You may think that it seems quite strange for me to be ordering tea from an establishment that terms itself an ‘espresso bar’. Although Aroma’s business is primarily coffee-based, like many other coffee places, they likely realise the competition they will have (are having) from the increase in tea consumption, particularly among the Millennial generation, and thus are stepping up their leafy offerings.
Aroma is a particularly interesting place because although it initially was known for its espresso and hot chocolate, it quickly widened its offerings to be quite popular for healthy meal options such as quinoa salads, soups, kale smoothies, and all day power breakfasts. Once a place picks up on the health and wellness crowd, its only a matter of time before they start offering loose leaf teas as well.
(photo credits to blogto)
Aroma’s signature coffee + croissant combo is usually my poison here but having come down with a bad case of the familiar cold, I was desperate for some warm comforting relief that still had comfortable seating and free wifi. On their back-lit menu above the counter, their tea options are:
The milk-based options sound amazing, but my poor sinuses needed something dairy-free, so loose leaf tea it was.
When I asked what kinds of loose leaf tea there was, I was offered a separate tea menu to peruse. This allowed me to see the descriptions of each tea, however since I was already at the counter ordering, if it had been lunchtime I would have been under a lot of pressure to pick one quickly else risk the wrath of the lineup.
I picked their Lemon-Ginger detox tea, since it sounded like the most soothing for a cold. There was a peach flavoured black tea that sounded awfully tempting if I hadn’t been under the weather already.
The tea came in a unbleached tea bag, to which they had used a spoon to hold down the tea bag rather than just putting it on the saucer. I was a little less impressed with the presentation but would give brownie points for the effort to use the unbleached type of tea bags.
Because the drink was mentioned as ‘loose leaf tea’, I wasn’t too thrilled that the tea was put into a tea bag to steep. I think the fun part about loose leaf is to watch the leaves unfurl and expand in the tea, especially since the tea was offered in a clear glass mug. Unfortunately putting the tea into the tea bag is less visually appealing, and also seemed to take a lot longer to get the flavours to diffuse into the water.
Aroma’s signature is to include a chocolate bar with your drink, and this was no exception. They’ve only ever offered milk chocolate, but as they grow in size, its possible they might consider other flavours that pair better with whatever drink you are consuming. For a herbal tea like this I felt a white chocolate would have gone better than milk chocolate.
Overall, Aroma is fundamentally a coffee joint but have made a moderate attempt to cater to the tea consumer as well. Definite opportunities for improvement exist should they find the need to serve more tea in the future.