Steve and I recently headed to Mount Maunganui for the day, hoping to escape the horribly cold temperatures. It was a little warmer on the east coast, but the highlight of the trip was a visit to Maitea, a lovely tea shop on Adams Ave, at the Marine Parade end. As I write this, I'm sitting next to Steve, who is sick and working from home, both of us sipping soothing hot cups of 'Aromatherapy'.
If you're a diehard coffee fan, then Maitea's likely not your 'cup of tea' but I'd like to convince you to give it a go. Walking in, it looks like most other cafes, but this is not the place to go when you're looking for lunch. Oh no - Maitea is an experience, not a pit-stop.
The delightful love-bird teacups have a definite whimsical appeal and for the blokes there's the glass cup, which looks like it might scald your hand, but surprises you by barely warming the fingertips. You browse through the menu which is both informative and entertaining: any place that quotes Dylan Thomas, Monty Python and Douglas Adams on their menu is a winner in my book.
After selecting a teapot (or two) to suit your mood, Russ ("Tea Nerd) or Moira ("Tea Nerdette") suggest a little something to go with it - which in my case was scones with jam and cream. I'm not one to pass up tea and scones on a sunny afternoon. Steve had a selection of meats, cheeses, olives, fruit and bread, with a tasty mushroom relish.
Yes, we sampled each other's teas and ate from each other's treat plates - Maitea is not always about ordering for yourself. It's the kind of place where you can either go alone for a restful cuppa, or take along some friends and share what you've ordered from the large selection. I'm a herbal tea type of girl - no coffee or caffeinated teas for me, so while they do offer black, white, yellow, green, Oolong and Pu Erh teas, their caffeine free selection is right up my alley.
Your tea arrives in glass teapots, kept hot on a tealight base while the loose-leaf is steeping. You smell the delightful scents and watch as the water changes to lovely shades of perfectly brewed teas. I bought a couple of the teapot sets and some packets of loose-leaf teas for my business - this is what clients will be sipping on while they view the images from their portrait sessions for the first time.
Titling this post 'mighty' is a bit of a misnomer, really: Maitea is not about a display of strength, rather it is a soothing oasis in a chaotic world. Go see for yourself - it was definitely worth the two hour trip for us.