High tea in Rome
In Rome, you “take a coffee” to have a quick moment to yourself, to have a breakeven if it only lasts a few minutes. Now imagine, an afternoon ritual involving elegant salons, healthy and relaxing tea and delicious finger food. Ladies and Gentlemen, we give you “High Tea” in Rome. I sat down with Chiara Bedini, one of the owners of Babington’s, the first Tea Room in Rome and the place for afternoon tea, to learn more the charming British ritual and the do’s and dont’s of Tea Time.
DON’T: Lemon and Milk
1.Never put a lemon in your tea, it ruins the taste and all of the health benefits. Milk should only go in a chai or black tea, never in a white or green.
DO: Try Tea as Wine
2. A Black tea is equivalent to a red wine and can be enjoyed with meat dishes, while a green tea complements fish and lighter meals as a white wine would.
DO: Invest in your Tea
3. The quality of Tea is crucial. High quality tea can be brewed up to 6 times and maintain its taste and aroma, while low quality teas are made from the dust of tea leaves, are used only once and can have damaging chemicals.
TEA ROOMS IN ROME
Piazza di Spagna, 23
Tea Time: Anytime
Babington’s has been “a little corner of England in Rome” since it opened in 1893. For a tearoom/restaurant situated in the most popular and frenetic piazza in Rome, it’s remarkable just how relaxing the atmosphere of this refined land of scones, crumpets and cupcakes feels. It’s intimate, family-run and yet special enough to make you feel like you do indeed deserve a Babington Champagne Brunch or High Tea. Sip the finest tea, indulge in apple pie, pancakes and eggs Benedict done properly and be a part of 120 years of history. You can also stop by for a high-quality tea on the go, to sip while you wander through Piazza di Spagna.
The St. Regis
Via Vittorio Emanuele Orlando, 3
Tea Time: Mon-Sun 3pm-6pm
Afternoon Tea at the St. Regis is a longstanding tradition offered at hotels around the world. Tea is taken seriously here and they even have a “Tea Sommelier” on hand to help you choose from the exclusive Dammann Frères brand of teas, which are accompanied by the classic tea sandwiches and scones.
Tea with Tiepolo @ Rome Cavalieri
Via Alberto Cadlolo, 101
Tea Time: Mon-Sun 4pm-6:30pm
Served on elegant Vermeil Tea Set, “Tea with Tiepolo” is enjoyed against the backdrop of a magnificent 18th century work of art, the “Tiepolo Triptych.” Rare teas from China and Japan coupled with finger sandwiches, scones and pastries, and the beautiful Tiepolo lounge and terrace- make this a High Tea to remember.
TEA SHOPS IN ROME
Tè e Teiere
Via dei Banchi Nuovi, 37
Mon 4-7:30pm; Tue-Sat 11am-7:30pm;
For passionate and serious tea drinkers, Tè e Teiere is one of Rome’s go to shops. It has an extensive selection of high quality teas, artisanal teapots and saucers teacups, saucers, pots, from all over Asia. The tea menu has over 50 rare brews of pure teas including a 500 year-old “Puer” from China, as well as green and black teas infused with natural flavor and caffeine-free herbal teas. You can even choose from a selection of specially flavored sugars.
Via dei Banchi Vecchi, 124
Tue-Sat 10am-1:30pm / 3:30-7:30pm; Mon-
Bibliotèq’s tea selection hails from China, Japan, Vietnam, Africa, Nepal, India and Sri Lanka, providing those who wander in access to a wide selection of the world’s finest green, black, chai, white and herbal blends. They have everything you need for your afternoon tea, including special cups and pots, and will explain the origins of the tea and help you choose your ideal blend.