The only thing better than a delicious cup of tea, of course, is if someone else makes it for you.
Since most people are borderline blockheads, however, this can pose a problem if you feel like being served. So you need to choose wisely.
And if it's green tea you seek, then you should go to the experts: the Japanese. An outpost of green-tea purveyor Tafu opened in Manhattan last fall, tucked into the bottom of the Double Tree Hotel on 51st St. It's a bit of an odd location for possibly the best cup of matcha you can find in the city.
Matcha, or powdered green tea, is tricky to prepare correctly- it must be carefully sifted and beaten with a bamboo whisk to produce the slightly foamy brew. Tafu has Starbucked the process for us lazy Americans, though, and offers delightful sweet lattes (plain, caramel, chocolate or of course, a la mode) in addition to the traditional, soothing bowl of matcha. Yes, tea lattes. Why should only coffee drinkers get to claim such hipness?
Yes, a small costs $5. But when you're wandering through the crowds of disgruntled midtown office workers with your minty-green matcha in hand and you're the only one in a good mood, you'll realize it was worth it.