Steeped in British tradition, Sarah Olano started Austin English Tea Co. to offer a place for Austinites to enjoy an authentic afternoon tea time—taking a pause to sip freshly brewed pots of loose-leaf tea served alongside delicate desserts, such as scones with jam and clotted cream.

The setup

Originally from England, Olano made the decision to move to Austin in 2011 to be with her husband; however, she longed for the English cafe experience.

“I realized I wanted a place where everything is baked in the cafe—a true English tea room,” Olano said. “I started volunteering and eventually working at shops where I quickly learned how to bake in large quantities, and it grew from there.”

By April 2018, Olano said she was selling her own baked goods at the local farmers market when she ran into Michelle Doyon, owner of Michelle's Patisserie, which specializes in custom cakes. Olano now shares the space with Doyon for their two separate businesses.

“It was a crazy coincidence because she also had a tea room at the patisserie,” Olano said. “I started sharing her kitchen and tea room on the weekends, and we fit together right away.”

Why we love it

Alongside afternoon teas, the tea shop offers private event bookings for bridal showers and weddings. Olano also makes and sells jewelry out of broken teapots and vintage china from England. Additionally, loose-leaf teas are sold at the tea room that can be brewed at home.

“I love this business,” Olano said. “It really feels like a taste of England right here in Austin, and I am so happy to be able to bring that here with the help of people like [Doyon]. This really would not be possible without everyone pitching in, and I am forever grateful.”