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.