The Path of Tea: Relaxing Houston Escape From the Ordinary

Updated on April 20, 2020
Peggy W profile image

I live in Houston, and I have worked as a nurse. My interests include art, traveling, reading, gardening, cooking, and our wonderful pets.


A Tranquil Tea Shop

Have you ever felt the need to step back and take a breather from day to day regular hustle and bustle of everyday life? If this sounds like something that would interest you, there is a Houston escape from the ordinary in which Asian décor and a relaxing ambiance will help soothe away the cares of the day. Oh, and lest I forget, the most aromatic, fragrant, and tantalizing brewed teas of your individual choosing all await your discovery at The Path of Tea. You will find this establishment at 2340 West Alabama Street, Houston, Texas 77098.

A dear friend recently treated me to a special day in celebration of my birthday. The day started with getting to view a special Titian exhibit at our Houston Museum of Fine Arts. We both love art, and the show, while quite small in terms of the number of pieces on display, was enthralling. Timed entrance allowed only limited numbers of people in the two rooms of the museum holding the select show. Next, we had lunch together. Our day together was capped off by our visit to The Path of Tea. Just like frosting on a cake, this was the final touch to a perfect day!

Exterior view
Exterior view | Source

The Path of Tea

My friend, who introduced me to The Path of Tea, had been there previously with a friend of hers. He often had to visit Asia on business trips and had acquired admiration for the ceremony of well-brewed teas as well as the various flavors.

They were able to visit with the owner of this Houston establishment, Thia McKann. She told them that she had developed her love of teas when traveling back and forth to Japan years earlier.

Those of us living in Houston, or even those visiting the city, can now all benefit from McKann's travels and her love of organic tea and the ceremonies associated with it.

An adornment on the wall
An adornment on the wall | Source

Asian Décor

The shop is located on West Alabama Street just inside Kirby. This is an upscale area in Houston with businesses and restaurants aplenty.

Located in the middle of a typical one-story strip shopping center, the exterior of The Path of Tea is nothing spectacular. That all changes once one opens and enters through the front door! Open bookshelves adorned with a variety of beautiful teapots and cups are on display. Everywhere one glances, Asian décor is on display in tasteful vignettes splashed with eye-catching colors and textures.

The sound of running water from a small water fountain adds to the ambient sounds of soft Asian background music, which is pleasing to the ear.

Since it was my first visit, I was trying to take in and absorb every nuance of what makes The Path of Tea a special place to visit and spend some time. Even with the extra excitement of seeing and experiencing a place for the first time, I felt myself relaxing with my friend in that peaceful atmosphere. I felt as though I was transported far away from life in the middle of the 4th largest city in the nation. It is a Houston oasis of sorts!

Soothing water sounds inside
Soothing water sounds inside | Source

Organic vs. Non-Organic

The Path of Tea offers solely organic teas, which are reputed to be much better for a person's health rather than those commercially grown and treated with chemicals and pesticides. The same argument applies to all of the foods that we eat . . . organic being the better and much more sustainable choice.

The cost-effectiveness of ridding plants from insect damage is a prime reason why toxic chemicals are utilized. Another reason is that incidents of predators such as poisonous spiders and even snakes can inflict harm upon the people harvesting the tea.

What price are we willing to pay for safety? More people, especially as they learn about the dangers of chemical residues building up within our bodies, are demanding organic farming practices. It may be particularly important when drinking tea.

Many Choices of Teas

There are well over 100 little canisters filled with samples of the named and numbered teas in various categories: white, green, Oolong, yellow, Chai, Pu-erh, Rooibos, black, and others. Customers get to open and smell the offerings before deciding upon which tea to have brewed and served hot in clear glass teapots or even served cold. Each tea smells better than the next! Decisions, decisions!

People would have to frequent this establishment often to work through the vast array of special fragrant organic teas offered there. A few of the canisters were empty (probably awaiting a new shipment). Still, with so many choices from which to choose, the selection process can be a daunting one.

I only opened and smelled a couple of the teas deciding that each would be worthy of a special visit at another time. I chose to drink number 48, an organic chocolate Chai tea. The scent was sensational!

Each tea has a written description. You can open and smell the corresponding canister before choosing which one to drink.
Each tea has a written description. You can open and smell the corresponding canister before choosing which one to drink. | Source
Partial view of menu
Partial view of menu | Source

Choosing a Teacup

The next step in this ritual of experiencing The Path of Tea to its fullest extent was selecting the teacup. Once the cup was elected, our tea once brewed was delivered to our table.

A vast assortment of various shaped and sized vessels are on shelving. We each chose one that would be ours for this occasion of sipping tea in this tranquil environment.

A partial selection of teacups
A partial selection of teacups | Source

Glass Teapots

Those glass-bottomed teapots came to our table via our waitress with our personally selected choice of tea. Our taste adventure was about to begin. My friend Lisa decided to have one of their homemade cookies along with her tea, and she reported it as being delicious.

What amazed me was the aroma and flavor of the tea! It aptly replicated the fragrant dried tea that I had smelled, and the taste was so clean and flavorful. They use special water in brewing the tea, and without a doubt, I have personally never tasted a tea quite so tasty.

