Friday, January 28, 2011

Tea Drinker Discrimination

I'm a hot tea drinker. I don't drink coffee and unlike many of my fellow coffee abstainer friends, I don't even like the smell. For some reason the fact that I don't like the smell seems to shock people more than the fact that I don't drink it. I'm not a snob, I'm just as addicted to my hot tea as coffee drinkers are to their brew. A morning without hot tea becomes a day with a major headache. Caffeine is addictive no matter how you swill it.

I'm a minimum two huge cups a morning type. I measured my cup recently, it holds two cups of fluid thus I'm getting four cups a day minimum of tea and caffeine.

My tea of choice is PG Tips, a British tea that is very strong. Pam, who's from Great Britain, at the Broadway Diner in Fayetteville turned me onto the tea. I thought initially I'd have to just stop in there to get a cup or two or ten, but turns out you can buy it at Kroger, at least you can buy it at "my" Kroger on the south end of Fayetteville, Hwy. 85. There are 40 bags to a box, it usually runs around $4 - $4.50 for a box. Not a bad price at all for a good cup of tea.

By now you're possibly wondering why I titled this blog "Tea Drinker Discrimination". If you're not, you should be given all the rambling prior to that statement...

One of my pet peeves is restaurants who give unlimited coffee (they pretty much all do) for one price but charge me for each and every cup of tea I drink. They charge the same for coffee as they do for tea usually, yet some, a few, restaurants charge me $2.25 or $1.75 or whatever for each and every cup of tea. I was actually told the other day at one Peachtree City restaurant that no, they didn't charge per cup. If I used the same tea bag over and over they would allow me to have three cups of hot water to go along with the one measly tea bag they were willing to allow me to have. Yep, I could re-use that puny thing they called a tea bag three times. I drink my tea with cream or milk -- reusing a tea bag that's been soaked with sweetener and milk isn't pretty, nor does it taste like anything other than weird water.

Once I discover a restaurant discriminates against tea drinkers I mark them off my list. I never return. I used to politely, nicely, try to let them know why but after a few blase responses (ala, we don't give a flying flip, there aren't enough of you tea drinkers to make a difference) I quit telling them why. I just don't go back.

There are two restaurants that I've marked off my list in Fayette County. One in Peachtree City and one in Fayetteville. I'm not naming names as they're fairly popular with my friends and I like the owner of the one in Peachtree City, would very much like her to succeed. I doubt my aggravation about her tea discrimination would hurt her business anyway. Now I think I may have hurt the business of the one in Fayetteville because they were positively snotty when I raised my eyebrow about being charged. I canceled my dessert order and left the restaurant they were so snippy about it. Since then I have taken enough business from them that I've cost them much more than it would have to just give refills on 10-15 cent cups of hot tea...

Think about it. How many people drink tea like I do? I may have two cups after dinner, maybe three if it's cold outside. It's going to cost them maybe 50 cents for those three cups of tea if I'm drinking the better selection. I'm going to buy dessert. I'm going to be a happy customer. I'm going to come back if the food was good and the service at least decent.

Given the small percentage of people who drink tea and the even smaller percentage who drink multiple cups, what's the big deal about free refills? The vast majority of restaurants don't charge for tea refills, from the nicest upscale places to the lowest end dive. Why do some restaurants try to grab a nickel on tea? What's the cost of a lost customer? What's the cost of having someone pull business meetings to other restaurants? I like to enjoy my meal. I don't enjoy some meals without my after meal, sometimes during meal, hot tea. And no, I don't always drink hot tea with a meal when I'm out. It's a mood thing, and sometimes a weather or time of day thing. I rarely have hot tea with lunch unless it's really cold.

I know all you coffee drinkers and caffeine abstainers are rolling your eyes at the idea of someone walking out of a restaurant, never to return, over being charged for a second cup of tea. It's the principle of the thing. It's part of the enjoyment of my meal. I pay pretty hefty prices for the privilege of eating at many restaurants. I don't mind, I know they need to cover their costs and hopefully make a profit. Tea isn't going to make or break them. But it can cost them if they charge for refills.

