Monday February 6, 2006

Yum, the mediocrity of Tealuxe tea (Puttabong 1st flush Darjeeling).

Tealuxe used to be a great joint, providing a fabulous array of teas for your consumption. At a time when you can barely find a place that serves anything other than Twinings teabags, it was a real blessing. I remember the first time I went in, I was rather impressed. They had many varieties of teas available, including some stuff that you’ll never find in the States. I remember they had a Biluochun. Not necessarily the best Biluochun, but a good one nontheless. Their loose-leaf tea was always a bit pricey, and I mainly just bought their to-go tea when I needed a fix on the go. It serves its purpose.

Alas, those days are gone.

At one point they had quite a few branches, even one in NYC near Columbia. I think they probably overexpanded and their cost structure was out of whack with the revenue they were pulling in. Since then they have obviously tried to cut cost by slashing the varieties of tea that they sell, as well as the branches they have. No more free cups of tea when you’ve bought ten, and no more lots-of-variety either. It is also obvious that for the teas that they do sell, quality has gone down a little. I remember their 165 (Competition Tieguanyin) used to be ok, but now it’s, well, neither here nor there. The price is still the sakme, but the stuff you get isn’t as good.

I still go, mostly because of caffeine need more than anything else. Despite my tag line, I am also addicted to caffeine. Having to be away from tea for a whole day means a nasty headache at 3am. I’m not gona subject myself to that again, ugh.


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