20170905_132020.jpg
It’s tea, but is it a teacup?

The cup at Piccolo Cafe in Taupo yesterday was so discombobulating that we had to go back today.

Strictly speaking, it wasn’t really a cup. And not a glass either. More of a perspex tumbler. Instinct said I should hate it, but I tried to keep an open mind.

My marks out of 10?

CUP 7: Scoring this new tea-drinking experience was tricky. This was not a coffee cup, but neither was it a teacup. It wasn’t fine bone china, but neither was it heavy crockery. What to do? Fall back on my basic criteria and see where it gets me. The “cup” (strictly speaking, I don’t think you can really call a drinking vessel without a handle a cup) is a good shape; it keeps tea hot. It’s also nice and light (incredibly so), both points in its favour. On the down side, the aesthetics aren’t great, and the rim feels a little clunky in your mouth.

TEA 9: NZ Live. This is good leaf tea, made in a pot, and with its own tea-timer to tell20170905_134434.jpg you when it’s ready. I’d never heard of NZ Live, so I asked the waiter about it and he brought me a tea menu. A four-page menu just for tea, with brews like Kowhai Ceylon, Ruapehu Rooibus and Kakariki Green. I was drinking Morning Kick Assam, “strong, full-bodied, rich, malty and brisk. A real pressed leaf, great for breakfast tea and takes milk well”.  It was good, but a little on the weak side (despite me leaving it in the pot longer than the three minutes stipulated on the tea-timer). The waiter told me that the tea comes with its own measuring spoon, and strict instructions from the makers about much to use. “But now I know you, if you come tomorrow I will make it stronger for you,” he said. I did, and he did, and it was very good, full of complex teay flavours and with a great pick-me-up zest.

But who was this NZ Live tea producer? The answer was on the back of the tea menu: The Bell Tea and Coffee Company, 305 East Tamaki Rd, Auckland. Mum, I’m sorry, you were right, Bell can make good tea.

SETTING 8: Classy cafe a street or two back from the lake in Taupo, with staff who go the extra distance to lift your visit to a little above the ordinary.

Piccolo Cafe, 41 Ruapehu St, Taupo.

 

2 thoughts on “Piccolo Cafe, Taupo

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s