Best No-Milk, No-Sugar Tea 

Sophie's Cuppa Tea

First off, "Sophie" is a fictitious character. What's real are the blackboards all over the walls of this Montclair neighborhood hangout that list the extensive Chinese-teas-only menu, alongside highly knowledgeable owners to explain it. John Brown and Xiaobai Wei close the shop for a month each spring to travel to China and ferret out new, tasty teas. They firmly believe in serving them the simple, original way — no condiments to interfere with the subtle, distinct flavors. But the atmosphere is far from ascetic. Tea tastings, live music on some weekend days, and a welcoming feel of community are Sophie's "way of tea." Really dedicated tea-heads can join a group trip to Yunnan province next year. Meanwhile, try red Crimson Needle, wu long Amber Orchid, or black Ascending Aura, and add a yummy artisanal pastry. Special Dubs footnote: Steph Curry's wife, Ayesha, filmed a food show segment here.

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)


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