I like my warm feelings in a cup, infused with CBD oil
There is something to be said about consistency in the customer service industry that weighs heavily, in either direction, with me. Having spent my entire 20-some working years in the customer service industry of varying levels and types, it is difficult not to notice the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Technically a tea shop, my first experience at HoiTEA ToiTEA was a good one overall. I had an incredible Mexican chocolate latte with 30mg of CBD oil (always a major win for me, my anxiety, and my easily-upset stomach). There were two baristas that day and they were helpful with recommendations and informing me of dietary options available (GF snacks, milk substitutes, and all). The drinks were made quickly and exactly to order, it wasn’t crowded and there were so many seating options. My friend and I chose a cozy corner separated from the rest of the space since we were going to be having a personal conversation and all-around catch up session after a few weeks away from each other.
I loved the open seating area, dotted with plants and a couple of sofas with coffee tables and board games! It was a great spot to sit, relax, and chat. Even outside of the cozy corner it doesn’t feel like people are sitting on top of each other. They also have a community meeting room available to use and they host classes every month!
HoiTEA ToiTEA opened in 2015 at the corners of Broad Ripple and College Avenues and have been growing and going strong ever since. It took me well over three years to go in for the first time, but I liked it so much I went back 6 days later for my second visit!
However, the second time I went, it was bad. Not ugly, but definitely not good. It was a Saturday, there was a short line (slightly busier than the Sunday prior), and two baristas. It felt like they were overwhelmed. One employee disappeared during a mini-rush so there was, for a time, just one running the register and making orders. We were there for a solid 30 minutes before my tea and two to-go coffee drinks were made (with a good 20 minutes between). When my friend (same one from my prior visit) bought a mug for a Christmas gift, they handed her a bag with an empty box and never noticed until she noticed and asked them for the mug itself. Granted, the barista left to handle everything was not at fault. The second employee, I cannot say the same for.
One thing we found especially odd was the to-go lids. They were so thin that the steam from our drinks were causing them to melt and crack, making the lids completely ineffective. I couldn’t stop imaging the entire hot tea pouring into my lap and all over the new car seat as we drove around for our errands a a the McDonald’s coffee lawsuit of the early 90s (for those who remember).
I exchanged the lid three times, before giving up and pouring my tea into the child cup in my car for transport. The barista even made a comment that, “The supplier of these is horrible.” Asking around, others have been told the same thing so I hope they are making a switch to a new, sturdier lid.
If this is my only major complaint, I give them more praise than not. I’m not too enticed to go back unless with someone who wants to stop in and they are the only place in town I know of who has a CBD oil (in 15mg or 30mg amounts) option on the menu.
I have faith in companies, this company included. It is a really good spot. The teas taste amazing and they have some really great merchandise available to order. I chalk up the second visit to a random fluke, which every business will have despite all best efforts. I still encourage anyone wanting to try them to go for it! I would like for it to have a feeling or vibe that the baristas will try to get to know you and you could develop familiarity with them, but so far I have not had that kind interaction.
SARAH’S RECOMMENDATIONS: They do offer a few coffee drinks, so check the menu. The Mexican chocolate latte is to die for! As always, every drink I mention that requires milk gets a substitute for me due to a dairy intolerance.
BONUSES: good amount of seating, atmosphere is nice, classes/event space, Sunday hours
BUMMERS: no known community outreach at time of post, no known music/art nights, not very selfie-worthy (slightly dark and the lights cast an orange glow I’ve noticed)
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And as always, stay tuned because I will update my posts as I learn new things and experience new drinks!