Coffee drinkers are taken seriously, so seriously that there’s now a job title (“barista”) for those who serve the brew. Tea drinkers are lucky if those same baristas even deign to drop their tea bag into the hot water. But not at these hound-recommended spots, where fine teas are given their proper due:

• Cardullo’s Gourmet Shoppe in Cambridge has a large selection, including teas from Concord importer Mark T. Wendell.
• Tea Zone in Somerville is, as smtucker puts is, “a very nice shop. You could visit once, note which teas interest you, and they will do mail order for you as well.”
• West Newton’s Timeless Teas serves “some of the best tea that I have ever tasted,” avows veggielover, and has a particular focus on teas from Ceylon.
• And finally, if all that fails, lipoff advises that Cynthia Gold, tea sommelier at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel, will sell loose tea: “If you are really serious about tea it is worthwhile to arrange a tea tasting at the Swans Cafe at Park Plaza and talk to her about what teas you might enjoy.”

Cardullo’s Gourmet Shoppe [Cambridge]
6 Brattle Street, Cambridge

Tea Zone [North of Boston]
15 A Elm Street, Somerville

Timeless Teas [MetroWest]
15 Spencer Street, Newton

Swans Cafe at Park Plaza [Downtown]
50 Park Plaza, Boston

Discuss: Where to find a selection of loose tea? Real tea, not the fruity ones

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