From just-baked blueberry scones and red velvet cupcakes, to freshly steeped green and white tea, you will find a rainbow of tasty treats at Sweet Tease Tea Room and Café in Belmar, New Jersey.
“Gather and indulge” is the mantra at Sweet Tease, and owner Kate Heath provides a warm and welcoming place to celebrate friendships and family in vintage style.
"I invited a crowd to my first official tea party at age 4, and it the rest is history,” says Heath of the self-described “Wonderland” she has created at Sweet Tease.
“Opening my own tea room was always a dream, but never a goal,” she explains. “My mom, sisters, and the other ladies of the family always loved finding tea rooms and little out-of-the-way places to grab a bite. It was always a celebration of an otherwise regular day. When the opportunity came up to actually open a shop at the same time I wanted to stop commuting, things just fell into place.”
Creating A Quaint Tea Room Experience
The menu at Sweet Tease in Belmar includes brunch, lunch, and catering. The bakery at Sweet Tease is well-known for its from-scratch selections of buttery scones, flaky turnovers, muffins, cupcakes, quiches, croissants, pies, and cakes. Flavors and fillings of the baked goods vary every day.
No tea room would be complete without an elegant high-tea service, and Sweet Tease serves afternoon tea in grand style. Along with endless pots of tea, the four-course service starts with soup or quiche. The starter course is followed by scones with jam and cream, along with assorted tea sandwiches and a selection of petite desserts.
Bringing People Together Over Tea
True to her gather-and-indulge spirit, Heath hosts numerous events at Sweet Tease, such as the World of Tea Book Club, which meets monthly.
“Each book has a connection to a part of the world we get our tea from or a country with a strong tea culture, such as England,” according to Heath. “The books are mostly historical fiction, and I provide additional reading materials, which are autobiographical, memoirs or essays on the region or the featured tea. The night we meet, we have a tasting of several teas and a sampling of foods from the region mentioned in the book. Everyone gets a stamp in their Tea Passport and an ounce of tea to take home and brew.”
In addition to the monthly book club, Sweet Tease hosts holiday cookie-decorating parties, girls night out sip-and-stitch gatherings, and other tea-themed events throughout the year. There's even been a road trip to the Tea Plantation in Charleston, South Carolina, which Walters took with a small group of loyal customers in November 2018.
With on-site catering accommodations for up to 50 guests, Sweet Tease also hosts birthday parties for kids and adults, baby showers, bridal showers, and other special celebrations. Custom party packages start at $20 per person. Off-site party catering is also available for up to 200 guests. RELATED: Places We Love: Scone Pony Specialty Bake Shoppe
Supporting A Vibrant Business Community
Sweet Tease has been delighting guests since it first opened in a small Manasquan, New Jersey, storefront in 2009. Heath relocated her growing business to Belmar in 2014 after finding a perfect larger location on Main Street across from Belmar Borough Hall. In March 2019, she returned to her Manasquan roots with the grand opening of her second location, known as A Little Sweet Tease, at 173 Main Street in Manasquan.
“The Belmar business community is wonderful and unique. No other Jersey Shore town has the marina, train, beachfront and lakes, as well as easy highway access,” Heath says. “When we were looking, we found the difference between Belmar and some of the other towns was the Belmar Business Partnership [BBP]. They were very proactive in reaching out and offering not only financial support, but also a network of individuals committed to making Belmar a great place for businesses and families.”
Sweet Tease is also one of the first businesses in Belmar to go all green in support of the environment. Coffee and tea are served in recyclable cups made from recycled materials, cold beverages are served with paper straws, and the takeout containers are recyclable cardboard and paper.
As Sweet Tease continues to evolve and grow, Heath is savoring every moment.
“Our customers come from all over the state, and our party business has grown so much bigger and faster than we anticipated in part due to the space we now have,” she says. “Our special events are selling out — so look for more of them to be posted.”
Sweet Tease Tea Room and Café
604 Main Street Belmar, New Jersey 07719 732-722-8030
Live Like A Local: Rent A Belmar Beach House
Day trips down the shore are fun, but it's even better to rent a beach house for the week to experience everything wonderful about the Belmar area. For couples, solo adults and small families, the two-bedroom Blue Hydrangea Cottage rental in Belmar, New Jersey, is the perfect getaway place. The home sleeps up to four people and is consistently rated five stars for comfort, cleanliness, amenities, location, and homelike decor. Learn more at www.vacationinbelmar.com. Weekly summer rentals at the Jersey Shore. Rent directly from the owner and save!
All copy and photos © copyright by Christine Cardellino, owner of www.vacationinbelmar.com and publisher of the award-winning Belmar Beachcomber Blog, a travel and tourism guide to the Belmar region of the Jersey Shore. Do not copy any content (including images) without our permission. All rights reserved.