Ben There, Done That: That’s the tea, sis


by Ben Small ’19 and Ben Poulios ’19

You’ve probably had a long day. The week’s been a tough one. You’ve probably just failed your math test, followed by a less-than-stellar performance in history. You’ve been beaten down; the world is filled with opponents, ruthless and indifferent.

Your faltering academics throw you into a world of uncertainty, a flood of concerns: Will I make honor roll? What will colleges think? How can I tell my parents? Am I a complete and utter failure? Honestly, we don’t know and can’t help you with that. Sorry.

But what we can do is suggest some coping mechanisms—legal ones, of course—to help you deal with your disappointment. We suggest solace in thin plastic cups, comfort in wide colored straws, escape in satisfying pearls of tapioca. Lucky for the stressed out KO student, there are three of these elixir-peddlers within walking distance.

As a result of this multitude, a rift has opened up in the community of bubble-tea connoisseurs: Tea Break or Green Tea House. In these times of societal division, it is important to have an open mind. Just because one man is a die-hard Tea Break fan, doesn’t mean that he’s necessarily a bad guy. We must learn to set aside our differences and recognize our common humanity, difficult as that might be. At the end of the day, we’re all members of the Tea Party—not the racist one, by the way…Anyway, in this article, we’ll be walking you through your next trip to Tea Break and then to Green Tea House.

Located at 994 Farmington Ave, Tea Break epitomizes the after-school beverage foray. After opening the door that you push and then pull because it’s un-intuitively designed, you wait in a line of like-minded tea-seekers. You glance at the menu, but really at this point, you don’t need to: so practiced is your order.

Tea Break offers a diversity of teas and milk teas. The difference between the two is the presence or lack of milk, surprisingly enough. Flavors range from OoLong Milk Tea to passion fruit tea. They even have a flavor of tea called “Classic Coffee.” You are suspicious that this flavor is indeed not a tea—despite its facade—and is, instead, merely coffee with milk and sugar. Whether or not it’s an imposter, you don’t care as you slurp away four to five dollars.

After coughing it up—the money, that is—you sit in a precarious red chair and watch as the friendly, aproned-staff assemble your tea. A special machine seals your drink. And one of the tea-masters swirls your cup with a flourish before handing it to you with a smile. You order it with pearls, right? If so, make sure to grab a wider straw to accommodate their passage. Stabbing the straw through the seal can be treacherous at times. From our experience, the best advice is to focus intently, imagine the seal is that math test your flunked and puncture: one swift, solid, deadly motion.

You’ve made it through the last hurdle. Now, enjoy your bubble tea, wash away your problems with sweet liquid, gulp it down so you’re ready to face the world next week.
Located closer to KO in Blue Back Square, right next to The Cheesecake Factory (and therefore less time for a bigger reward) is The Green Teahouse. When you walk into The Green Teahouse, you are met by a bright interior that brings joy to your heart and makes you remember that there’s more to the world than getting into college and those quarter grades that your parents have been pestering you about.

While waiting for your bubble tea, you can peruse the wall of non-bubble teas and smell them if you want. If you want to have a sample, there is a little table with a few teas in the kettles. We tried the passion fruit Oolong, which was exquisite. These teas are also available for purchase if you are not a fan of bubble tea. You can get the canisters or have them brew you the tea.

After ordering, you have almost as much variety in where you want to sit as you do with your tea. You can sit on bar stools by the window and look out into Blueback, along the wall where you can work at a table, or sit on the plush couches.

At The Green Teahouse, the Earth is treated with as much respect as you are: their cups are recyclable unlike the cups at Tea Break. You may be thinking “Ummmm… I’m pretty sure that I saw the recycle sign on the bottom of the plastic cup that Tea Break has, so that means you can recycle it.” There is a recycle sign on the bottom, but the film on the top that you stick the straw through prevents any environmentally-friendly customer from recycling the cup. Well, couldn’t you just take the film off? KO’s News’ best experts have tried to take the film off, but just like trying to convince die-hard Tea Break fans that The Green Teahouse is superior, it is impossible and very disheartening for the good people of the world.

If you want to escape the vicinity of KO altogether, you can visit The Green Teahouse location in Westfarms Mall while shopping at a variety of stores and also complementing your wonderful tea with Cinnabon.