Coffee houses are very popular in the U.S.; places where people go to socialize or just hang out. Two young entrepreneurs in New York City are hoping to cash in on the craze, with a twist. They have opened Subtle Tea, a tea bar with the ambiance of a coffee house. For producers Ariadne Budianto, Nadia Madjid and Ade Astuti, VOA's Jim Bertel has more.
Subtle Tea seeks to take customers away from their busy days and give them the best steeped cup-of-tea in town. Co-owner Tim Cella believes the growing popularity of tea will make his business a success. "We saw the rise in a couple of years. Many more people are drinking tea. Health benefits: It's much better than coffee. So we figured we're trying to change Americans from drinking coffee everyday to tea."
And his idea is catching on. The shop offers more than 60 different kinds of tea from a menu divided into morning, afternoon and evening tea varieties.
One customer, Irine, says, "Sometimes you need a little pick-me-up in the afternoon, and I don't drink coffee then, so tea seems like a good choice."
Many customers say they like Subtle Tea because it is new and fresh. "They definitely have the best selections of different mixes," says another customer. "Anything you're feeling like. If you have something in the morning, they have a lot of different combinations. And also all sorts of different organic, herbal tea, etc. So, it's really great."
Even the layout of the shop is appealing to some customers. One customer, Michael, says, "I feel comfortable here. It feels like home. I don't feel like I have to compete like at the other places for a place in line, or rushing in and out."
Owner Tim Cella says he plans to build on the success of the Manhattan location by opening additional tea bars around New York City.