Cardullo’s Gourmet Shoppe – Harvard Square, Cambridge
Harvard Square can be called a lot of things – yuppie central, foodie paradise, hipster collective. One thing you might not expect, though is that it’s also Boston’s tea mecca.
As I’ve found over my short two years as Boston transplant, Harvard Square is home to more cafe’s and shoppes where you can buy tea in a small area than any other neighborhood in T-Accessible beantown (as far as I know, anyway.) This includes Peet’s Coffee and Tea, Tealuxe, Crema Cafe, and Dado tea for cafes alone.
Across the street from Tealuxe is a gourmet market called Cardullo’s that boasts an impressive stock of imported and high-quality foods that might be hard to find otherwise. Their tea collection is pleasantly notable – probably the largest retail collection of well-known brands I’ve ever seen in one place, and it makes up a good fifth of the entire store.
They have just about every major brand you can think of – Twinnings, Harney and Sons, Republic of Tea, Mighty Leaf, Taylor’s, MEM Tea, and Tazo, to name the big ones. Without a doubt their stock is absolutely superb.
Their prices, however, are considerably less impressive. Everything is substantially marked up – either by a few dollars, like Republic of Tea’s large tins. Or straight up double, in the case of Harney & Sons tins that normally retail for $6 a pop, but are 11-12 here.
It’s the price you pay for the convenience of getting good brands and varied flavors, though – you’re probably not going to find most of these items at brick & mortar stores anywhere else.
Cardullo’s is a place I’ll buy from maybe twice a year – I might cringe slightly as I hand over my credit card but I can’t deny they have the best variety and quality selection there is. It’s otherwise a really fun shopping stop in the heart of one of my favorite neighborhoods to relax in on an idle weekend.