Most people I’ve met here moan that they don’t have a coffee IV hooked up at all times. And I get it – waking up at 5.45am every day and then staying up late to make the most of the city can take its toll.
Thankfully, once a year, the city invites New Yorkers to test out its most beautiful coffees and teas at a festival, and take home bags of their favorites to get them through the week. Ryan and I – who are both big tea fans as well (I use my prized IngenuiTea infuser every day) – headed up to the 69th Regiment Armory on Lexington Ave to check it out.
After queuing around the block for half an hour, we were welcomed inside, the waft of coffee beans swirling around us. There was table upon table of steaming teapots, cold brews, fruity teas and frothy milk.
Ryan was a bit narked to see that there were more teas than coffees, but I didn’t mind too much. While us Brits are obsessed with our PG Tips and other breakfast teas, New York has a handle on herbal teas like I’ve never seen before. I loved opening pots to find various flowers or leaves inside.
We particularly loved the teas by ZenZeu and bought a tub of the Hawaiian Paradise to make at home. It was so fruity and sweet, and the mixture had chunks of dried pineapple and cranberries in. The sample (okay, we had three) quenched my thirst after so many coffee tastings, and it made me want summer to arrive even more than usual – so I could ditch my hot Americanos in favor for fruity iced teas.The Alchemy Creamery also made me want summer to hurry up. They had brought their tea and coffee flavored ice creams, which are beautifully creamy despite being vegan. I opted for a green tea and coconut ice cream pop – and it was gorgeous.
Caffeinated out, we headed to Madison Square Park to finish our ice creams and to check out our goodie bags. These far exceeded the $10 cost of the ticket, so I was very happy. Well, until those bloody squirrels chased us out of the park again. Thankfully we were wired enough to get out sharpish.
The Coffee and Tea Festival was one of the best foodie fairs we’ve been to, so I’d definitely recommend it next time it’s in town. And after all those tastings, I won’t need that coffee IV – well, for a couple of hours at least.
For more information about next year’s Coffee and Tea Festival, keep an eye on their website.