Friday, July 17, 2009

"Tea’s just so much sexier than coffee"

Last night we were taken out to a lovely dinner at the restaurant Santacafé, and our hostess made the above comment when the server came around and asked whether we wanted a coffee or tea with our dessert selections. I’ve been pondering that comment all night now (welcome to the life of an entrepreneur) and I think it’s so right on… and also can’t believe that we haven’t picked up and run with this one before! It hadn’t occurred to me previously, because I tend to think of drinks’ personalities as being tied to their cultural heritage – which I’m sure most of us agree puts coffee in a most sexy light – witness even Mr. Balanchine’s NYCB Nutcracker which I grew up with – sexiest dance ever is Coffee (the NYCB Nutcracker renames the 2nd act dances from Spanish, Arabic, Chinese to Chocolate, Coffee, Tea, etc…).

But if you can take these drinks out of their cultural context, and bring them, if you will, into our consumer and product-centric 21st c melting-pot homeland, you gain a very different perspective on things. Whom would you rather kiss? Someone who just downed a thick espresso (we’ll leave the cigarette out of the picture) or someone who just cleansed their mouth with a freshly steeped mug of black tea? And speaking of the cigarette, what’s the smoker more likely to be swigging down – coffee, for sure – no longer a sexy image in today’s society. Also, coffee tends to be view as more addictive – also not a sexy image. The most upscale restaurants are these days touting their – loose-leaf tea selection. So part of tea’s sexiness is, of course, that we’re so “now”… witness the focus on cooking with tea, the multitudes of tea beauty products hitting the market every month, etc.

So here’s to tea – next time your server asks – present yourself in the sexiest possible light and ask them to Steep it Loose!

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