Tea for Who? On the Hunt for the Elusive Cuppa in the Capital

While Costa Coffee often fails at serving its namesake product, the one thing those Brits do know how to do is make a cup of tea. Or at least, they seem to know how to develop proven corporate training methods which can instill best practices across cultures for the delivery of a consistently served tea-based product.

I’m serious. In all of Beijing, Costa is one of the few places that actually know how to serve tea. For one, they use actual teapots, thereby allowing you to control the steeping time. Most of the time in cafés, a bit of loose leaf tea is dumped into a large glass or cup and then doused in tepid water. There’s no steeping and pouring. There’s no attempt to match water temperature with the variety of tea. It’s just ‘here’s your tea and off you go.’