In the mid-19th century, the Florian was overhauled under the direction of Lodovico Cadorin, Professor of Ornamentation at the Venice Academy of Fine Arts. He hired a team of artists and craftsmen who transformed the simple coffeehouse to an opulent venue embellished with carved ceilings and frescoed walls.
As the café became larger and more luxurious, the menu expanded as well. In addition to the Italian standards of coffee and chocolate, tea was offered to appeal to foreigners who were partial to the drink. This later evolved into a full afternoon-tea service, which visitors can still experience today.
Afternoon tea at Caffè Florian is a tribute to the artistry that built and surrounds it. Perched on red velvet benches and chairs that border white marble tables, guests can sip the café’s signature tea while sampling the beautifully plated sweets and savories. Macarons, scones, finger sandwiches, and homemade biscuits are presented on two-tier trays, which, along with the café’s branded china teacups and plates, are all displayed and served on large silver platters. Blooming teas are served in clear glass teapots, and an herbal tea with rose petals is brewed in a French press with a red glass top, which perfectly matches the hue of the tisane.