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Algebralovr

Kind of Tea?

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Aqua class Blu dining room did a good untainted cup of hot water at a decent temperature for tea bags, though I'd probably avoid using it for expensive loose leaf unless you got a waiter who understood you wanted it freshly boiled.
My 16 yo dd would like to know whether Blu serves Chai tea. :) If not, what other tea(s) do they serve?

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(edited to save space)

Other Hot Bevvy Lovers say the FREE Tea and Coffee that is served in the various dining venues on the ships is so-so (to downright horrid) :(

 

From my readings, both Coffee Lovers and Tea Lovers seem to agree that the better beverages are those that are an EXTRA charge (and covered by both the Classic & Premium Beverage Packages)...

 

Room Service will only net you the standard Coffee & Tea... the latter coming as a carafe of hot (warm) water in thermos jug that is also used for coffee service... so many dedicated tea drinkers complain that the water is neither hot or tasteless (coffee oils permeating the container and affecting the water within) :(

 

For a true tea drinker... that just won't do !!

 

My plan is to bring along my own stainless steel water bottle (double walled for insulation). As it is stainless steel it is easy to clean / rinse out, and won't retain the flavour of anything I choose to put inside... so it will be multipurpose on my cruise and easily transportable (on or off the ship).

 

Mr Sloop and I are going to purchase a Beverage Package, and we are very aware that "specialty" drinks are not delivered via Room Service for FREE (even if one has a Package) ... so each morning it is his plan (the early riser) to get up and go out in search of some decent coffee and hot water to fill our two stainless bottles... figuring that Cafe al Bacio / Cafe Cova will be his best bet.

 

Neither of us are particularly fussy about the brands / blends... I will be fine as long as I can find some Orange Pekoe, English Breakfast or Earl Grey tea bags... and he as long as the coffee doesn't taste like dishwater !!

 

Hi, Sloop-JohnB. Looking forward to meeting you in a few weeks! We've been on Summit previously, and I fully agree that the dining room and most other venues do not provide hot enough water for tea. (I don't drink coffee.) And room service definitely brought hot water in carafes used for coffee -- the resulting tea flavor was awful and I gave up on it.

 

For routine cups of tea, the teabags (in the picture someone posted) are passable but not good. "Plain" orange pekoe would be the Lipton, which I don't drink. English Breakfast and Earl Grey are the other brand pictured, whatever brand that was. They were ok if I made the tea myself using hot water directly from the spigot in the coffee machine.

 

I enjoyed a lot more the tea from Cafe al Baccio. (I thought DH had scanned the menu, but I guess not. Maybe there's one somewhere on line.) Tea Forte is quite good, made with the right temperature water, and in a nice little teapot. For an after dinner cup in the MDR, I wanted noncaffeinated tea/infusions, so I usually brought my own teabag (sometimes from the buffet area, usually from what I brought from home) and gave it to my assistant waiter, who filled the little metal teapot and put the teabag into it back in the kitchen. She expected that after the first few times. Otherwise they don't really know what you mean by tea with no caffeine -- they'll offer camomile or mint.

 

I bring a stainless steel thermos to carry cold water ashore at ports -- hadn't thought about using it for hot water for tea in the cabin, but that's a good idea.

 

I guess mostly I prefer to take my Kindle/book and knitting to the Cafe al Baccio and order a little pot of tea, get something to nibble on with it, and relax there. They have a variety of coffee drinks as well as wine and liqueurs. And a few chocolate drinks also.

 

S

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I wasn't in Blu, so I cannt answer about that dining room, but there was no chai in the MDR or the Buffet. The Cafe al Bacio did have chai tea pyramids.

I was glad I had brought my own mix, however.

 

Arubalisa, if your 16yr old is picky, I recommend you take your own. That or a beverage plan, as the chai at the Cafe will be included in the bev plan.

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I wish all restaurants and such would have carafes, pots and thermoses dedicated just for hot water for tea. Perhaps a different color or such so that no one accidentally used it for coffee. I hate getting a nice big thermos of water for tea and it turns out to be coffee scented and flavored hot water. Ugh. What a letdown.

 

Has anyone ever taken one of those tiny electric cord type water heaters along on a cruise? I might consider doing that as they're so cheap to buy. But I'm not sure how hot they actually get the water?

