Guide to Tea in Chicago

by Tony Gebely 7,731 views8


The Chicago tea scene is blowing up. If you are visiting Chicago and are super into tea, please make it a point to visit these Chicago tea shops:


Todd and Holland (Forest Park)

This family-run shop in Forest Park (easy to get there from Downtown via blue or green line El trains) is the gem of the Chicago tea scene. Stop in and talk tea with the very knowledgeable Bill Todd and peruse their selection of single-origin teas that he has curated. Visit their website.


Adagio (State Street, Naperville, Skokie)

Chicagoans are lucky to have three Adagio shops in close proximity. The shops offer tastes of all of the teas on the roster and a moderate selection of tea ware. Visit their website.


TeaGschwendner (River North)

This German tea chain is a great spot downtown to stock up on Darjeelings and herbals. They also have some nicely priced british style tea-ware. It’s a small shop, but they have a nice selection. Visit their website.


Madame Zuzu’s (Highland Park)

This shop in Highland Park is owned by Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins fame. He randomly stops in the shop to serenade the customers too. The teas are sourced from Rod Markus’ Rare Tea Cellar. Visit their website.


The Green Teaist (Lake Forest)

The Green Teaist has the best selection of premium Japanese green teas. Teas are flown in fresh and stored in traditional wooden boxes in a temperature controlled room. Their incredibly knowledgeable staff and beautiful tea service make it worth a trip up the Metra for any tea lover. Do not skip the Green Teaist because it’s far away from downtown, it’s really easy to get there. Just jump on the UP-N Metra line to Lake Forest, the shop is only 2 blocks from the station. Visit their website.


The Coffee and Tea Exchange (Lakeview)

The Coffee and Tea Exchange has a large selection of medium-range reasonably priced teas, coffees and tea ware. Visit their website.


Dream About Tea (Evanston)

This Chinese tea house in Evanston has the largest selection of puer and Chinese tea ware in the Chicago area. There’s a sit-down area so plan to go and spend some time here.  Visit their website.

There are more tea shops in Chicago, but in my opinion, these are the most legit. They are all driven by a passion for tea culture and are worth a visit. If you have a shop that you’d like to see added to this list, please hit me up.

Comments (8)

  1. You missed a wonderful spot in Park Ridge: TeaLula ( They have wonderful tea, friendly and knowledgeable staff and a gorgeous space. You’ll find people of all ages there and Sheila, the owner, is a gem. I drive there from Naperville.

    Also an FYI, Tea House in Naperville no longer has a space. Dan does sales of his many kinds of tea either online or at farmers markets.


  2. Nice list some places to visit but I’ve been a patron of Todd & Holland going back to their River Forest days. Definitely number one on my list, I purchase 90% of my tea from there making the trip from the south side. A wonderful family owned business and I’ve spent many hours there talking about tea and life. Be sure to meet Bill the owner and their other knowledgeable and friendly staff.

  3. I mostly order from online vendors as I almost exclusively drink sheng puerh.
    But another tea shop thats worth checking out is Tea Harbor in Vernon Hills.
    Its a very small shop and cafe with very decent teas.
    If anyone is interested in trying raw puerh in northern chicago area let me know for a tasting get together.
    Check out my blog

  4. Great, thanks for the list!
    Looking forward to reading your book when it comes out.

  5. you need to check out SereneTeaz in Wheaton.

  6. Since the TeeGeschwender in Algonquin closed, I have been at a loss for where to find good tea. Thanks for your list.

    1. Come visit us at your local farmers market! Send us an email and we’ll direct your course. Looking forward to meeting you!

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