By Annabelle Zhou,
A new teahouse is in town, next door to The Old Teahouse, which now lives up to its name. Sno-Crave Tea House offers desserts and drinks in the conveniently located University Mall.
The empty space next to Starbucks and The Old Teahouse had been bleak, lonely and a bit of an eyesore for a while, until the dusty glass windows boasted exciting paper signs advertising a new business opening soon. When I discovered it would be another tea-house, I was intrigued at how the newcomer could hope to compete with the longstanding tradition of The Old Teahouse.
Once Sno-Crave opened, I gave it a chance to prove itself on a Sunday night, expecting low volumes of people. Surprisingly, it was moderately busy with families and college students alike occupying almost half of the pink paisley chairs.
Upon walking in, I was greeted with a very clean impression, upheld by an obtrusive antiseptic smell and somewhat urban interior design.
The pink paisley chairs, usually in pairs, accompanied black tables speckled with eye-catching blue sparkles and gems. A coffee color scheme decked the walls and floor, while blue mosaic tiles coated the cashier’s counter. An unused bar wrapped around a back corner with no bar stools. The design was nice but somewhat eclectic; it just didn’t quite flow.
My first instinct was to look for a menu on the back wall, only to find bare beige wallpaper and some cluttered chestnut shelves. The menus were instead compiled in spiral-bounds next to the cashier.
After seeking suggestions from the friendly waitress, I decided to go for the Black Humor Honey Toast. It was a bit pricey at $12 and took almost a half-hour to make, but it was a delicious dessert ideal for a lazy day.
While I waited, I browsed through the menu; each page was adorned with mouth-watering pictures. In fine print, different sweetness levels for drinks were offered, from regular down to none. Some food was offered, ranging from crepes to waffles, but Sno-Crave certainly is not the place for a hearty meal.
Simpler teas and other drinks are offered at competitive pricing and served in sealed plastic cups to-go or in glass pitchers for dine-ins.
Seeing the menu in my hand, a waitress visited to check if I was ready to order, but in the very echo-intense room, it was very hard to hear her, though she was standing next to me.
Another waiter had given a nearby customer the wrong order, but he kindly replaced it with her actual order with no hassle whatsoever.
My Black Humor Honey Toast was finally ready, but I wasn’t–I was not sure how best to attack this monstrosity. A foundation of hollow, freshly-made, warm and crispy bread supported ice cream, oreos, marshmallows, brownies and other sweets that were a chocolate lover’s dream-come-true. Fruity Honey Toasts were also an option for those less inclined towards chocolate.
After the mess of a demolished Honey Toast, I washed my hands in the immaculate bathroom that was well-stocked with soap and paper towels.
Out of habit, I will likely frequent The Old Teahouse for its tapioca drinks, but if I feel like changing it up, Sno-Crave will be the place to go.
Since it’s only been open a few weeks, Sno-Crave is still working out some kinks but has potential to become a great place for a late hangout. Its tentative hours are 12 p.m. to 12 a.m.