 

I've learned to take my own preferred tea along when traveling but as others have said-getting decent just-to-a-boil water is near imposable.

I'm fine with teabags of quality teas. I'll leave the loose for home with my kettle and pot.

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The choice of tea is English Breakfast, Black Tea, Darjeeling and a selection of fruit/mint tea, they all come sealed in individual foil/paper envelopes and are replenished on a regular basis, though you do sometimes have to ask. I usually go for the English Breakfast and have Darjeeling, which is a lighter tea as a refresher in the afternoon.

After many cruises here is my solution. This is my recipe for making a reasonable cup of hot tea and I share with fellow 'tea Jenny's' as I know how badly a poor cup of tea can affect your day.

Take one mug in the buffet and fill with hot water from tap at tea/coffee station, sit mug on side while you open 2 x tea bags of choice, then when the mug is nicely warmed by the hot water, dispense of the water in either the ice overflow tray or the coffee overfill tray. Place your 2 x tea bags in mug and fill with hot water and dunk until the preferred colour from your personal tea colour chart. This method ensures the water is infusing the tea and not heating the mug reducing the overall water temperature on impact.

Enjoy.

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I'll bring extra Irish Breakfast ;)

 

I haven't had a good Irish breakfast in years! Ummm so good :)

 

...snip....Take one mug in the buffet and fill with hot water from tap at tea/coffee station, sit mug on side while you open 2 x tea bags of choice, then when the mug is nicely warmed by the hot water, dispense of the water in either the ice overflow tray or the coffee overfill tray. Place your 2 x tea bags in mug and fill with hot water and dunk until the preferred colour from your personal tea colour chart. This method ensures the water is infusing the tea and not heating the mug reducing the overall water temperature on impact.

Enjoy.

 

 

What a great idea! I'll try that the next time.

 

When we first cruised X, our butler, Alfred Diaz, suggested to us to mix English Breakfast and Earl Grey together for a good cup. It is pretty good!

 

I wonder if we all put 'kettles in the staterooms' on our comment card if we could bring it about?

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I'm gathering from the comments on this thread that it means we can't take a travel kettle on board? :(

 

Could anyone tell me if the premium non-alcoholic/premium alcoholic packages cover the drinks in Cafe al Bacio? The tea options there look promising from the menu.

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Arubalisa, if your 16yr old is picky, I recommend you take your own. That or a beverage plan, as the chai at the Cafe will be included in the bev plan.

Thank you I appreciate it. :)

 

tine-tine mentioned mint tea. :) I believe she will drink that.

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I'm gathering from the comments on this thread that it means we can't take a travel kettle on board? :(

 

Could anyone tell me if the premium non-alcoholic/premium alcoholic packages cover the drinks in Cafe al Bacio? The tea options there look promising from the menu.

 

Yes, the drinks at the Cafe are included in the premium packages. DH and I had their Chai Pyramids a couple of times. They are acceptable. They also have all the drinks people expect from places like Starbucks.

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I'm gathering from the comments on this thread that it means we can't take a travel kettle on board? :(

 

That's correct. They will hold your suitcase until you come in response to their calling you (which, of course, delays luggage delivery) and they will keep any heating devices like a travel kettle or heating coil or clothing iron until you disembark. Well, not hair curling irons -- those are allowed, from what I understand. Please note that I have not personally experienced the ship's officers keeping anything or letting something questionable through. This is just what has been reported by others.

 

S

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Thanks for the very helpful replies. There's a lot to get our heads round as first time cruisers!

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Yes, the drinks at the Cafe are included in the premium packages. DH and I had their Chai Pyramids a couple of times. They are acceptable. They also have all the drinks people expect from places like Starbucks.

 

I tried tea (to take away) in the mornings from Al Bacio. The English breakfast tea looked lovely in its little pyramid bags but it wasn't strong enough, and they ruined it by putting loads of milk in, even when we asked for just a little. I should have asked for it black and kept a little carton of semi skimmed milk from the buffet in the cabin fridge. :)

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We've decided that for our next cruise, we are taking something to bring water back to the room for ourselves.

 

One of these days we'll be able to afford a suite. Maybe we will then have a butler who will understand. Until then, we'll take care of ourselves.

 

Sadly, most crew seem to be coffee drinkers who just don't understand how awful it is to get tea made from coffee scented water.

 

Luckily, we sometimes find staff from India. They understand!

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