. “Our experience is unique as we don’t steep in tea pots, which can cause loose leaf tea to turn bitter and [eventually] get cold,” said Velez. “We steep in the cup using an infuser. This allows people to choose their own flavor, steep the tea to the right temperature and, when ready, enjoy another freshly-steeped cup.” $10-$16.50; thetearoomexperience.com
The Waldorf Astoria Orlando
Sunday afternoons at 2 pm, retreat to the grand elegance of the Peacock Lounge, straight out of New York's landmark hotel. Select white, black, green and herbal teas and a delicate assortment of salmon, egg salad, ham, cucumber and turkey sandwiches. Enjoy live music from the grand piano while nibbling on tea cookies, macaroons, smart tarts, scones and chocolate financiers. $15 for children and $30 for adults. www.waldorfastoriaorlando.com
American Girl Store
Each weekday at 2 pm, this ever-popular store features afternoon tea for girls and their dolls. Enjoy a pot of tea—or hot cocoa—and enjoy a dainty selection of mini muffins, fresh fruit kebobs, mini burgers, pigs in a blanket, tea sandwiches, tea cookies, cheesecake and the signature chocolate mousse flowerpot. $13.50/person; www.americangirl.com
Windsor Rose Tea Room
Discover the lakeside town of Mount Dora, 30 miles from downtown Orlando, by visiting charming boutiques and this quaint British eatery for high tea. The vintage building blooms with a flower-filled courtyard and arbor, original English décor and servers dressed in Victorian-style aprons. Order English tea for one or two (or Mad Hatter for kiddos) and nibble on cucumber sandwiches, homemade pastries, hot tea and Queen Victoria sponge cake. Known as the monarch’s favorite treat, this majestic dessert is layered with jam and custard and dusted with confectioners sugar. $7.95-$36; www.windsorrose-tearoom.com
You can also grab a cup at Dandelion Communitea Café (Orlando), Diane’s Creations & Tea Room (St. Cloud), Dickens Tea Room (Lake Mary), Infusion Tea (Orlando), Lemon Lilly Tea Room (Oviedo), Royals English Tea Room (Lake Mary) and the United Kingdom Pavilion at Epcot (Walt Disney World).