A Strange Encounter
Apr 13, 2010 | Written by Anupa Mueller
A customer came in to our Tea Room today and declared she was a Tea Connoisseur and that she visited Tea Rooms all over and rated them with a specific Tea Cup rating. And alas, we wouldn't get any. She was horrified that our sandwiches were toasted, that our Egg Souchong sandwich was marinated in a 'trendy flavored' tea and that we did not have more of a English/Irish vibe. She acknowledged that we must be doing well since we had been around for over 10 years and she was definitely impressed with our vast selection of teas but nothing else pleased her. Our servers attempted to point out that our Egg Sandwich was marinated in the well-known and classic Lapsang Souchong (not a flavored tea) and that we tried to assidiously provide a well-thought out tea menu to please as many palates as we could. We were unable to please our guest. She pointed out that England consumed more cups of tea than anyone and that we were not the Tea Room she had hoped for. I get that. We will never be all things to all people but whatever her personal preferences - and she is surely entitled to her opinion - tea has been enjoyed in many parts of the world for centuries and the English tea tradition is one among many. As much as I love my cup of Assam each morning (a pukka English cup if there ever was one!) I steep a Darjeeling each afternoon and enjoy an Oolong or Green in the evening. Every point of view on tea is a valid one as long as it is authentic. The best Oolongs still come from Formosa and Gyokuro is still Japanese. If by some chance, dear customer, you are reading this, please know that we understand your point of view but that there are others that are equally allowable and true. This is the democratization of tea. I welcome our customers' comments on this post.