The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is in an area of midtown that often gets forgotten. It is between Times Square and 34th street, where many don't need to venture (unless you work over there). Today my errands brought me to the area, and I figured I'd give the cafe another try. It was almost a year ago when I first visited, and I was not impressed. I was hoping that a second trip would change my mind.
The place was empty this time, which was different from my first experience. I walked right up to the counter. I asked for unflavored black iced tea, and was given a sample to taste. It tasted like apricot black tea, and so I asked if there was a plain version. Again I was given a sample of what the barista thought was plain black, and again it was the apricot. When I again asked if they had plain black iced tea the barista said yes. So I asked for a small. When I tasted it, it was the same apricot black tea, but at that point I didn't really care. The tea was very weak due to an abundance of ice, and as soon as I got outside in the heat it was basically watery tea with a slight apricot flavor.
I did notice a long list of hot tea choices, which is promising although heavy on flavored teas and herbals. Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is definitely not a destination place, but it is a good choice if you are in the area and need a reviving cup. I did notice a new Oren's Daily Roast Coffee & Teas when I was walking back. I'll have to check it out when I'm back for more errands.
The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf: 1412 Broadway, NY, NY: Recommended if you work/shop in the neighborhood