Each small teapot filled our cups many times over with that wholesome goodness at only $4 per person. What a delightful journey and quiet respite from the ordinary!

Tea service
Tea service | Source


Looking up from where we were seated were strings of colorful folded origami objects hanging down from the ceiling. One can learn how to make origami objects at The Path of Tea. Check their website for times and prices.

Artwork appropriate to Asian design graced the walls. Discrete price stickers are on the artwork which can be purchased. The bamboo palm next to the little waterfall added to the relaxing ambiance. Much thought and effort went into creating this oasis type of atmosphere within this establishment.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Origami decorOrigami
Origami decor
Origami decor | Source
Origami | Source

Certified Tea Master

Thia McKann was one of very few accredited tea masters in the United States. According to their website, there were thirteen others at the time I wrote this, and she was the only one in Texas. Assuredly one must have a keen sense of taste and smell as well as knowledge of the subject to be credentialed in that area.

She, along with her husband Chris McKann, founded this establishment in 2006, combining Japanese styled aesthetics with tranquility. She had taught the health benefits of organic teas to many people, including students at MD Anderson Hospital in Houston.

Chris McKann now continues their shared passion since Thia passed on to the next realm of existence in December of 2012. You can read more about the founders of The Path of Tea under sources below.

Curtain to the back where the tea is lovingly prepared and brought to patrons in the front.
Curtain to the back where the tea is lovingly prepared and brought to patrons in the front. | Source

Hours of Operation and Events

For a Houston escape from the ordinary, check out the relaxing ambiance and Asian décor and music inside this delightful oasis.

They are open seven days a week with the following hours of operation:

  • Monday to Friday, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Saturday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Check out their special events and offerings, such as tea tasting classes. Teapots and accessories, as well as organic teas, can be purchased to take home or give as gifts.

The Path of Tea will take you on an exciting journey of scents, tastes, and flavors, all the while set in the most tranquil of settings. I can't wait for my next visit!

Teapots and cups for sale
Teapots and cups for sale | Source

Health Benefits of Drinking Organic Teas

Check out sources such as WebMD if you cannot visit The Path of Tea to discover the many health benefits of drinking teas. Just a few of the health benefits include a reduced risk of these:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer

If that is not enough to capture people's attention, there are many other good attributes to drinking tea. These include mental alertness and perhaps even some weight loss, among other things. I know that I am going to up my consumption of organic tea beverages. How about you?

Drinking a daily cup of tea will surely starve the apothecary.

— Chinese Proverb


© 2020 Peggy Woods


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    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      2 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi MG Singh,

      It is good to know of those exclusive tea houses in your part of the world.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      2 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Kyriaki,

      I have not tasted that particular tea, but I admit it sounds tasty!

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      2 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Dora,

      I'm so happy to be able to showcase places like this for you and others.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      2 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Lorna,

      Some hotels offer "high tea" events. They are leisurely and enjoyable. Your friend who wrote a book about tea must be very knowledgeable about that subject.

    • emge profile image

      MG Singh 

      2 months ago from Singapore

      Very nice. There is a tea house in Mumbai and Singapore that serves exclusive tea.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      2 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Kyriaki,

      If you like tea as much as you indicate, you would love this place!

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      2 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Liz,

      I do not know of another place that is similar to this Path of Tea in our area or elsewhere, for that matter.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      2 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Rosina,

      I am pleased that you learned about the benefits of drinking organic teas.

    • Kyriaki Chatzi profile image

      Kyriaki Chatzi 

      2 months ago

      Being the huuuge tea nerd that I am, it'd be a dream to spend a few hours in this place. I'd love to taste the Organic Amber Dragon I saw on the menu. Must be fiery! :)

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      2 months ago from The Caribbean

      I'm a tea lady. If I ever get to Houston again, this place will be on my to-do-list as are some other places you have written about. Great job!

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      2 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Bill,

      It is a very calming experience to spend some time in The Path of Tea. I was so pleased that my friend introduced me to it.

    • Lorna Lamon profile image

      Lorna Lamon 

      2 months ago

      There is nothing quite like a cuppa to still the mind and soothe the soul. I love all things tea and thoroughly enjoyed this interesting article Peggy, with an oriental flavour.

      I love organic teas and have always been intrigued by the Japanese Tea Ceremony steeped in tradition. In fact a friend of mine was so interested in tea she wrote a book about it. The decor is also beautiful and the origami is a lovely touch. Definitely worth a visit.

    • Kyriaki Chatzi profile image

      Kyriaki Chatzi 

      2 months ago

      I am a huuuge tea nerd!! And honestly, I'd love to enjoy a cuppa in this establishment one day!!

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      2 months ago from UK

      This sounds like an amazing experience. You have documented your visit well. Tea is a very popular drink in the UK, but I have not come across anywhere quite like this before.

    • surovi99 profile image

      Rosina S Khan 

      2 months ago

      The Path of Tea is certainly a break from the mundane life. Learning the benefits of tea, I will certainly take more tea now. A beautiful and colorful hub indeed, Peggy.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I love the name of the business.The decor is beautiful. I can imagine the aroma when you walk in. Bev would be in heaven there.


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