Am I being picky?

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Oct 4th 18 12:12 am
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Am I being picky?

by Tranquil tea » Oct 4th 18 12:12 am

I recently went for a meal with my wife. She had a coffee brought to her in a nice glass looking very good with a little design on top. I had a pot of tea which turned out to be a pot of hot water with a tea bag still in its wrapper on the side. When I asked why I couldn't get a brewed pot of tea served to me instead of the elements to make my own the waitress looked at me like I was speaking another language. She insisted that I had a pot of tea even when I removed the lid to reveal a pot of water. Her answer was that I could control the strength. My answer was that I had to sacrifice the quality and that there is a reason that tea is made in the pot. She continued to look at me strange while serving our food not really sure him to speak to me.
What do you think? Am I picky? Has speed and ease replaced quality or is a tea drinker just a second class citizen to coffee?

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Oct 12th 18 5:13 pm
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Re: Am I being picky?

by Tea&Whisky » Oct 12th 18 5:13 pm

I might go on a bit of a rant here. I'm assuming you're in the US. (sounds like you are anyway) I wouldn't say you're being too picky, but probably a little too... optimistic? I had something similar happen to me this year. I went to a cafe with a friend and they had a selection of house teas sold exclusively through them. Thinking there was a chance I'd be able to get a good cup, I ordered a white tea. The worker poured boiling water in a 20oz cup, threw a tea bag in, and gave it to me. It tasted like hot water, and after sitting a while, slightly cooler water.

Say that tea drinkers are treated like "second-class" citizens here is probably a bit strong, but they kinda are. The US as a whole just doesn't understand or have any respect for tea. I guess it doesn't quite suit the typical American lifestyle. In fact, I might consider it unreasonable to expect good tea in a typical American restaurant.

I've had several people tell me that they don't like tea because it has no flavor, not realizing that it's because they've never had a decent cup of the stuff, or that they've never even seen it brewed correctly. Simply pouring boiling water on a paper diaper full of tea dust doesn't make good tea. One of the best examples I've seen of the American understanding of tea is from "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button". While in Russia, the main character meets a British woman staying in the same building. One night they're both up late and he offers to make tea for the two of them. As he's about to pour it, she tells him it would be better to let it steep first, and he clearly has no idea what she means. She tells him there's a proper way to make tea and he says "Well, where I'm from, people just want it to be hot."

One final note. Like I said, I don't think you were being picky, but I probably wouldn't have questioned the waitress in that situation. Rather, I would've just concluded that expecting good tea may have been unreasonable.


Rant over.
Also, I really hope you're in the US. Otherwise this entire post doesn't directly apply.

Oct 13th 18 3:40 am
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Re: Am I being picky?

by Zared » Oct 13th 18 3:40 am

Tranquil tea wrote: I recently went for a meal with my wife. She had a coffee brought to her in a nice glass looking very good with a little design on top. I had a pot of tea which turned out to be a pot of hot water with a tea bag still in its wrapper on the side. When I asked why I couldn't get a brewed pot of tea served to me instead of the elements to make my own the waitress looked at me like I was speaking another language. She insisted that I had a pot of tea even when I removed the lid to reveal a pot of water. Her answer was that I could control the strength. My answer was that I had to sacrifice the quality and that there is a reason that tea is made in the pot. She continued to look at me strange while serving our food not really sure him to speak to me.
What do you think? Am I picky? Has speed and ease replaced quality or is a tea drinker just a second class citizen to coffee?
Your wording is very confusing so that's probably why she looked at you funny. I'm guessing she assumed you wanted her to brew the tea for you when in reality you wanted loose leaf tea instead of a tea bag.

Nov 10th 18 5:14 am
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Joined: Sep 22nd 18 5:34 pm

Re: Am I being picky?

by trziste » Nov 10th 18 5:14 am

It's hard for the wait-staff to know what to do. Some people want the teabag in the water and some want it on the side. You have more control over the darkness when you dunk it yourself, but the water is likely to be cooled off by the time you get it. Normally I don't expect tea at a restaurant to be good. The best tea I ever had in a restaurant was in a cafe in Vienna where they brought me a teapot with a basket of loose tea on the side, waiting for me to dip it in. I'm glad they let me do it because the tea was very strong, and it would have been too strong by the time I got it if they'd put the basket into the water in the kitchen. It was heavenly!

Nov 20th 18 4:47 pm
Posts: 13
Joined: Jan 9th 18 9:33 pm

Re: Am I being picky?

by chapka » Nov 20th 18 4:47 pm

Are you being too picky? No, but you are being unrealistic.

Restaurant tea today, at least in the U.S., is like coffee was twenty-five years ago. Back then, after dinner, you ordered "coffee," and they brought you a cup of coffee poured out of a glass coffeepot sitting in the back of the restaurant, probably made on an industrial drip machine. You would get basically the same cup of coffee at any restaurant, from a roadside diner up to pretty fancy places.

These days, plenty of restaurants have fancy coffee setups and trained baristas; often they'll say on their menus what kind of coffee they serve, or you can see the equipment on the bar. Very few have fancy tea services or tea training for servers. It would be nice for you and me if they did, but if they don't, harassing the person who may be earning $2.13 an hour (the actual before-tips minimum wage in some places) to bring you your tea doesn't help.

Ask before you order if the tea is bagged or loose-leaf. If it's bagged, you know what to expect. And if it is bagged, I would honestly prefer they bring me hot water and a bag. Otherwise I have to guess at how long it's been in already when it gets to me, or the waiter, who doesn't know how strong I want it, guesses for me.

If a restaurant serves two types of wine, one white and one red, you don't order it and complain about the vintage. If it serves just "coffee," full stop, you don't order it and complain that it isn't single origin beans. And if it just has "tea" on the menu, you don't order it and expect a full formal tea service.