No More Coffee, Only Tea

Tuesday, February 15, 2011 11 No tags Permalink 0

Coffee or tea? The answer used to be both, but now it’s only tea.

I grew up with tea, and ventured into coffee during college, when I moved to NYC. And then last year, in the midst of the city’s coffee revolution, I found myself shunning it all for tea, hot and iced. I could drink tea all day long with no worries about the caffeine effect and it was easy to prepare at home. It was something I could drink with grandmother on visits to Hawai’i, her big tea pot stored in a bamboo basket. Whereas coffee made me jittery, tea was soothing…simultaneously comforting and luxurious. It started with oolong and darjeeling my parents mailed from their travels to China. And then our trip to Paris involved just as many tea salon as it did patisseries. I whittled away days inside the castles of Dammann Frères, Kusmi, Le Palais des Thés, and the queen of them all, Mariage Frères.

When we returned to NYC, I cleared out half our kitchen cabinets. This part, I told Monsieur P, will be for tea only. So much fun! We filled it up with tea and tea pots and tea cups. For awhile I concerned that I was more interested in having all this tea stuff, than I was actually into the art of drinking tea. No worries. I eventually phased coffee out of my life, though Monsieur P drinks both. On occasion I find the scent of coffee unappealing, a notion that would seem crazy just a year ago. I will however, always love tiramisu and coffee ice cream.

After we returned from Paris, all these tea shops in NYC open, literally out of nowhere. There was In Pursuit of Tea in the old Matcha Box pop-up on Crosby Street. It’s a tiny space with a selection of teas on a daily basis. You can have tea by the cup or purchase their loose leaf teas in this space. Don’t miss the collection of tea sweets baked by French Culinary Institute’s chef-instructor, Melanie Franks. We just signed up for a Tea Dinner they’re hosting at In Pursuit of Tea next Monday. I’m not sure if openings are still available, but it sounds like a fun experience. $60 a person for a 5-course dinner…it will be a surprise dinner for Monsieur P!

Around the corner on Broome Street, Harney & Sons opened in a long, narrow space. Here the walls are lined with tea, all the way up to the ceilings, just like it was in Paris. Beautiful. You can taste any of their teas and then make your way to the fine tea salon in the back. Tea by the pot. Scones! Savory tea snacks. Of course, tea-flavored ice cream. There is The Tea Set in the West Village, The Tea & Honey Store in Grand Central, and don’t forget Kusmi which opened near Bloomingdale’s last summer. A little birdie also told me that both Mariage Frères and Le Palais des Thés are shopping for retail locations in NYC. Exciting indeed.

The best part? It’s only the tip of the iceberg. This doesn’t even begin to touch on the numerous places for afternoon tea in the city. Which is why I started writing a bi-monthly Afternoon Tea column over at Serious Eats. We’ve been to Podunk and Crosby Street Hotel in the last month, and there will be many more to come!

Till then ^-^

11 Comments
  • Kathy YL Chan
    November 30, -0001

    Hi Chris! I completely agree!! :)Hi Kat! I've noticed! Wish you lived closer so we could exchange tea tidbits!Hi Perrin! Ahhh, we will see when the time comes! ;)Hi Stephanie! lol, it might be! ;)Hi Diana! Yeah!! I hope he likes it heheh ^_

  • anonymous
    February 15, 2011

    Yay! Loving it! I'm really starting to get into teas myself (though the odd coffee still makes it into my tummy.)

  • Ayu PandaBear
    February 15, 2011

    I am a tea person myself. I do love the smell off hot coffee and the first taste. But after awhile the taste of any coffee is funny to me. & I'm not a fan of the "running up the walls" effect after I drink coffee.The best thing about tea is that there is so much diversity with a variation of health benefits, I love it!!!

  • anonymous
    February 15, 2011

    I used to be a tea-only person… but now I totally LOVE coffee… coffee with lots and LOTS of sugar… hehe.

  • Kathy YL Chan
    February 15, 2011

    Hey Su-Lin! Yay!! There's so much to learn about tea…that's the part I'm most excited about :)Hi Keisha! Exactly – I used to love coffee, but the "running up the walls" drove me nuts! The health benefits of tea are just another awesome bonus! ^_^Hey Stephanie! Ahahah! sugar AND milk, or just sugar? ;)

  • Chris
    February 15, 2011

    I feel as though there is just something more soothing about tea, it just seems to put you at ease, in mind, body and spirit. Another great thing about tea is that the kinds of tea are endless. So many different flavors and types, you could go on for days.

  • K and S
    February 15, 2011

    exciting! I still drink coffee and tea but have been leaning towards tea more these days too :)

  • Perrin
    February 16, 2011

    Not even Vietnamese iced coffee in the summer? We'll see if you can hold out.

  • anonymous
    February 16, 2011

    Sugar AND milk of course :) I like soy, almond or rice milk. Is that a California thing?

  • anonymous
    February 16, 2011

    Ooh, so you're going for the tasting at In Pursuit of Tea! Can't wait to hear all about it. Hope Mon. P enjoys the surprise!

  • !
    February 17, 2011

    Tea please!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *