As a Tea Princess, I tend to avoid tea outside of the sanctuary of my home. My pantry, dominated by the growing variety of teas on the shelves and crowding out the soup cans and pasta boxes, and the tea station on the counter where my favorite teapot is usually filled with tea ready to pour make tea time so accessible, so comfortable, and so much more satisfying than what I’ve ever had anywhere outside that I am totally spoiled.

In a car repair shop!?!

In a car repair shop!?!

Then, hubby and I took our car to the repair shop, and things changed in my tea world.

Most of the time, car repair shops smell of lubricants and oils used in cars. They have grease everywhere that seems to get on my clothing no matter how careful I am. They also have a tire smell that remains in my nostrils for hours after leaving the shop and returning home. On top of all this, such shops usually try to be hospitable to their customers by providing some arrangement of coffee and tea. Sadly, on the tea side, they seem to manage at best tepid water and tea bags that are of rather low quality. This is typically accompanied by powdered creamer and a very limited assortment of sweeteners, including sugar and Sweet-and-Low (aspartame).

The car repair shop (our first visit to them) we walked into that day when we took the car in for some fixing up was another matter entirely. First, there were no car repair shop smells, no grease on anything, not even a hint of tire aroma. We walked up to the desk, checked in our car with the attendant with the intention of leaving it there and hurrying out as quickly as possible, and then turned to see…

…the coffee and tea corner.

I could swear I heard a Hollywood-style fanfare sound when I caught the first glimpse of it. Or maybe it was a trio of harps playing?

Yes, it was an entire little corner or nook or whatever you want to call it, complete with a Corian countertop, an electric kettle to heat water for the tea to a proper temperature, a hot beverage machine, a selection of teas from one of the top brand names out there, and even a little refrigerator with real milk inside for the tea.

All this Tea Princess could think was, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus!”

I chose a spiced chai, steeped up a cuppa, added some milk and sweetener, and savored a truly decent tasting tea in a car repair shop!

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