So there.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I can understand that. and I for one, used to be a hot tea drinker also.
Since I moved south, though, there's hardly any place that offers hot tea anymore.
So, I've become addicted to coffee instead! I wish to get off the stuff really, because i felt that tea was much better for me, than coffee ever was, but i'm hooked.

Plus I can get it FREE almost anywhere. Stores, banks, restaurants, for some reason so many places like to give out free coffee Must be cheap, is all I can think Ramblin'
I've stopped doing business also, when I've been treated badly in them. I'd just call that human nature.
Why go somewhere that's not pleasant for ya?

Cindy said...

Just linked you to FB today. FB comment:
Pet Peeve - restaurants that charge per tea bag for hot tea!!! That means I pay the going rate per tea bag. This is ridiculous, especially since I have NEVER had a high quality tea at any of them. It is noteworthy that all restaurants do NOT do this. I was so irritated today I came home and Googled. Seems I am not alone. I have been told I can use the same tea bag and have more ‘free’ hot water, REALLY?! …or just today a restaurant owner agreed that I could order endless iced tea for one price or have the iced tea microwaved? This would cost him more in the long run – waitress time and heating the tea twice? So, I can have endless coffee (which I am allergic to), pop and even iced tea (cold or hot) but not more than one tea bag? Restaurant owners take note: I hope it is worth losing a good customer over a couple of tea bags!!! Locally, good bye Tannery House and Kopper Kettle.

I like good Earl Grey and PB Tips. English Breakfast and Lady Grey aren't bad either. Some green teas and herbal teas are good, also. However, almost no restaurants carry any of them and I still would not pay per tea bag, unless it was a reasonable price!

Cindy said...

Just linked you to FB today. FB comment:
Pet Peeve - restaurants that charge per tea bag for hot tea!!! That means I pay the going rate per tea bag. This is ridiculous, especially since I have NEVER had a high quality tea at any of them. It is noteworthy that all restaurants do NOT do this. I was so irritated today I came home and Googled. Seems I am not alone. I have been told I can use the same tea bag and have more ‘free’ hot water, REALLY?! …or just today a restaurant owner agreed that I could order endless iced tea for one price or have the iced tea microwaved? This would cost him more in the long run – waitress time and heating the tea twice? So, I can have endless coffee (which I am allergic to), pop and even iced tea (cold or hot) but not more than one tea bag? Restaurant owners take note: I hope it is worth losing a good customer over a couple of tea bags!!! Locally, good bye Tannery House and Kopper Kettle.

I like good Earl Grey and PB Tips. English Breakfast and Lady Grey aren't bad either. Some green teas and herbal teas are good, also. However, almost no restaurants carry any of them and I still would not pay per tea bag, unless it was a reasonable price!

Cindy said...

Just linked you to FB today. FB comment:
Pet Peeve - restaurants that charge per tea bag for hot tea!!! That means I pay the going rate per tea bag. This is ridiculous, especially since I have NEVER had a high quality tea at any of them. It is noteworthy that all restaurants do NOT do this. I was so irritated today I came home and Googled. Seems I am not alone. I have been told I can use the same tea bag and have more ‘free’ hot water, REALLY?! …or just today a restaurant owner agreed that I could order endless iced tea for one price or have the iced tea microwaved? This would cost him more in the long run – waitress time and heating the tea twice? So, I can have endless coffee (which I am allergic to), pop and even iced tea (cold or hot) but not more than one tea bag? Restaurant owners take note: I hope it is worth losing a good customer over a couple of tea bags!!! Locally, good bye Tannery House and Kopper Kettle.

I like good Earl Grey and PB Tips. English Breakfast and Lady Grey aren't bad either. Some green teas and herbal teas are good, also. However, almost no restaurants carry any of them and I still would not pay per tea bag, unless it was a reasonable price!