What says summer is coming like some nice tea? It’s actually very refreshing. It may not be the first most people think of as “dessert,” but with the amount of sugar that I pack into a cuppa, and the fact I often like to sip tea after a meal, then perhaps we can make a case. So without further ado, let’s look at a few good tea joints in the city of Morgantown.
The Moose is a place I thought of as a venue for a beer and some slow jam music on a Thursday night. Apparently, during the day they have fairly extensive coffee, tea and pastry options.
This is what Blue Moose considers a sparse tea selection. Luckily for me, they encourage smelling. I had a very difficult sitch determining which tea I wanted to sample at first, but then smelled the most wondrous blend I have ever laid nose on: The Yerba Latte. Just the most wondrous blend of strong, almost vanilla aroma, with these subtle earthy and rooty undertones was just fantastic.
I suppose when comparing traditional hot tea establishments, tea is just an afterthought to the coffee and really has little to do with the preparer. Precisely why the atmosphere and presentation matters so much.
And so I present, the tea itself:
Just look at that deep, moody brew. Have I mentioned the smell yet? That straw nearly melted as I stirred the stuff. I also loved the cup. I didn’t really have time to drink it much with all the sniffing I was doing. But when I finally took a sip, the taste was just sweet enough. Before I put any sugar in. Exceptionally great tea.
I have professed my love for this little spot in the past. The amazing food, the speedy service, the delectable sushi. But one of their greatest treats by far is something a little sweeter and a little strange by Western standards.
This isn’t your gramma’s Earl Grey with Equal. These are Milk Teas or Hot Teas with round, squishy balls of black tapioca stuff. Uniquely Asian, all the way. Takes some time getting used to the texture; you are given a large straw so that you can eat the tapioca while you drink the tea. But you can, if so desired, order without the tapioca, or replace with a gelatin which just sounds unpleasant.
The liquid itself is something like a Korean version of a milkshake. I ordered the Peanut Black Milk Tea, which had a great nutty flavor to it, and these little clusters of pureed peanuts. Incredibly creamy, but you can still tell the treat was originally created from a brewed concoction. I always have the bubble tea cold, which more fits the traditional idea of dessert, but will have to eventually muster up the strength to try it hot.
One of the more mellow spots in Morgantown. I do enjoy their coffee, and when a friend of mine plays there during open mic, I’ll pop in for a bowl of cereal. When I recieved my tea here, I was happy with the guys behind the counter for helping me pick a tea, but their selection was really rather blah.
Inside Sozo is usually a pretty nice place to relax; free wifi, comfortable seating. But for a reason no one could explain, all the beautiful and calming artwork was taken off the walls. There was still the soft tinkle of a low-level Jazz song in the background, which allows for the relaxed atmosphere needed for tea-drinking.
One interesting detail about drinking a cup of tea with creamer is the texture it gives the brew. It mixed together nicely with the berry taste of the tea. I’m reminded of drinking a bowl of warm crunch-berries, which is not nearly as horrible as it sounds. I hear milk is what the British put in their tea.
The ‘Soz gave me a perfectly servicable tea, and trying something different than the all-water routine gave me a little enjoyment. Of course, their tea is so much cheaper and more generic than the specialty teas at Blue Moose. For the same price. I would certainly recommend Sozo for a french press or shot of expresso. Otherwise, better places for tea.
Granted, there are other tea places in Morgantown, but those are of the Starbuck’s variety. Doesn’t exactly scream “drink me.” Give these fellas a go.