Small Tea: Steampunk Infusions and 84 Options

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

Due to Miami's collective obsession with the almighty coffee machine, tea kettles are usually banished to the back burner.

But tea culture is gaining ground, and Coral Gables' Small Tea shows that Miamians are looking for more than cafecitos and coladas.

See also: How Tea Can Change Your Life, According to Master Tsai of Coconut Grove's Zen Village

The charming eatery recently opened at 205 Aragon Ave., steps from Miracle Mile and in the midst of the city's rapidly expanding restaurant scene. Tea lover Daniel Benoudiz decided to open the spot as an ode to his favorite beverage.

"All my life I've been to many tea places around the world, and I never found a place where I could feel comfortable," he says. "All the places I've been were either too pinkies-up -- British, high-tea-oriented -- or too hippie, and I didn't fit in any of those.

"I saw an opportunity. I love tea, but I didn't find a place where I could go every day, feel comfortable, and have a perfect cup of tea."

Originally from Venezuela, his family has a vacation home in Coral Gables. After much research, he decided it was the ideal location.

"Coral Gables is such a beautiful city. I love it. I think it's the most beautiful city in South Florida."

Softly lit, with low stools and tables, live plants, and an ornate, burlap-adorned ceiling, Small Tea is a modern twist on a tea house.

Upon entering, you're met with rows of glass canisters, all containing tea leaves. A wildly friendly staffer will offer you a written guide; then you can sniff your way through the 84 options. Teas are divided into types: ayurvedic (best for well-being, health, and longevity), black, chai, green, herbal, mate, oolong, and white. Each is given a designation and name, like "W08: White Peony."

The selections are diverse -- from ayurvedic Innerstea (a blend of Hawthorn leaves, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger) and oolong South Meets East (a blend of peach, apple, and apricot) to herbal Ginger & Mary Ann (a blend of apple, rosehip peel, hibiscus, lemon myrtle, strawberry, and ginger).

Notably, the teas aren't brewed via traditional tea bag or individual infusers. Instead, they use Steampunk machines: supermod brewers that allow baristas to control temperature, time, and agitation and then pour the tea through a tap.

For proper brewing, different types of teas are optimal at different temperatures, so this allows for total control. A small tea goes for $3, and a large costs $4.

In addition to teas, there's also a menu of pastries, bagels, salads, wraps, and other dishes, including several vegetarian- and vegan-friendly options (marked on the menu). There's a dip trio with eggplant caponata, hummus, and tzatziki ($7.50); a quinoa salad with edamame ($6.50); and even a Brie and green apple salad ($11). The chocolate fudge brownie (vegan) is reportedly awesome.

Small Tea, located at 205 Aragon Ave. in Coral Gables, is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Call 786-401-7189 or visit facebook.com/smallteaco.

Follow Hannah on Twitter @hannahgetshappy.

Follow us on Facebook at Miami New Times Food & Drink.

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.