Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Tea Houses: The Original Social Networking Sites

During my average work day at Teacup, I see business meetings, clubs, dates, and friends all gathering to make plans or just to chat. I have also noticed many lasting friendships develop between total strangers while they sat in close proximity drinking good tea. Those of us who work in tea houses know that they are the world's "original social networking sites" and we truly love the vibrant mix of people and personalities that pass through our doors.

Besides serving great tea, a good tea house should meet the needs of of its patrons. Some are looking for a quiet comfortable place to relax, read or write, while others are looking for a festive place to socialize. A selection of food, either full meals, or just small simple snacks and/or treats, is also important for keeping guests comfortable while they visit. Occasional entertainment, such as art, opera, storytelling, calligraphy, music, classes, acrobats, or board games are also big plus!

When I started selling tea 9 years ago, I almost never saw a laptop on any tables at Teacup. But these days more than half of our clients are using a laptop or a smart phone (or both at the same time) while they sip their tea. I don't mind because this is the cafe culture here in Seattle. We are all adapting to life in 2010 and I still see many new friendships being made, businesses, weddings, and other grand events being planned, and families and friends of all races, gathering together to talk.

Wherever you may be on our beautiful little planet, I hope you have a great tea house close by!


Split/Gender said...

I love all the customers who come into work. I haven't seen many laptops though mostly folders of work they are working on at the time.

Have you ever got the odd questions such as "Do you sell coffee?" or "Do you sell tea?" I have gotten both and even got asked if we sell Ice Wine. After hideing my amusement, I try to clear up the confusion and even try to offer them a tea tha might be in the category they would like.
Do you sell Rooibos, fruit blends and matte at the Tea Cup?

Brett said...

Yeah. I get those type of questions all the time (though I've never been asked for ice wine). The best is when they come up to the counter while talking on a cell phone and order a complicated espresso drink. They are always a bit stunned when I try to get their attention and explain that we don't have any coffee.

We do... We sell lots of herbal teas such as rooibos, mate and fruit blends at Teacup.

Shai Williams said...

Oh I am so jealous. I live down in Tacoma and we have tea rooms down here but no tea houses. To find that kind of climate, I would have to go to a coffee house..and well I hate coffee