I just read an article in my Hospitality Sales and Marketing Review (an industry magazine). The article is titled "Tea is Hot" and the subject is pretty obvious. I have been drinking tea for years, I guess I'm finally fashionable. I have a large mug I fill to the rim as soon as I get into the office and I drink tea until around lunch time. Usually green tea, but I like to mix it up every once in a while and might want something heavier or stronger like chai or earl gray. Then later in the afternoon, I often go for one more cup of something decaf. I prefer tea over coffee, but I'm not opposed to coffee – it's just not my first choice. What's my point? Well, I'm about to pitch a gripe. My gripe: tea drinkers get no respect! It seems our largest chain of "coffee shops" (you know the one) thinks it accommodates the tea drinker, but really it doesn't. I understand its focus is coffee but what it doesn't realize is there are a lot of coffee drinkers out there who are often accompanied by a tea drinker. My husband is a big coffee drinker... we shouldn't have to go to two different places for each of us to get our preferred beverage when we're out together.

Now this gripe is one I have made to a few cafes/coffee shops. The thing is most of them think they are properly serving the tea drinkers of the world when in fact they are not. Most of their employees have no clue as to how long a tea bag should be in hot water or how many tea bags you need for the amount of water in your cup or pot. Since you know my tea of choice is green and if you're also a green tea drinker, then you know you don't want to brew a green tea nearly as long as you would brew a black tea. It gets too bitter. People also seem to think it's acceptable to bring me a cup of hot water with a tea bag on the side... not pouring the hot water over the bag or leaves. What's up with that? Also, tea drinkers like to add things to their tea... I like to add honey. I don't think honey is a strange addition to tea, yet I rarely see honey available. I almost always have to ask for it. I feel sorry for those who like lemon in their tea... good luck getting that! Milk, of course, is always available because the coffee drinkers use it.

I have plenty more to say, but writing this blog is keeping me from my tea and I like to drink it while it's hot! So to get back to the article that inspired me to write, I'm happy to see more attention being given to the tea drinker – it's about time.

Tea drinkers unite! Let's demand a better steep and more choices.

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