Tea Done Wight

tea, latte, tea drinkerMy day begins with tea.

A “Pam Latte” it’s been called at the cafes I’ve frequented. A CA friend (who owned a coffee/tea bar) named it “Tea Done Wight” and offered it on her bar menu.

That all changed when I moved from the Bay Area to New England. I had to re-introduce my tea of choice to the new establishment.

In the beginning, back in the fall right after I moved to this Boston suburb, I had to ask for the whole caboodle:

tea, tea latte, Earl Gray tea

Did I mention sprinkled chocolate on top?

“May I please have a Grande tea latte, no water, Earl Gray, skim milk, steamed hot with a quarter pump of vanilla, foam, double cupped.”

As with my other favorite cafes (before they got to know me, and my drink), the barista looked confused, maybe even a bit worried. He also scared me a little. He wore a short frizzy ponytail, a frown, and a worry line down the middle of his brow.

“Gary’s nice,” my daughter assured me when I first began meeting her here at the crack of dawn, before her day of teaching and mothering and wife-ing. “He’s just quiet.”

“No water?” he asked in the beginning (as they all do).


“2 % milk?”skim milk, fat free milk, tea latte

“No – non-fat milk please.”

“Does that mean skim milk?”

I’ve discovered that in CA they call it non-fat milk. In MA, they call it skimmed milk. Goes back to the old days, when housewives actually had to skim the fat off the top. Or so I’ve been told.

Those in both the left and right coasts call my hot drink “weird,” until I get them to try it. Then they become converts.

tea, tea latte, early morning, dawn, sunrise

On my way for my dawn tea.

Now, five months later in my new, New England cafe, I walk in the door at 6:08 a.m and feel welcomed. Gary nods at me when I stagger in sleepily. As soon as he sees me come through the door he begins my latte.

He doesn’t have a name for it yet.

But more importantly, he hands it to me with a smile.

tea, green tea

What’s your morning beverage of choice?

69 thoughts on “Tea Done Wight

  1. Wonderful post! I love my tea first thing in the morning too 🙂 unfortunately, where I live, I have enough trouble getting my tea in a mug or cup instead of a glass! When I get camomile and complain (mildly), they say what’s the difference? Lucky you!

  2. I must admit the description doesn’t do much for me either. I would also be calling it weird. Having said that I’ve never had a chai latte anyway. I’d rather have a pot of breakfast tea most definitely done in a pot and not the tea bag in a cup. I’m not keen on strong tea and don’t care for the tannin taste when he bag is done in the cup.
    It took me an age to realise a latte is just a milky coffee and try it but it would take me even longer I think to try a hot milky tea. I’ll have to see if my daughter has it and try hers.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

    • But see? You ARE a very particular tea fellow (like I), as you should be. We tea drinkers scoff at tea boiled in the microwave. Ugh. And tea is much better soaked in a pot, not a cup. And don’t soak it for too long! Gasp. I so enjoy finding fellow tea lovers, however we take it.

  3. Ok if I understand this tea of yours, it’s made with skim milk no water. But how does it get hot? Explain again for me please and how did you come up with this “Wight tea”?

    • The skim milk is STEAMED good and hot, and the tea brews in it. Then the quarter tsp of vanilla syrup sweetens it just a touch. Add some foam and you have a perfect breakfast tea. A CA friend made it up, actually, and he introduced me to the drink.

    • I get it. I had an embarrassing moment at an airport Starbucks, when I ordered my special tea and the man waiting in line behind me chuckled (snidely) and said, “and then I’ll have some coffee. Black. Period.” :-0

  4. Interesting…They had an Earl Gray Latte a few years ago at Starbucks that they called a “London Fog”. I loved it. It was similar, but I’m sure they used water. Hmmm…steeping the tea in hot milk??? Maybe I’ll try it at home…:-)

    • Yes, the London Fog is actually Earl Gray with half water and half milk (and a lot more syrup than I use). So it’s only half as good as MY latte, I think. Try it! If you like the London Fog, you’ll love Tea Done Wight. 🙂

  5. Oh, I always wanted a menu item named after me!

    I never heard of tea in skim milk before. Unlike most foods and beverages, I have NO clue as to whether or not I’d like it.

    There’s only one way to find out, I suppose; one day I’ll visit Massachusetts and pester Gary for a Tea Done Wight.

    • Well, I’m sure if you asked nicely enough at your local restaurant of choice, you could have an Allegra Alligator sandwich, or, um, maybe a Saucy Salamander Mike Salad. Just offer to make a doodle for their menu!
      Call me when you come up to visit Gary. I’ll introduce you two.

  6. For years I brought a black tea from Germany called Ostfriesentee , it is a black tea with a hint of vanilla and it is served with pieces of cristallized brown sugar ( rock candy ) and milk in the cutest little tea houses with thatched roofs in northern Germany. In these tea houses they have a variety of different teas. My girlfriend likes the ” Shit Wetter Tee” , yes, that’s the official name ( shitweather tea, tea for bad weather). It’s a herb tea made from fennel and other herbs. Here in Santa Cruz I drink green tea with a piece of fresh ginger in the morning while I’ still in my PJs and than I switch to coffee.

    • I would LOVE the Ostfriesentee. It’s sounds like just my cup of tea. 🙂
      This winter in NE, I’d also be drinking a lot of Shit Wetter Tea if it was offered…!!!!!
      Yes, green tea I love, and it’s very Santa Cruz-ean. Great idea of putting the fresh ginger in it (is it the same ginger that you get at sushi joints?) I enjoy Mighty Leaf Tropical Green Tea most mornings, also.

