Friday, March 24, 2006

I made another stop on my international tea journey through New York City after work today, this time to a tiny teahouse in NYU-land called Tea Spot. I drink a lot of tea, but it's in Snapple form for the most part, so I tend to forget that tea not made from the best stuff on earth is quite bitter and makes my taste buds cry. No matter really: I went to Tea Spot because they have free wi-fi, and when I'm in a cafe with a wireless connection, nothing else matters. They could be serving week-old severed human head-on-a-stick, and I'd be like, "I can't believe I'm on the internet! I'm gonna instant message someone and say guess where I'm talking to you from!"

I guess I have two problems with Tea Spot. First, I couldn't find an electric outlet for my petulant laptop. Its battery has approximately the same life span of chocolate cake at a Weight Watchers convention — no battery means no laptop which means no wi-fi which means no internet which means I'm sitting alone at a table with a pot of leafy, bitter water. And second, the menu makes no sense whatsoever. Example: "regular tea" is $4.50 a pot and "premium tea" is $5.50. So I ask the counter girl what's the difference and — remember I have this job where I sometimes have to deal with people and their stupid, stupid questions, so I sympathize with customer service employees — but she answers, "The premium teas are more expensive."

Thank you for that insight, Counter Girl.

Of course, what I wanted to know is what makes each of their eighty special brews, all with informative names like Dragon's Well Superior and Anxi Oolong Select and Vithanakende, different from one another. Answer: they're all bitter and make you have to pee. No real difference.