SpecialTEA Lounge and Café

Oh, it's a hippie paradise in Tamiami! Mostly inhabited by students from nearby Florida International University, SpecialTEA boasts it is the "only tea house in Miami!" which is probably true. Miamians aren't known for being huge tea drinkers. The funny thing is that SpecialTEA's menu actually offers more coffee selections than tea beverages. But tree-hugging hippies feel right at home here, surrounded by the stink of patchouli. Of course, you're also bludgeoned repeatedly with words and phrases like "organic," "carbon-free," "fair trade," and "shade-grown." But that's the price you pay to look cool as you sip a tea latte ($4.00). SpecialTEA also serves paninis, such as the "olive you" ($5.30), a combination of spinach, mixed spring greens, mozzarella cheese, black olives, locally grown tomatoes, and homemade olive tapenade on whole wheat artisan bread. It should come as no surprise paninis can be made into a salad or wrap instead. Finish your meal with one of the sweets offered on the menu, such as an "apple baby," a warm, miniature caramel apple ($3.50). If you dig looking like the caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland, SpecialTEA is the place for you. Also, like true hippies, they open early and close late, so make sure you have breakfast elsewhere.

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