Friday, April 20, 2007

The most important thing - Making a cup of tea worldwide in hotels.

I spend more than 50% of my nights in hotels overseas. (I spend 3% of my nights on airplanes, but that's another story). I'm currently in Tokyo and managed to make a good brew. It occurred to me that this travellers insight could be useful.

Here's my guide to a good cuppa in the hotel room. A good cuppa is hot black tea, with milk and sugar in a cup.

1) Tokyo: In the rooms they provide a water heater that boils water and keeps it not all day! Brilliant if you like green tea which they provide free. For Tokyo, bring tea bags (hard to get in shops) and grab the sugars from the breakfast room (they don't provide in room). Milk you'll need to get from a store.
2) USA, where to start? Mr Coffee is a machine that is in nearly every room and is great for coffee, sometimes you get little tubs of long life milk, but mostly you get a plastic bag containing, a napkin, 2 sugars, 2 non sugar sweeteners, 2 sachets of non dairy creamer powder, a plastic rod for stirring. There is no chance of getting a tea bag in the room (see Decaf Tea blog) so you need to bring tea bags, with a bit of ingenuity you're ok.
3) USA- Los Vegas Forget tea!!!! seriously forget it. There is NOTHING in the room to make tea or coffee as they want you in the casinos, room service takes 90 minutes!!! Vegas is not a good place... Bring tea bags, milk, sugar, cup, electric water element that fits in cup. Above all don't drink the water out the tap in Vegas, I've been sick twice on tap water there.
4) New Zealand; Australia: Civilised they provide all tea equipment in room and free.
5) Britain, it varies, but generally it pays to check when you book if they'll provide in room. The Brits are always into making money, so don't be surprised if you have to call room service. However the Brits understnad the tea-aholic and you can always get a cup somewhere, even if it's sharing a cup with the night porter! (I'm not joking).

That’s all for now...
More later



Monica said...

Hey Peter, I could say the same for coffee...
1) Italy: civilized, both homes and bars provide you with the best coffee; black, strong, warm and reflects perfectly how we, italians are. (some say Wops!)

2) UK; better forget coffee there. In fact I NEVER drink coffee (or at least trying to avoid it if possible). I rather get a cup of Rosie (tea). But black and with lemon. :-).I know, not much of British tradition, but I can't drink tea with milk.

3) USA; well, here depends. West Coast (Los Angeles and surroudings - like S. Monica, Venice); here they have all sorts of coffee shops...they serve, cappuccino decaf (what's the point to have a decaf?), expresso decaf, cappuccino with chocolate decaf, expresso short, expresso long (by the way..the real expresso is ALWAYS short), long coffee with milk, short coffee with milk, coffee made with vanilla, coffee with milk, chocolate and vanilla.... etc..
NYC: you can get a real coffee ONLY if you go to Little Italy..but why and italian-born and raised would want to go to Little Italy? Only if you get home-sick (and believe me ONLY on those times). No offense.
New Orleans: here guys, they have GREAT coffee. It's called chicory coffee...made with chicory of course. It's sooooo strong that even ME a true italian, had heartburns for it!!! But it tastes so good. Down in the French Quarter, there's Cafè Du Monde, where everybody says they have the best coffee...but I don't think it's true. They have the best pastries, that's for sure! (bignets)
Las Vegas: no way. No good coffee around.
Philadelphia: same as NYC. Only if you go to the Italian area (South Philly).

And the worst are....AIRLINES (even Alitalia). NEVER get coffee while flying...unless in your hand-luggage you have Maalox tablets.
I usually get tea.

Well, that's all folks.

Monica said...

Hi Pete, I like the useful tea tips but I have to correct you re: failed artist bit - Yes in commercial/financial terms but no, certainly not a creative failure. I know we can't spend creative integrity but I refuse to be judged by sales. Music, like many things is not a level playing field. The media are lazy and the charts are an easy yardstick to use. If you were to stick most 'successful' artistes in Filthy MacNasty's they'd die a death. The difference we could and have done big gigs in front of big crowds and stormed it!
When you in England again?