By Kim S.
If one were to develop a mathematical formula for the purpose of quantifying the enjoyment of an experience, it would perhaps look something like,
reality – expectations = X, where X = enjoyment.
Sadly, in the case of Café Teaory, this equation results in a number that lies quite a distance on the negative side of the number line.
One recent Friday evening I found my way out to the west end to check out this new java joint and inquire about potentially reserving a table there for a future book club meeting. My intentions went beyond strictly business, however: I wanted to sip a latte and people-watch, my ultimate cure for the restless soul.
Quarters in The Teaory are close. The place is much smaller than I had imagined it to be. As far as I could tell, at most it is able to seat perhaps 20 patrons at a time, but, when I visited, it was virtually deserted. To be fair, this probably had more to do with the fact that it was a Friday night, and I expect the majority of The Teaory’s customers are students with packed weekend social schedules.
It’s a charming space with plenty of potential, at first glance. Shelves line one wall, and these are stocked with books, random decorations, blankets, and board games. Customers can take a blanket or book off the shelf, or play a game with a group of friends. I believe I may have even spotted some mahjong tiles. Neat, right?
There is something off about the place, though. What should be quaint and quirky feels forced, the décor haphazard rather than a reflection of unique personality.
Prices are Starbucks-high without the “custom beverage” options one gets with a Starbucks drink order. My green tea latte came made with “regular” milk (presumably 2%?) rather than the skim milk I generally prefer. It was a delicious latte, I’ll grant, but, for the cost, I rather expected to have it made the way I wanted.
A display case on the counter presumably once contained baked goods but was empty upon my arrival. (Chocolate biscotti were displayed on another covered table off to the side.) Luckily, I didn’t have much of an appetite.
It is another of those hard to quantify things, but I simply felt uncomfortable in The Teaory, even at my little table by the window looking out at the setting-sun-lit street.
Even the women’s bathroom is strange in this same thrown-together sort of way. For some unknown reason, a tall photo frame room divider stands directly in the way of the napkin dispenser, and behind this is a boxed Christmas tree. Maybe this is only a temporary arrangement? Maybe not. By my calculations, I won’t be returning to Café Teaory to find out.
|Kim S.‘s Overall Rating|
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