After visiting the farmers’ market on Castle Terrace (check it out, it’s pretty nice!), my friend and I decided to pop into Hula for a quick cup of tea. Considering we already treated ourselves to a German pastry at the market, we were really quite stuffed so we didn’t have anything to eat. I know I always do food too – I’m sorry, I just couldn’t! For what it’s worth, the food looked and smelled pretty good though!
Also, Hula is not necessarily a tea room – damn it, it’s like I can’t stop breaking with my own traditions lately – it’s more like a student cafe-ish type thing. Officially, it’s a juice bar and gallery, and yeah, they do have lots of that stuff.
Ooh but they do have that classic tempting counter though… As I said, the food does look and smell very yummy. Also, although they are not a tea room per se, they do sell and serve a small selection of teas from renowned local tea brand Eteaket, and that stuff is pretty good. Even so, my friend and I decided to be even more recalcitrant and ordered not one of their yummy Eteaket teas, oh no. We had to go crazy and order some herbal infusions.
To be fair though, this choice has a history behind it. Story time!
My friend and I met at undergrad in the Netherlands, which seems a long time ago, before we moved to Edinburgh together. In the Netherlands, Mint Tea is a very popular and common summer drink to order. Sure, we know now that it’s not actually a tea, as no tea leaves are involved, but shhh the Dutch haven’t figured this out yet. Best not to burst their bubble! Anyways, you take some mint leaves and let them suffer in your cup of hot water, and maybe you splurge and add a bit of lemon. Yum! (Fun fact: the agony of the leaves is an actual tea brewing term. No, really.) For another emigrated Dutchies step-by-step explanation, go here.
So long story short, neither my friend nor I have lived in the Netherlands for some time now, and to celebrate our friendship and to quench our nostalgia, could not help ourselves but to go for this herbal infusion that is so intrinsically linked to Dutch summertime.
Oooohhh, so close! In the tea pot there were 2 thick slices of lemon (Jesus!), and a small amount of mint leaves. Because of the lemon it actually got a bit bitter, and the mint got drowned out – but it’s the thought that counts! Sure, it was not how I expected it to taste, but it was still light, fruity and took me back to the Netherlands – all good things. My friend had ginger as well, which was also a bit too heavy on the lemon, but still very good.
The price isn’t bad in this place, and it’s quite fun to sit in such a busy, busy student cafe and people watch, while talking about the Dutch past and excitingly uncertain future. The music here is appropriately studentish, and a bit weird, which adds to the charm. Also, they sell art here. This exibition was by Nematode a local artist who makes really expensive paintings. I’m no art expert, so I’ll just leave this here!
All in all, it was all very different from usual, and because of that fun and refreshing. Sure, we went to a juice bar for tea, but they actually do sever nice tea and it’s a very lively and crowded joint. So why not go for it? Check it out!