The Daily Feed: Tea Justice

At the end of a restaurant meal a few weeks ago, as my dinner companions ordered their coffees, I did what I always do: asked for tea. The waiter returned with a beautiful wooden box. I was shocked when I looked inside.

Though it held twelve insets for different teas, only three were filled.  The rest were empty. Void. Barren. In a world of cappuccinos, espressos, double espressos, lattes, and macchiatos, where was my tea justice? I felt like a preschooler who’d been handed a Crayola 64-pack with only three sad crayons perched inside.

This isn’t the case everywhere, of course, and perhaps that’s why the lack of attention to replenishing the tea box surprised me. Consumers can now buy green tea, black tea, or hand-picked white tea. We can source tea from China, Japan, the Himalayas, and across Southeast Asia. Want caffeine? Fine. Don’t? That’s okay, too: we can easily find herbal tisanes, or even exotic, naturally caffeine-free red Rooibos tea from South Africa.

So restaurateurs, listen up: we tea drinkers are a passionate lot. And if you’re going to invest in a fancy wooden tea box, you may want to invest in something else, too: tea.


Cheryl Sternman Rule is a widely-published food writer and the voice behind the blog 5 Second Rule.

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