Tea in Restaurants, Cafes and Tearooms by Jane Pettigrew - 06/09/2010
British home life thrives on tea! When we wake, munch breakfast, sit chatting around the kitchen table, welcome visitors, enjoy a tea-time treat in the middle of the afternoon, or kick our shoes off on our return from an exhausting day at work, what we crave more than anything is a comforting, revitalising, refreshing cup of tea.
But when we’re out, it’s a different story! For too long in our world-famous, tea drinking history, it has been frustratingly difficult to get a good cup of tea in restaurants, in cafes, and even in some tearooms. Again and again, tea lovers have grumbled that they would rather go without than risk ordering yet another disappointing, perhaps undrinkable cup of tea.
But, at last, things are changing for the better and, thanks to excellent marketing and training provided by some of the more dynamic and forward-thinking tea companies, it is now becoming easier to order from a selection of black, green, yellow, white, oolong and puerh teas. There’s even a pretty good chance today that pots or cups of tea will be well-brewed and served appropriately - not in chunky, heavy coffee cups or huge mugs but in oriental porcelain bowls, delicate cups or elegant glasses.
Too often in the past, disappointingly low-quality teabags have sat on counter tops, unprotected from humid and polluted air, and have then been brewed in the wrong quantity of water at the wrong temperature. Today, serving and waiting staff are becoming more aware of tea, better informed about different varieties and more likely to have been instructed in correct brewing.
We need to work hard to ensure that tea can take its rightful place as a connoisseur beverage that is suited to all occasions, with or without food at all times of the day. Good quality loose leaf or bagged teas still wholesale at incredibly low prices and the potential for high profit margins is often not appreciated. With a well-chosen selection, the right equipment, some basic training and an appreciation of this time-honoured beverage, any restaurant, café, hotel lounge and tea room can offer tea lovers what they expect and deserve.
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