Time for a “Tea Princess” update. Being a Tea Princess (or a Tea Prince) can be a difficult gig. We can often have a tough time finding a decent cuppa when out and about. What restaurants call “tea” is often enough to make us faint in sheer terror. Don’t even mention a certain coffee joint chain that has a place on just about every street, or I will hide in a corner and never come out. Have things improved for us at all in recent months?
I had thought so, after my pleasant surprise at the car repair shop with its lovely tea corner and when seeing sites like TeaGuide.net with its extensive list of tearooms. Those hopes were dashed recently, though, when hubby and I decided to pop out for lunch and found ourselves in a fast food style Greek place. We had just gotten over the shock of the prices (we don’t eat out much) when we caught sight of the list of beverages available. Tea was included on that list. Well, it was sorta tea. Iced version only, not hot, and priced at $1.69. We were handed a tall cup and sent over to the drink fountain to fill it. The color was sorta tea-like. The aroma was sorta tea-like. The taste was — uh, well, not tea-like!
That’s what I get for not bringing along my Tea Princess kit — sigh!
Progress seems to be slow, fellow tea lovers, since many eateries are still catering to the soda-and-coffee crowd. More tea shops seem to be not only selling teas but also serving them and holding tastings. Sadly, they usually don’t serve a meal there, mainly because of rather stringent government regulations for serving food. The question here is how to combine good food with good tea service.
Of course, there are tea rooms, but most are not on the same level as a regular restaurant. Their menus are usually quite limited, with very specialized items, as opposed to places that have more meal-oriented menus. (I’m being fairly general here and am sure there are exceptions out there somewhere.)
The bottom line: it’s still a rocky road for us Tea Princesses and Tea Princes, where we have to step carefully and steer clear of the bigger boulders and a steep dropoff or two. My advice is to keep your kit handy and carry it with you when out and about. Your alternative could be far less than pretty!
Don’t miss my upcoming “Tea Princess Travels” article giving you the lowdown on my recent experience with tea service in a mid-price-range hotel.
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