Coffee lovers have their cafes, but what about those who savor tea instead?

ORLANDO — Everybody I know has their own favorite coffee shop. It’s their second home, the place I can always go to when I need to find them.
Coffee shops offer three great things — atmosphere (usually Bohemian), camaraderie, and, of course, superb coffee (if you know where to go to find it.) That’s why I know so many great coffee shops and have a hard time narrowing it down to one ultimate hangout. I’ve had so many great conversations, made so many great memories in these cafes.
It’s the drink that unites us.
Coffee is that universal drink that gives you a strong pick me up — in theory, anyway.  I still know a few people who insist they can drink 10 cups of coffee at night and go right to sleep.
I’m not one of them, which is why I tend to take in coffee shops in the morning. I’ve noticed, though, that the crowds tend to pick up much later — late afternoon into early evening.
it isn’t just that coffee shops are ideal places to get the best java. Coffee shops take on a life of their own, even as they expand their menus. The more Bohemian they are, the more you can expect two things: first, really good vegan plates, and second, special events being hosted there, including but not limited to poetry nights and even theatrical performances.
Now, what if you happen to like coffee, but you really, really much prefer tea?
 

Watch the tea brew at your table at Infusion Tea.

 
My advice: it would be hard not to imagine that we’d all find you comfortably settled in as a regular at Infusion Tea. This College Park institution is a dream come true for tea lovers, plus a exceptionally good spot for vegan meals and poetry nights.
Located at 1600 Edgewater Drive, Infusion Tea is the place to go where you can get in line and marvel at all the varieties of tea you have to choose from — not to mention taking you drink back to your table, then turning over the timer so it can brew for three to five minutes while you wait eagerly to savor it. The tea is always worth that wait, and there are jars of honey on every table calling out to you to make its way into the tea.  If coffee is the classic pick me up drink, tea may be the ideal relax-and-sip-it-slow drink.  Coffee winds you up … tea calms you down.
Infusion Tea is indeed a relaxing place, and there are really four spots inside this not very large cafe. You have the front counter, where you can order tea or sample some of Infusion Tea’s interesting and eclectic mix of meals.  

So many different flavors of tea to choose from at Infusion Tea ...

 

At that point, it would be hard not to imagine that we’d all find you comfortably settled in as a regular at Infusion Tea. This College park institution is a dream come true for tea lovers, plus a great spot for vegan meals and poetry nights.
Located at 1600 Edgewater Drive, Infusion Tea is the place to go so you can get in line and marvel at all the varieties of tea you get to choose from — not to mention taking you drink back to your table, then turning over the timer so it can brew for three to five minutes while you wait eagerly to savor it. The tea is always worth the wait, and there are jars of honey on every table waiting for you.  If coffee is the classic pick me up drink, tea may be the ideal relax and sip it slow drink.  Coffee winds you up, tea calms you down.
Infusion Tea is a relaxing place, and there really are about four spots inside this not very large cafe. You have the front counter, where you can order your tea or sample some of Infusion Tea’s interesting and eclectic mix of meals.  

 

There’s a vegan Gazpacho soup for $5.25, or a Raspberry Salad — organic field greens topped with candied walnuts, blue cheese crumbles, and dried cranberries, for $7.50. Another salad places roasted pears on greens, along with pecan crackers, for $8.
It wouldn’t be a true vegan spot without some whole wheat wraps ($8 each), including the Avocado Delight (organic avocado with hummus, sunflower seeds, tomato and spinich), or the Concorde (hummas, tabouleh, greens, sunflower seeds and balsamic glaze.)
Then you have the Tea Sandwiches — the Classic Cucumber ($7 for organic cucumber and cream cheese served tea-sandwich style) or the Sundried Special ($7.50, a sundried tomato spead). The Mediterranean Sandwich gives you spinach, roasted eggplant, pesto cream cheese and sundreid spread for $8.
How about Infusion Tea’s Platters, like the Gourmet Seasonal Fruit and Cheese plate ($9) with imported Irish Cheddar, Smoked Gouda and creamy Havarti served with fresh fruit and crostini? Or the Hummas, Pita and Veggies Vegan Platter ($6.75). Likewise, you get a choice of organic pizzas on multi-grain crusts for $8, including the MexiCali Pizza (refried beans and salsa topped with cheddar jack cheese, tomatoes, onions, green peppers, black olives, sour cream and cilantro) or the Goat Cheese Pizza (sundried tomatoes, goat cheese, mushrooms and pine nuts with fresh spinach.)  You may have arrived here looking for tea, but I suspect a lot of these meals are going to tempt you as well.

What to select from Infusion Tea's menu? The Mushroom Quesadilla is a good place to start.

There’s the section with the tables — be sure to get there early to grab one, because on some nights they fill up fast — and behind it, a gift shop. It’s operated by the Artistree Co-Op, offering locally grown art, jewelry and gifts. These are actually two separate businesses, but they operate under one roof.
And finally, near the window, you have an open microphone, where Infusion Tea hosts poetry nights and intersting Spoken Word events, bringing out artists, philosophers, writers and other Bohemian types for a stimulating talk. If the tea is really good, chances are it will be even more stimulating to experience.
I know of so many really good coffee shops that narrowing it down to one seems impossible — although the ones with the most interesting and eclectic blends of Joe always tend to win me over. Right now I can’t seem to resist Dunkin Donuts’ raspberry or coconut coffee.
But when it comes to great tea, I find it hard to top Infusion Tea’s mix of an appealing drink, interesting artwork to check out (or buy, which I have), tasty meals and inviting atmosphere, particularly on poetry nights.  Tea shops need not feel inferior to their friends operating coffee shops; this is one cafe that has quite a lot to offer.
To learn more about Infusion Tea, call 407-999-5255 or log on to www.infusiontea.us. To learn more about Artistree Co-Op, call 407-999-5251 or log on to www.artisteeco-op.com.

 Contact us at FreelineOrlando@Gmail.com.

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One Response to “Coffee lovers have their cafes, but what about those who savor tea instead?”

  1. Westley says:

    Great place! (I’ve been there)

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