Tea lovers, you can rejoice. Albany's now got a place just for you. You'll no longer have to settle for the coffee house scene, because the Good Leaf Tea Company has opened a real, honest-to-goodness tea house on Lark Street.
The folks of Good Leaf already run a shop and café at the At the Warehouse, not to mention an online store, but now they've expanded the business with another shop and cafe in Center Square. The cafe, which opened just over a week and a half ago, occupies the space that once housed Lark Tattoo at 274 Lark.
Owner Michelle Marks has done a lovely job with the space, creating a relaxing little oasis that's decorated in an Asian-inspired, simplistic style. It's small but cozy, with seating for about 10 inside plus a couple of sidewalk tables out front. It's the perfect spot for, ahem, tea for two.
The selection is quite impressive. Marks has an array of more than 60 kinds of tea to choose from, not to mention specialty tea drinks like tea lattes, chai and bubble tea. And not only can you warm up (or cool down) with a nice cuppa, you can also buy some of the dry stuff to take home. Oh, and there's also plenty of tea accessories to boot, as well as delicious-looking chocolates from the Chocolate Gecko.
Their bubble tea is especially delicious. Unlike many of the cloyingly sweet, candy-colored milkshake-like bubble teas found elsewhere, theirs is actually made with....gasp... real tea instead of a powdered mix. It's delicious and almost delicately flavored, without being overpoweringly heavy. Still, that doesn't mean it's easy not to drink it too fast! If you're not down with the tapioca pearls, you can also get it made with little coconut jujubes.
And because they don't hate on the tea-haters, they'll also gladly serve you up a cup of joe or a Brooklyn egg cream (apparently those are everywhere these days!)
The Good Leaf Tea Co.
274 Lark Street
Albany, NY 12207
Hours: Monday - Friday 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 3-8 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
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