Customers new to the world of tea

1st flush leaves
1st flush leaves

Nothing gives us greater joy than to see a new customer becoming excited by the variations and depth of flavors of tea.  It is the same reaction we see at our Tastings – a person slowly realizing the sheer beauty, simplicity yet complexity in Tea.  You think you know it but you don’t.  You can’t understand what the fuss is about until you do.  Here’s today’s reaction from one of those ‘new’ customers in an e-mail from him entitled ‘Love Affair with Tea':

OK, for the first time in my life, I am actually “into” tea.  This is amazing.  I got some Nilgiri as a sample with my last order…yum.  And I also bought a small bag of Makaibari 1st Flush, which might be the most exquisite stuff I have ever tasted.  I’m feeling sorry for all those folks who think Tazo is actually high quality.  I think the First Flush is about to become by go-to morning tea, although I still love Makaibari Oolong.

We selected some additional samples and sent them along – Da Hong Pao Oolong, Oriental Beauty, Makaibari 2nd Flush and Nilgiri Frost.  I think he’s going to have a long love affair with Tea.

Our colorful Table Cloths & Napkins

sunny tearoom
We received a lovely compliment from one of our customers last week on our choice of table linens.  Thank you!  This is by design, not chance.  I made a decision when we opened 15 years ago that we were not going to use white.  We play with several colors – hunter green, seafoam green, peach, lavender, champagne, orange, red and, of course, white.  We approached a few vendors and selected White Plains Linen from Peekskill as our supplier.  They have been in business for 75 years with Bruce Botchman at the helm, the third-generation owner.  They’ve kept up with the times, not only in color and style trends but also by converting their facility to a green plant.  They partnered with Wheelabrator to reduce the company’s carbon footprint by 70%. Additionally, they recycle rain water to wash laundry and even recycle ‘lost silverware’.  (Ah, so that’s where all our missing silverware is!).  Over the years, we’ve noticed the many improvements – ordering efficiencies, increased choice in colors, ability to respond quickly – all while maintaining superior customer service.  Their trucks are easy to recognize with their familiar tagline – ‘Follow us to the best dining in town’.

From the “You can’t Make This Stuff Up” file

you can't make this stuff upA party of several people come in to the Tea Room.  They are celebrating a birthday and they order the Afternoon Tea Service.  For those of you not familiar with this, it is a 3-tiered service with tea sandwiches, scones & dessert.  Once they are into their celebration, one person brings out a bag with a cake in it and proceeds to put a candle in it and light it.  Our Server immediately goes over and points out that we are a restaurant and do not permit food other than ours. And by the way, we do serve Cake. The guest is apologetic but we allow it since the deed is done.  Wait, there’s more.

A few minutes later, a delivery man from another restaurant down the block shows up with a delivery and says, “You ordered something for delivery”?  Our Server thinks he must be mistaken but no, the same group that brought out the cake had food delivered to our Tea Room from another restaurant!  This was more than we could handle.  We gave it to them to enjoy at home but under no circumstances were we going to allow another establishment’s food at ours and that too, delivered while they were there!

Customer’s visit to Makaibari

Raj Vable with Rajah Banerjee at Makaibari
Raj Vable with Rajah Banerjee at Makaibari

Raj Vable, founder of Young Mountain Tea just visited Makaibari and sent us some memorable pictures.  His company is based on the principle that the joy of tea should benefit not only the person drinking it but also those that grow it as well as Mother Earth.  Young Mountain has developed some wonderful partnerships, in particular with villagers of a remote mountainous region in northern India where tea has not been grown before.  Working with a NGO in that area, Avani, and raising funds through Kickstarter, they expect their first harvest of tea  this June.

raj vable 2
Rajah, Srirupa, my sister, and Raj

Raj celebrated his 28th birthday while at Makaibari and here they are toasting to his health!  While at Makaibari, Raj availed of the Homestay programme which allowed him to stay with a worker’s family and immerse himself in the actual life of a Makaibari villager.

Raj plucking leaf at Makaibari
Raj plucking leaf at Makaibari

Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea – May 10, 2015

Mothers-Day-Cards-2Treat your Mom to a special Afternoon Tea Service on Mother’s Day:

  • Sunday, May 10, 2015
  • 3 Seatings:  11 am / 1 pm / 3 pm
  • By Reservation Only
  • $26/person inclusive of Tax & Gratuity
  • Prix Fixe – Afternoon Tea Service only all day – Sandwiches, Scones, Desserts, Tea.  Sandwiches include our signature Egg Souchong & Tarry Chicken as well as others including Turkey & Shrimp Salad.  Vegetarian option available.

Make your reservations early – we tend to fill up quickly.  Call 914 332 8515 or e-mail to