The staff is very helpful to the neophyte. I think this is where I first fell in love with tea and they have always been knowledgeable and patient with me here.
You have to pay ~$10 to enter the garden on top of any teahouse purchases, but the atmosphere is worth it. The garden the teahouse is located in was made in partnership with the city of Suzhou, China and is said to be the most authentic Suzhou-styled garden outside of China. On a nice day, you can look out upon the garden from the teahouse and listen to live music. Usually it’s classical Chinese, but the performer got bored one day I was there and, grinning at me, played “jingle bells” to see if anyone was actually listening.
Tao of Tea’s full menu is available to enjoy in several different styles. There are nibbles to take advantage of too. If you enjoy your cup, most of the teas seem to be available for purchase.