An Open Letter to Argo Tea

Dear powers that be at Argo Tea,

I’ve been on pleasure trips to Chicago twice now, and both times I’ve been to Argo Tea (Lincoln Park location) every day of my visit. Sometimes up to three times per day. I’m not ashamed. We visited some of the best restaurants in Chicago, like Topolobampo and Alinea. But those restaurants were almost eclipsed by the comfort, deliciousness, and joy I experienced at Argo.
You see, I hate coffee. I hate the flavor, I hate the smell of coffee breath. So the fact that coffee shops litter every corner of the known universe is both a bane to my existence, as well as a sign that I’ve irritated God or some kind of karmic committee on Bad Behavior. Does cocaine make your breath smell for 12 hours at a time? Because if not, I’d like to suggest it as an alternative to adult coffee drinkers everywhere. Everyone knows that half of the punishment of a scolding by a parent or boss is having to smell their rank, tannic oral odor for the duration of the scolding. Gross. I’m 29 years old now, and I still live in perpetual fear of a coffee drinker trying to engage in meaningful discourse with me at close range.
Another, better-for-society option for alertness and warmth is tea. But the tea shops in Colorado are underwhelming. They can be grand for having a good ol’ fashioned English tea, but that’s not always what I’m in the mood for. I’ve spent hundreds of dollars on loose leaf teas and a zojirushi water boiler and various mugs and steepers. Those are all functional. But sometimes, nay most times, I’d rather be able to just walk into a drinking establishment that is dedicated to making my tea drinking experience varied, flavorful, and exciting. That’s where you come in.
Or where you don’t come in. Because you’re STILL not in Colorado. I see that you’ve expanded to St. Louis and New York, but still not Colorado. Really? St. Louis?? What do they have that we don’t? Colorado is CHOCK FULL of hippies who love “healthy” convenience foods. We’re the birthplace of Chipotle, for God’s sake. Surely you can find it in your hearts to put an Argo or two in our gorgeous state. Here’s what we have to offer:
–At least 300 days of sunshine every year
–But even when it’s sunny, it’s cool enough to enjoy a warm, tasty beverage!
–Stunning mountain vistas, even from the city
–A light rail to take potential tea drinkers from the suburbs into the city
–Resort-style shopping areas packed with hippies, yuppies, and yippies who have money to blow on things like warm, tasty beverages
–The 13th wealthiest state in the union, meaning (see above reason)
–Teavana stores report doing quite well in the state, but offer a different type of service from Argo
–The thinnest state in the union, meaning we care about health. And tea is good for health. Right?
–The whole state is dog friendly, so feel free to leave your signature water bowl outside for pups to accompany their owners
–Almost 30 colleges and institutes of higher learning
See? We NEED you.
I need you. When I was pregnant (I now have an 8 month old), I craved nilgiri bubble tea for the entire 10 months of my pregnancy. It was my only craving. I dragged my round, pregnant ass into some seriously questionable establishments in search of nata de coco to try and recreate your bubble tea. Do you know how hard that is to find, even in Asian grocery stores? Do you know how unusual it is to see an almost 6-foot tall, blonde girl with a pregnant belly searching frantically for an obscure ingredient in an Asian market? And when I did find it, it was flavored with BANANA. Can you imagine how Godawful that tasted with nilgiri tea? Seriously. Terrible, terrible stuff.
And when I’m sick, the only thing that is capable of helping my illness is either percocet or Carolina Honey Tea. Sure, I have the bottled honey tea you sell, but it’s not as good as the fresh lemon and honey I got in the brick and mortar Argo. And finding a doctor willing to prescribe percocet simply because I’m tired of coughing and feeling congested is much more difficult now that Michael Jackson and Heath Ledger are dead. Obviously, fresh, Argo-made Carolina Honey Tea is the only cure. Or maybe cowbell. But I digress.
I’ve even scouted some prime locations for your store: Boulder (honestly, it’s like the hippie/foodie capitol of the world) and/or Park Meadows mall. It has a Lululemon, which seems like a natural bedfellow for Argo Tea. Plus, it’s always packed with people who have too much disposable income. And it’s close to my house, which is the main benefit. I’m fairly certain I could support 2/3 of the necessary income to keep a single store afloat BY MYSELF.
So please, please, before you gift St Louis or any other bizarro location with your presence, please consider sending a store to Colorado. Or, at the very least, help me figure out how to make honey tea and nilgiri bubble tea at my house. And no, I’m not going to be able to find any nata de coco without your help. It’s like the unicorn of food.
Sincerely and lovingly yours,
Kristie “The Spiteful Chef”

4 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Argo Tea”

  1. If you are ever in Victoria BC, which is just across the way from Vancouver, go to the Fairmont Empress for afternoon tea. It's spendy, but so worth it. The blend of black tea that they serve is so good I crave it. Just thinking about it makes me want it. Plus it's so hopelessly quaint.

  2. Dear Kristie, we are honored by and grateful for your kind letter. We promise (we really do!) that once a good opportunity strikes, we will be coming to your neighborhood packed with tea and nata de coco! Boulder is a great town and hopefully one day Argo Tea will become part of its CommuniTea! Until that day, please don't forget us on your trips to Chicago or New York.

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