Saturday, August 27, 2011

Coffee versus tea service

It happened again last weekend. I was sitting in one of my favorite breakfast places, savoring a cup of Bigelow's Raspberry Royale tea when a well-meaning waitress topped off my cup with--you guessed it--coffee. Now mind you, the tea service looks very different from the coffee service (there's a saucer, for one thing, with my used tea bag resting there in plain sight), and I didn't ask for a refill, yet there I was with a cup of coffee/tea. The waitress was quite apologetic, but since it was neither tea nor coffee, it was not palatable. And she didn't bring me another cup!

But at least my waitress noticed my cup was nearing empty. While coffee drinkers are offered refills ad nauseum, I have to beg to get more hot water. Heaven forbid if I ask for another tea bag as well. Instead, I hold out my cup a la Oliver Twist, pleading for more from a frowning waitress. I guess it's because tea service is more difficult than coffee service--there's the boiling water and the tea bag, a whole two part process versus the simple picking up of an already-brewed pot of Joe.

Tea drinkers are subject to other forms of torture, I might add. No one arbitrarily sticks a slice of lemon in a cup of coffee, yet waitresses insist on garnishing tea cups with lemon wedges. When I add a little cream to my tea, the residual juice ends up leaving curds in my cup. Yuck!

Tea needs really hot water to brew, yet often the water is barely tepid, forcing tea drinkers to drink a watery, barely warm beverage. Meanwhile, my coffee-drinking friends are complaining that their beverage is too hot to sip. That's when I start to boil myself!

Do you drink tea? Do you have any stories that you would like to share? Do you have any suggestions to improve tea service for all of us tea drinkers? Let me know!

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