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Dobra Tea

2 for 1Update: Dobra is closed.

In a word: All tea, all the time.

The specs: #0400!
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at Daily Cardinal, Isthmus, Eating the World; official web site, Dobra Tea on Urbanspoon

Latest Dobra Tea news and reviews

JM ate the Jerusalem pita with water.
Nichole ate the Bohemian spicy nuggets with the Memories of Prague tea.
The bill was about $10, or $5/person, plus tip.
JM gave Dobra Tea a B-; Nichole gave Dobra Tea an A- (see our grading rubric).


Today, we celebrate our 400th Madison restaurant post.  We hope you continue to enjoy using the site with the freshened-up design (if you haven't seen the site lately, come check it out).

Back to #400. It fell right smack in the middle of 3-D day and provided a light dessert to our lunch at Dawg House, which is about 50 yards away - close enough to fit both into one photo.

Remember those SAT questions about analogies? Well:

Dobra : Ma-cha :: Bacco : Gail

Dobra Tea brings its pro-tea-n attitude front and center with this location on State Street, the second outpost in the US after one in Burlington, Vermont. The tearooms began in Prague in 1993 and now boast "over 20 tea-rooms in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and the USA," according to their web site.

Be prepared to drink tea.

Tea tray

Dobra's tea menu is a veritable binder of teas, tisanes and their descriptions, arranged (get this) geographically and liberally embellished with stories behind the brews. The well-informed staff were very helpful navigators.

The Memories of Prague tea with Bohemian spicy nuggets is kind of a tea trolley with training wheels. The strong, black, Assam tea is served with warm milk and a large side of honey. The presentation is lovely, the hexagonal cup surprisingly fun to hold and sip from. While the 2%-ish milk was fine, the honey seemed less nice than the locally made stuff Madisonians may be used to, with a more flat, just-sweet flavor. The tea itself was sturdy and once doctored reminded Nichole of the tea served at her (Polish) host family's home in Germany. Linda has described the Bohemian spicy nuggets as a cross between pfeffernuesse and a donut hole and that's a perfect description, but omits the nice whiff of rum in each bite.

JM didn't have as much to say about Dobra because, frankly, it's not a place that's going to go out of its way to welcome him. While the main room is bright, airy and pleasant enough, the delicate wicker furniture and perky African music made him feel like a real square, man. It was also a titch colder than you might want a den of warming to be.  His food item was decent, buttery and warm. But it was also just cinnamon toast on a pita.

Comments

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Dobra is definitely a market-specific tea house. I went in to get some black tea to-go recently and they only do in-house service. That said, there are some truly amazing things to try here, if you're interested in tea. Lots of otherwise impossible to find stuff, offerings of very affordable and very pricey styles, and some decent nibbles to add to the experience. Highly recommended for its niche audience or someone who just wants to take a half hour to sit in a classy cafe on State Street.

I love love love this place, but then again, I'm a huge fan of good, long-leaf tea. If you're looking for a quick, Starbucks-style fix: stay away.

The staff has always been very helpful and friendly, and every tea I've tried has been delicious. As for the food, it's not supposed to be the main attraction (and it's not), but it's still quite good. The couscous with honey, nuts, and dried fruit is one of the best things I've eaten in ages.

This is a great place to spend some quiet time relaxing with a book, writing, or chat with friends. And it's a great place to get truly acquainted with the really quality teas of the world.

Why the "(get this)" before the note about geographical organization? That's fairly common with tea. It's like wine in that regard.

Love the new design - the header is great. I'm trying to pick out all of the signs I can recognize - I can see Maza, Parthenon Gyros and Husnus...

I'll have to hit up Dobra Tea - seems like a cool place.

Thanks, EtW! A little secret - not all the letters are from restaurants. We repurposed photos JM and John Sams took for a State St. photo trivia contest for Dane101. (If you get stumped, the answers were posted to Dane101 later, and clever searchers will find that post easily.)

Dobra Tea, here we come :)The place looks really cool.

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