‘Tea is drunk to forget the din of the world.”*

I’m just getting over a head cold, and one of my favorite home remedies (those remedies which comfort us whether they’re medically sound or not) is tea. Nice, hot tea, chamomile in the evening, Irish Breakfast in the daytime, is my remedy of choice (closely followed by the traditional chicken soup) for when I’m feeling ill. But to be honest, I don’t need to be sick to enjoy tea. After a couple of trips to London, I realized that one of life’s major civilized comforts for me was enjoying a nice pot of tea by the fire, whether I managed to get scones and cucumber sandwiches along with it or not.

High tea isn’t that hard to come by in Chicago, what with The Drake and The Walnut Room having firmly established themselves as high tea spots in the city. But more places are getting into the proper tea game, as noted by Time Out, including The James Hotel, VTK and Winebar, to name a few.

If you just want to have some tea, proper or not, there are more and more tea shops appearing around town as well. The Argo Tea chain seems to be trying to compete with Starbucks in the shops-popping-up race, with new locations opening in quite a few spots. Russian Tea Time has been in place for years as a go-to Russian food and drink spot, and you can chill at Dream About Tea in Evanston, Saint’s Alp Teahouse in Chinatown, or Unique So Chique Tea & Chocolate Room. Places to pick up some tea to enjoy at home include My Place For Tea, TeaGschwendner and Ten Ren Tea and Ginseng Co. I can personally recommend the Urban Tea Lounge in Uptown, where owners CeCe and Hank Anderson will take care of you just right, I promise. More tea spots can be found at TeaGuide.net.

Now I’m off to have a cuppa…

*-T’ien Yiheng

1 Comment so far

  1. geekgirl397 (unregistered) on January 26th, 2007 @ 1:30 pm

    You’re getting “high tea” confused with “afternoon tea”.

    High tea is not at all the refined cucumber sandwich ritual it is often confused with.

    High tea is an early evening meal – in Britain the upper classes used to have “Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner” where the working classes had “Breakfast, Dinner (at midday – the main meal) and Tea (High Tea – a meal taken at 5pm or so, right at the end of the workday)

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