Tea & Turntables


I’m a total tea hussie, a complete tea whore. I just can’t get enough of the stuff. I sip it all day, I slurp it at work. I know you think I’m some kinda afternoon tea freak, a Grandma tea geek, but honestly, it’s best all hot ‘n steamy after noon, picnic-style on the CEO’s floor (wink); I love it, I lurve it, I always want more! (Yes, I know I need more sex, but that’s a different topic entirely.) I like it in a house, I like it with a mouse, I like it fancy and I like it fine, I love it with the DJ slamming wickey-wickey on the vinyl. Reggae jams just blend so well with my white peony remix. Up with tea!

Tea + turntables (a-bobbly-bobbly-boop) = Tavalon, on 14th Street, NYC. It’s not a bar, not a club, but rather something of a devastatingly hip venue-fusion, where you hear all matter of musical genre spun live while enjoying fabulous tea concoctions. Tavalon is on a mission from Buddha. I know you think of tea as stodgy, teadrinkers as bores (present company excepted, of course), but Tavalon’s vision is to revamp that image. The owners, Korean and Indian gentlemen, each grew up drinking tea like water and ventured into this social experiment to establish a common language through music and tea for the non-existent under 35 tea clique, a movement slowly catching fire, if they have anything to do with it.

For real surreal, where else do you find a 17 year-old punk sipping tea, finger in the air, nibbling on ‘wichcraft and bopping out to ska? It’s an eclectic mix: the DJ’s bring in their own followings, who mingle with the tea nerds, and voile! soon there’s a whole next generation of mathematically brilliant, geeked-out music-head tea-maniacs running all over town. Forget high tea in the Queen’s private quarters, this is opium for the masses.

No girl, I know you did not go to the ‘Bucks and get one of their wacky-lattes, those mystery-meat Frankenstein-coffee-concoctions. Oy vey! I weep for your mortal soul, but fear not my coffee-fiending friend, there’s hope for you yet. Dr. Sommelier Tea Man is always on the scene at Tavalon to steer you in the right direction… away from the brown and toward the green, able to suggest a tea by your snuffly nose or other illin’ symptoms.

Tavalon is celebrating its zany Grand Opening this Thursday through Sunday with different promotions each day. But the marquee draw is by far the strangest of all things, a tea-bag-clad breakdance troupe battling it out in Union Square Park (could I even make this stuff up?), something you don’t see every day, even in whimsical NYC.

Tavalon is fertile ground for tea nutters like me, the Avalon-Babylon epicenter for tea-meisters to play. Next year we meet, my darling, in the Darjeeling fields of Shangri-La, scuttling the yeti, scaling Everest, and perfecting the perfect cup of tea, in the fairytale of my tea-ish fantasy.

[b]Tavalon[/b] 22 East 14th St. (btw. 5th & University)
free sommelier tea classes every Wed. & Friday evenings (become a tea alchemist!)

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