  7. Yep, I’m afraid it sounds weird to me too 🙂 Weird to drink anyway, but I think the combination shows style! I come from a nation of tea drinkers, but I’ve never had tea like that before! We do call non-fat milk skimmed milk though. My morning drink is a plain old latte and if I drink tea, it’s an ordinary tea bag, hot water and a little milk:-)

  8. A tea named after you, how wonderful. It hasn´t taken you long to train a new barista! I like green tea first thing in the morning. Later I enjoy rooibos or a chai latte. A lovely Swedish young woman runs a café near us here in Spain and she makes an excellent chai latte for me. We are still trying out many different cafes in the area though.

    • Well, I’m honored that I have a tea named after me, but I’d be more honored to try a special Spanish latte…! 🙂 Chai latte’s always seem so sweet to me that I don’t drink them. I wonder if they’re less sweet in Spain? There’s nothing better than trying out different cafes (much more classy than trying out different bars, I think). xo

  9. What a fascinating recipe. How can you have tea without water? I can’t even imagine this. So it’s like a tea-flavored milk drink, is that it? I want to just try it without springing for a whole cup ;).

    • No, it’s like having a good strong tea flavored (barely) with skim milk. The quarter teaspoon of vanilla syrup gives a touch of sweetness, and the skim milk foam is better than whipped cream (and much healthier). Another incentive to get you to try it – a great way to get in your calcium for the day. 🙂

  10. OK, I get it. What’s your morning beverage is really about tea. I enjoy tea from time to time, but my “go to” beverage is coffee, black. I’ve graduated from Folgers perked just as my folks did it, to Mr.Coffee driped, to my very favorite the French press. II love this so much that I carry a mini French press when backpacking. Having my coffee black sitting on a slab of granite at 5 in the morning at 10,000 feet watching the sun rising next to an Alpine lake with fish breaking the surface as they feed is my Heaven on Earth!!

  11. My day begins with tea, too! But, decaf….my body does not react well with caffeine, so I use a steaming hot shower to wake me up! Maybe you could make me a decaf version of your special tea for me sometime?

    • Absolutely, Carla. In fact, I switch to de-caf tea (usually chamomile) after noon. And I know there’s de-caf of all other kinds of tea, so you can still experience the tea done wight morning delight. 🙂

  12. Your tea sounds so delicious. But I generally avoid caffeine due to afib. My morning drink is the juice of half a lemon in a cup of hot water. The taste is not great but the drink is supposed to be good for the body.

    • To me, lemon is an elixir. The more you have during the day, the healthier you are. After my tea done wight, I switch to green tea with a large slice of lemon. Ahhhhhh. Sounds to me like you begin your day VERY healthily.

  13. This made me giggle– i tend to take for granted the nuances that make up California- grateful for gluten-free restaurants and food choices on menus that are not specifically- but that outside the state such things are easily considered foreign or new.

  14. Sounds delicious to me – walking into a cafe at too early o’clock and getting exactly what you want without having to ask or explain, and all served with a smile and a pony tail. The drink doesn’t sound too bad either… 🙂 H xxxx

  15. Very well-written! As a former barista, I understood your whole order, the second time! You are right, the idea of tea without water takes a minute because that really means all milk, but the mind has to figure it out! Glad you gave Gary a chance because what a joy your mornings are with your daughter!

  16. Well, what sort of a Brit would I be if I didn’t love tea! I mostly go for the standard English breakfast type tea, not too strong, with a bit of milk, sometimes Earl Grey, again with a bit of milk. I would certainly be willing to try your tea though, who knows, I may love it! I like chai tea too. My favourite treat tea when I’m out though is bubble tea, it’s what I tend to get if I go to the mall. I love coffee too, generally have one cup of coffee mid morning, and tea the rest of the day 🙂

    • Brilliant! Or as my English friend always says, ‘lovely.’ I am filled with English blood and I love tea with milk, flowery wallpaper and rose-filled gardens. Can’t get much more English than that. So yes, PLEASE try my tea. And I will look around for bubble tea, even though I have no idea what it is.

  17. Americano black, one sugar please. None of your fancy Dans. As a child I thought that tea and ‘pop’ were the only choice of drinks in the world. Then the lady up the road introduced me to coffee which I think was very exotic in England back then.

    But in any establishment it’s great to know the staff know your preference.

    • For many in the U.S., T E A is the exotic drink! It’s only in the past 5 years or so that I have become a huge tea-lover, and I’m enjoying the exploration of different types/tastes/smells of teas.
      Perhaps my different tea latte is what makes me memorable to the staff…? 🙂

  18. Yum! I have to try this. I’ve been getting just steamed soy milk with a splash of vanilla. I didn’t think to make the tea with milk as the base. I sort of love you right now.

    • And I love to be loved. Hope you try it – and when you do, report back to me. Make sure you get the foam on top. (And if you’re extra nice to yourself, sprinkle a little chocolate on top of that…)

      • Oh, I’ve tried it and fully adopted it! Your post was entirely timely, since I swore off caffeine a month ago and have been looking for a replacement that isn’t bland. And you are right, it takes the baristas a couple repetitions to believe that you don’t actually want coffee in the mix. I think you have kept me from falling off the wagon, and for that I thank you, my friend! Yep, will try the chocolate sprinkles!!

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