Ugly, ain’t they?
When I am paying damn good money for something hot and wet, in a cafe which has 15 different ways that one can have one’s coffee, you better believe that I expect you to make up a pot of tea using loose leaves, not just a teabag. You are not a greasy spoon diner, mmkay?
Do cafes feel that teapots don’t go with their postmodern decor? The pots don’t have to look like refugees from a British etiquette primer or a country living guide
they can be just as chromed and glassed as one desires and still make proper tea, and with the advantages of built-in infusers so that there’s no need for strainers at the table.
I know there’s been a few other ranters out there who share my disdain for teabags when out. If it’s the local hamburger joint that dishes up instant coffee for the other caffeine fix that’s one thing – one just gets on with wetting one’s whistle. But if it’s a cafe or restaurant with a gleaming chrome coffee machine worth thousands of dollars, full of baristas who would spit at the mention of instant coffee as an insult to their training in extracting the perfect essence of coffee beans, how dare they treat those of us who sometimes prefer a cup of tea with any less respect in the preparation of our beverage?
So, who has a cafe to recommend that does actually go to the immense bother of using looseleaf tea? Doesn’t matter where – even if I never get to it another reader might well thank you for the knowledge.
Tangential Geek Credit: The Utah Teapot
Ahh, Hot Poppy, Errol St North Melbourne, how I love thee. Good coffee, tea in a pot, and quality food of the sweet or savoury varieties to go with it. But don’t all rush there, I like being able to wander round the corner and get a table.
I think I’ll go there on my lunch break!
Not a habitual tea-drinker, but Badde Manors on Glebe Point Road, Sydney, isn’t bad.
That is SO TRUE!
Starbucks praise themselves for having the “best coffee evarrrr”. But when I went there and order tea, for some reason they gave me a gingery beverage that makes me sick just to think of.
THIS IS TEA-SCRIMINATION!!! (had to use that word)
Tea with loose leaves in a pot? HA! Around these here parts of the U S of A, you’re lucky to get hot water. For some reason the default tea service is a chrome pot that holds about 10 ounces of “hot” water, an empty coffee cup, and a single tea bag. The chrome pot does a truly outstanding job of radiating the heat out of the water and into the air at an amazing rate, so by the time it gets to you, it’s slightly hotter than lukewarm. Paul has completely given up on tea in restaurants. An Indian (Asian, not American) friend of mine used to give exhaustive, single-syllable directions to servers to actually make the tea themselves with water that is boiling when you pour it into the cup. It never worked.
Loose leaves in a pot. In your dreams.
I was going to rant about the Unfortunate Tea Situation in the US but Vicki beat me to it.
I bring tea bags to work and have a thermos now.
Richard Glover wrote in SMH about 2 or 3 months ago bemoaning precisely this state of affairs, and also the difficulty in buying leaf tea in some supermarkets. His anecdote involved the purchase of a pot of tea at a rather posh (but un-named) hotel in Sydney: the cup and saucer, pot, milk jug and tea strainer arrived in due course, and when he poured the tea through the strainer no tea leaves were caught because there were none in the pot. Two teabags hid inside. The pretence! The ridiculousness!
The Tea Centre is where I buy my tea. Their city store has a teashop attached, and the website lists other Sydney cafes where their teas are used.
Or I could make you a cuppa at my place one day 🙂
I’ve noticed the same. Coffee shops here just use instant tea — they don’t even bother with bags.
I’ve learned just not to buy tea when I’m out. It’s a home treat.
Yeah so this is why I’m not moving to the States, or the suburbs anywhere, in case Immigration are asking. It sounds just plain uncivilised, surely there’s something in the Bill of Rights about proper tea leaves and shots of decent fresh espresso?
And what the hell is instant tea? You pour water on leaves, it happens instantly already! And why the hell do you have to rush it? Who has an emergency that can only be solved with lukewarm brown water?
Absolutely, this is a post that had to be written. Discrimination against tea drinkers, why must we always come second to the coffee drinker?
The Yanks lost the plot with tea-making some 200 years ago in Boston, with an ill-judged attempt to mass-produce tea using sea water. The result was so vile that they were summarily dismissed from the British Empire.
For some reason they persist to this day in celebrating the event as if it were a milestone in their developing nationhood instead of the commencement of the decline in cullinary standards that reached its nadir in the invention of the ‘Big Mac’*.
* Some would argue that the chocolate croissant (no, really) surpasses even this atrocity as an affront to the discriminating palate.
I have been promulgating this very same counterpoint to the anti-tea historians for a number of years now. I wonder if it’s time to up the ante?
If you want to see tea treated with respect, you should visit Taiwan*. The Taiwanese accord tea a reverence that would surprise even the Japanese. Traditionally, the first brew is poured away having extracted the harsher volatiles which can detract from the flavour. Only after a second charge of hot water has been added to the pot and allowed to acquire the flavour of the leaves do they pour the infusion into cups and savour the taste. This is in some ways similar to the distillation of malt whisky, where the first run off from the still is discarded. The distillate that will eventually become malt whisky is taken from the ‘middle’ of the distillation.
*There are lots of other good reasons to visit Taiwan, by the way – just don’t judge the whole country by the smog of Taipei.
It’s always a good time to confound the anti-tea revisionists, BK.