Tea Time Once Again

The old drink is having a comeback, in restaurants, at salons, at home and even in beauty products

Wallpaper designer Patty Madden is a regular at Manhattan's swank W Hotel, but she's not there for its minimalist-chic decor, or the hipper-than-thou people who pack the bar. Instead she can usually be found in the hotel restaurant Heartbeat, eagerly waiting for the end of her meal. That's when James Labe, the tea sommelier, will bring out a platter of 10 loose-leaf teas. Some neophytes might balk at offerings like Bao Jong, a honey-tasting Taiwanese tea, which goes for $10 a pot. Madden, 45, who only started drinking such teas in earnest two years ago, not only ordered a pot; she...

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