Everyone knows that Miami is a coffee-lover's paradise. You can get a solid cafecito in just about any neighborhood. What Miami really lacks is a solid tea presence -- with the exception of Teavana, there aren't a ton of places in South Florida that focus exclusively on tea. European founders Valerie Partigianone, Stephane Weyders, and Damien Ceulemans of Ticety Iced Tea Bar are looking to change that with a new tea lounge opening next week on Miracle Mile.
"Market research shows that people love iced tea, and we wanted to bring it somewhere hot," said France-native Ceulemans. "We fell in love with Coral Gables because it reminds us of a European city."
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The concept behind Ticety is really simple: Ceulemans wants to elevate the process of drinking tea to something beyond just taking a styrofoam cup of tea to go, and infuse authenticity and presentation into every glass.
"It's important for us that the customer is able to watch the tea being made," Ceulemans said. "We want this to be a transparent process so they know what's going inside is simply water, tea leaves, and our passion."
Coffee-lovers should know that there will be none of that on Ticety's menu, nor will there be alcohol or soda. But you shouldn't fret, because tea is really the main event here, and everything on the menu will be organic and natural, with no artificial flavors.
"We're going to serve a variety of teas from all over the world, including a variety of green, white, and black teas," Ceulemans said.
Forget the days of Styrofoam cups and soggy tea bags: Ticety is presenting their tea as something that should be savored, like a good glass of wine. For $6, you can get an iced tea in a glass pitcher, in addition to a wine glass so your drink can be enjoyed in haute style. Hot tea will be served similarly, but in individual teapots.
Ticety boasts a large, open lounge space complete with booths, comfy chairs, and a bar where the 80 or so tea selections will be stored. People will be able to come in alone or with friends and relax, maybe bringing in a client to discuss business over a cup of tea. The communal aspect of Ticety will set it apart from Teavana and other fast-paced "to-go" places.
The lounge also will serve locally-sourced produce for lunch, including house-made sandwiches, salads, and French pastries.
"Our goal is to make tea appealing for people of all ages. If we can change someone's mind about not liking tea, then our work here is done," Ceulemans said.
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The health benefits of drinking tea have long been documented, and tea can provide energy as an alternative to coffee, which has been argued to affect your health negatively.
"Drinking five cups of coffee a day is bad for you," Ceulemans said, "unlike drinking five cups of green tea."
In other words, if you've been looking to kick that coffee habit, this might be your new safe place.