Steepery Tea Bar Edit

1 ratings
1 2 3 4 5
Type Tea Room
Style Modern
Serves Loose-leaf, Bubble, Chai, Iced
Food Snacks
Features Free wi-fi
Good For Dates, Groups
Hours
Mon Thu 9:00 AM 11:00 PM
Fri Sat 9:00 AM 1:00 AM
Sunday 9:00 AM 11:00 PM
Photo submitted by Gillyflower
Photo submitted by Gillyflower

1 Review

Steepery Tea Bar in Madison, WI
5/5
Edit
Gillyflower rated this place
5/5
and said Edit

Edit in Oct. 2015 to add that The Steepery, as well as the MN stores that are currently branded “The Tea Garden”, are all changing their names to “Sencha Tea Bar” at some point in 2015. At a visit to The Steepery a couple of weeks ago there were business cards at the check-out with the new name. I was assured that nothing else (e.g. their menu/tea offerings) will change, this is just a chance to unify the corporate name/logo across all stores, as well as re-decorate stores.

The Steepery is “the new tea place” on State St. and will probably get some traffic from the soon-to-close Dobra a couple of blocks away. Quite a different place though: this place has a modern and slightly Eastern feel, and serves iced and blended tea drinks with pearls/jelly as well as hot coffee/tea latte drinks and freshly brewed loose teas. See the menu at <a href = “http://steepery.com/drink-menu”>http://steepery.com/drink-menu for more info. Any drink can be extensively customized with one or more flavor additions (some 25 or so different flavors; even though a few are starred to indicate they can’t be added to iced drinks, they’ve always added them for me), tapioca pearls or jellies, blending of tea types, etc. Then they do that thing where they seal a layer of cellophane across the top of the cup for you, and you get to stab a honkin’ big straw into it!

In Madison they tend to have lychee, avocado, and jackfruit for their Whole Fruit Shakes (basically a smoothie); I’ve never tried one because I’m not hugely into smoothies, but I have learned to love lychee through their lychee jellies, so maybe I’ll try that one sometime. I don’t know whether the MN locations have other fruits.

My favorite drink at The Steepery: Chai Shake or Iced Chai with Vanilla and Coconut flavors and Lychee jellies. A close second (and a little earthier-tasting): Iced Black Tea Latte with Peach and Coconut flavors and tapioca pearls, or if I feel like more fruit, Passion Fruit jellies. The Thai Tea Latte and Jasmine Tea Latte are reliable too—worth a try if you’re not familiar with those tastes. Thai Tea is orange-ish colored and very sweet; Jasmine is a bit like green tea with a flowery overtone. I like them both but you may not.

If you’re a hot tea drinker, it’s worth perusing the looseleaf tea menu at <a href = “http://steepery.com/wp-content/uploads/SteeperyTea-Garden-LL-menu.pdf”>http://steepery.com/wp-content/uploads/SteeperyTea-Garden-LL-menu.pdf in advance to see descriptions and help point you in the right direction. They don’t have as many teas as Dobra did in its heyday, but it’s close! I have never had hot looseleaf tea at the Steepery (I tend to have hot brewed tea at home, and fancy multi-ingredient tea or coffee drinks when I’m out and about) but I have seen students sitting in the store nursing a pot or tall cup of tea, and I’ve seen the staff take down multiple canisters to open so a customer can get a whiff. (For that matter, I am often tempted to take them down and smell them myself while I wait for my beverage, since they are on a rack that is open to the customer area as well as to the staff work area. But I’ve never been brave enough!)

Service is generally good. Staff is giggly youngish college students (as with many State St. businesses); you would think this would mean slow delivery of orders or frequent mistakes, but they hear and make even the most complex drinks without any confusion, hand over your drink in just a couple of minutes, and are polite and friendly. Once when I was there, I was given a large-size drink rather than a regular, and when I asked why, I was told that they were out of the cellophane film in the regular size, and so they were making all their drinks in large size for the regular price, so as not to give people un-filmed beverages!

BTW, this is a Belly business; get a card and use it if you plan on returning often. Perks include up-sizing to a large sized drink, a free drink, etc.

One more note: as with many State St. businesses, they reserve the right to curtail hours during Winter Break, Spring Break, and summertime. I don’t recall them changing things last summer, but during this recent Winter Break they closed early (9pm?). Call ahead if you are concerned and want to make sure they’ll be open when you plan on being there.