Stella Cafe, Hokitika

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Tea as weak as the proverbial – and I swear I didn’t put in too much milk.

My mother would say the tea at Stella Cafe, in Hokitika, was as weak as maiden’s water. Which was a shame, because it was to be my last cup on the Coast, and I had high hopes for it.

We were under time pressure; Stella doesn’t open until 8am, and I had to be at the airport at 8.40am.

Nevertheless, when I heard they used loose-leaf tea, my heart soared, and I was glad we decided it was worth squeezing breakfast in before my flight.

My marks out of 10?

CUP 5:– A real teacup! Okay, it’s a pretty basic one, the kind you can buy in bulk at homeware stores, but it is, at least, a cup made for drinking tea from.

TEA 4: Twining’s English breakfast, made with loose-leaf tea. The trouble with the teapots that hold the tea in a little basket just under the lid is that they don’t draw very well. So if you don’t put in a decent amount of tea , the resulting brew is, well, not brewed.

SETTING 7: Comfortable, stylish cafe in downtown Hokitika, plenty of room and good food, and honey, a delicatessen and cheese room to boot. Pity about the tea.

Stella Cafe, 84 Revell St, Hokitika.

Freshbites, Wellington airport

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Happy tea-drinking at Wellington airport.

At last! Good tea at an airport! Didn’t think it could happen.

My marks out of 10?

CUP 7: A special Dilmah cup. A proper shape, china (although not fine-bone) and with its own hat to keep it warm.

TEA 8: Dilmah English breakfast. Always good.

SETTING 5: It’s an airport. On the plus side, a good location to spot people you want to lobby; they have to walk past you.

Freshbites, Wellington airport.

Tea with Mum

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Perfect cup, perfect tea, perfect place.

Tea the way it should be, made in my mother’s kitchen to our exacting family standards.

My marks out of 10?

CUP 10: From a 1960s fine-bone tea set, delicate pink on the inside. The first proper tea-cups I ever drank from.

TEA 9: I have tried to get her to switch to Dilmah.

SETTING 10: Company 20.

 

Fresh, Whangarei

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Looks like coffee in this cup, but it was a very drinkable cup of tea.

This one changed hands recently and we were a little nervous about what that meant for the tea, but it hasn’t changed much.

My marks out of 10?

CUP 3: A coffee cup pressed into service for tea.

TEA 7: Standard English breakfast.

SETTING 5: Pleasant cafe in town.

Fresh Licensed Cafe, 12 James St, Whangarei.