I say I'd like a cup of hot water, but to feel free to charge me for the price of the tea. I'm slowly beginning to care less about what other people think - I'm sure the counter person really dosn't give it a second thought, so why should I? Besides, maybe it will get them to think twice about the tea they are offering
resident bad ass
Interesting corespondence here. I've been visiting the bamboo forest and sitting many long hours trying to come to a conclusion on this subject. After reading the posts I think the best option is to order the tea and ask for the tea bag on the side. Then, utlize your own tea bag. This way, it's very easy and understandable. If you ask for just hot water you will just perhaps confuse the heck out of the server. I bought some tea bags recently and I would like to visit starbucks every once in a while - primarily to people watch / atmosphere. And, naturally, if I use their facility to sit and so forth, naturally I have to pay for it...... So, my plan now is I will just ask for the tea bag on the side. Ah, finally a good solution thanks to the wisdom of others.
I admire your mastery Amanda not to be self conscious about asking just for hot water. I will surely utilize the procedure of teatime. I think that is good middle ground.