Thursday, February 9, 2012

Tea at Craft Restaurant

I've mentioned countless times before how frustrating it is to have a lovely meal at a restaurant only to end with a bad cup of tea. This happens everywhere, from local eateries to high end restaurants. It is most perplexing to me in the expensive, high end dining establishments. If you pay attention to the name of the cow that gives you milk for your butter, why not think about your tea service? Coffee is always the star of the show, and tea is always in the chorus.

Last night we had a wonderful meal with friends at Craft. The food was simple, delicious, perfection. After such an amazing meal, I was eager to see the state of their tea selection.
As you can see, just like the food, the tea list is simple and to the point. I was happy that they didn't have the typical 'Enligsh breakfast' as the black tea offering. It would be nice to have more than one unflavored black tea to choose from as well as a straight green tea, but I was happy with the choices. 

Overall I like the quality of the teas I've tried by In Pursuit of Tea and I could tell that this Assam would have been great if it was prepared properly. The tea arrived in a nice individual pot without the infuser. It was helpful that the leaves weren't in the pot, but I would have preferred to have the infuser on a plate next to me so I could see and smell the leaves. It also gives the option of steeping a second pot. The tea looked a bit too dark even for Assam, but it was hard to tell in the dim lighting. It unfortunately tasted quite bitter. I like a bold Assam but this was not prepared correctly. The person steeping the tea either used too much and/or let it steep for too long.

I mentioned my tea mishap on twitter, and someone from Craft replied and said they were going to discuss the issue with the barista. That's exactly how more restaurants should respond! I'm glad to know that they take pride in every aspect of their service. I'm sure the issue will be corrected the next time we enjoy dinner there.

Does anyone have any recent restaurant tea experiences to share?


  1. That's good that the restaurant responded! It's not that hard to brew tea relatively well, and, if the restaurant really can't handle it, then there are plenty of very flexible / forgiving teas that can handle haphazard brewing and still taste great. Any sort of beverage in a restaurant is expensive, and you're paying for the labor cost of preparation, not the material cost, so I think it is reasonable for you to expect it to be prepared properly, and of reasonable quality.

    More often than not though, I've also been disappointed by tea in restaurants. I usually just don't order it.

  2. I agree, tea in restaurants is usually disappointing. But I'd expect better from a restaurant of this caliber. I'm really happy that they were open to criticism and are trying to fix the problem. I actually just went to a place last night that had amazing food, but just a (good quality) teabag in a mug of water. the mug was only half full.I wouldn't mind as much if the restaurant wasn't so focused on fresh, local ingredients for the food. It's not so hard to at least give me a small pot, or even a mug that is full with hot water.