Friday, June 24, 2011

Is Tea The New Coffee?

Philadelphia's coffee culture is going full steam, but as days get longer and stickier, our cool-me-down and pick-me-up beverage options are moving beyond the bean. Heads up, iced coffee: Local drinkeries are giving more love to the leaf.

"People are starting to appreciate teas more," said Courtney Rozsas, 26, owner of Lotus Farm to Table in Media. "There is a higher demand, so we can experiment with flavors."

When she envisioned opening her BYO restaurant in her hometown in 2009, she wanted the emphasis to be on cups of tea as much as plates of food. She's happy to have created some converts. "We have some coffee drinkers that now only drink tea."

Hotter temperatures don't sway her philosophy one bit. When an order from her thoughtful ice tea menu is placed, Rozsas, with her California-girl looks, heads straight to the restaurant's back counter and mixes, weighs, adjusts, and muddles with the concentration of a chemist.

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