Tuesday, July 14, 2009

How to Serve Tea and Plaudits for Rex's

So, while the airwaves are full of matters of import, drawling Jeff Sessions boringly and predictably interrogating Sonya Sotomayor, I've decided to broach my own issue of consequence: How To Serve Tea.

When I got sick last winter, among other changes I made, sadly abandoning my beloved double espressos at Steady Eddy's for instance, was to cut out almost all caffeine, and my morning beverage of choice became herb tea. Since I felt like I was sacrificing, I became quite attuned to making sure the new way was as pleasant as possible, and thus I've turned into something of a tea crank at restaurants.

First, there always should be non-caffeine options -- and not just some boring decaffeinated green teabags, but at least a handful of lively caffeine-free choices -- Steady Eddy's at the Flint Farmer's Market has one of my favorites, a pomegranate blend, and they also have peach and several citrus varieties.

Second, and to the point of this post, is how the hot water is served. Some places bring the cup filled with hot water and the little pitcher also filled with hot water. This makes no sense, unless you're also offered two teabags, one for each container. If it's served this way, you have to decide where to put your teabag. Obviously you'd begin with the cup, but then that means by the time your cup of tea is properly steeped, the bag is half-used up and your pitcher of tea would then be weaker than your first cup. Instead, the pitcher only should be filled with water; you put your teabag in there and fill the cup from the pitcher, so that all the tea is of the same strength. Then if you want more tea, you ask the server to bring you another teabag and fill the pitcher, not the cup, with fresh hot water.

Water in the teapot only -- hooray

Finally, the cafe should serve all kinds of sweeteners -- not just the excreble refined white sugar and Sweet 'n low. There should be raw (probably turbinado) sugar, Equal and Splenda. I'm a Splenda fan myself and my husband prefers Equal, and we find it irritating when neither are available.
Four kinds of sweetener -- hooray

The restaurant which consistently meets my tea-serving standards is Rex's Cafe at the corner of 22nd Street and Pacific in San Pedro, where I took the photos included here.

And I added a photo of my breakfast this morning, to note that they serve the best fruit bowl in town -- ordered with my disturbingly mammary but delicious "Green Eggs Cabrillo" (there's spinach under that cheese sauce).
Man, this breakfast needs a bra

Rex's is one of my favorite breakfast spots in Pedro -- a cheery yellow interior, friendly bi-lingual service, consistently fresh and delicious food, including excellent steel-cut oatmeal, and an interestingly varied and mellow clientele.

There, now I feel better. Bring it on, Sessions.

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