At ZenTea, the staff is eager to share their knowledge, presenting their menu much like a serious café or craft-cocktail bar would. To that end, owner Connie Miller has collected more than 140 teas from around the world, and more than just water goes into brewing each pot. Her time spent studying tea in Sri Lanka allows her to steep each glass with knowledge, whether it's about the tea's creation process or the ways that climate and altitude can impact its flavor. Though guests can grab a hot tea by the cup or in pots for one, two, or three, the tea tastings are where the shop shines.
They start with mini tea flights, which feature three 9-ounce pots filled with your choice of tea, and weekly tastings cover a new variety each session, in which guest sip five or six teas complemented by a dessert. Servers also up the theatrics with their iced matcha lattes, which are blended from green-tea powder, organic milk, and agave sweetener. Servers then vigorously chill the concoctions in martini shakers with the expertise of Coyote Ugly stunt women. And the café counter serves light fare such as quiche, salads, soup, and baked goods to pair with brews.
Considering that ZenTea’s century-old building once housed Chamblee’s town hall, it’s not surprising that the shop has become something of a community hangout—patrons explore the distinctive nuances of each varietal in tasting classes and afternoon high teas. Further inspiring relaxation, instructors host on-site zen-inspired classes in meditation, reiki, yoga, and reflexology.
On the surface, Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee House is just selling coffee—albeit high-quality coffee brewed using a French press, pour over, or Chemex. But look deeper and the cafe's true mission has more to do with creating community, both locally and globally.
A spacious outdoor patio and free WiFi give regulars a reason to stick around and enjoy classic coffee drinks, signature carminallas, and lattes that, with their intricate foam art, are perfect for hanging on the wall. Thursdays feature wide-ranging trivia contests, and live musicians enliven the space on Fridays and Saturdays.
And beyond the coffeehouse premises, Land of a Thousand Hills works to strengthen communities abroad. Its Rwandan coffee beans are sourced from growers at higher-than-fair-trade prices. The cafe also invests profits in community projects in Rwanda, such as a sustainable farm for orphans and a soccer field.
At Lulu’s Bakery, students learn the art of decadent desserts in five weekend baking classes taught by Chef Rawl, a graduate of the French Culinary Institute in New York. Teach fingers to shape truffles of two varieties, mold caramel treats, and slip a chocolate coat over toffee's shoulders in the chocolate candies class. Dough reinvents itself as edible art in the sweet and savory tarts course, tastily enveloping quiche, creating a chocolate short crust around delicious ganache filling, and forming pastries more elegant than a powdered-wig fight. A bakery breakfast class teaches a.m. eaters how to construct fruit and cheese danishes and bake buttery scones, while a French desserts class whispers the mysteries of the crème brulee and the éclair into ears hungry for pastry knowledge.
October 4, 1957, wasn't just the start of Rebecca Pickren Thomson's life; it was also the day that Sputnik I was launched into space. Since that day, the two have been intertwined, with Rebecca collecting any Sputnik paraphernalia she could find. So it's no wonder that when she opened her frozen yogurt shop, she chose to name it and design it after her pet obsession. At Sputnik's Yogurt, her collection of Sputnik mugs, models, and posters create a retro yet futuristic '50s vibe for clients creating their own custom frozen yogurt treats.
While the flavors of frozen yogurt change daily, the store always features a range of sweet and tart yogurt and non-dairy sorbet options, such as the tart California lemon to the chocolatey candy bar smash. Customers can outfit their chosen fro-yo with more than 40 toppings, which includes healthy options such as nuts and fruit, as well as more decadent candy, hot fudge, and marshmallow topping.