Free hot tea for cold Chicagoans: Get a free 10-oz. cup of hot tea at Adagio's retail stores in Naperville and Skokie (Old Orchard Mall) every Tuesday during normal business hours. Just walk into the store and ask one of their friendly tea consultants for help in choosing a tea. Their tea bar is self-serve, but the consultant will show you how to brew your first cup.
(You'll have your choice of over 200 teas, though their high-end "Masters" teas aren't included in this offer. One cup of tea per person, per Tuesday. My recommendation? Try the Golden Monkey. Perfect for a cold day.)
Not familiar with Adagio? Until recently, Adagio Teas was strictly a mail-order operation, albeit a big one, with a massive selection of teas and some wonderful online resources for tea lovers, such as the Tea Chat forum and the Tea Map directory of tea rooms. But now, under the guidance of the incredibly brilliant (and genuinely nice) Charles Cain, they've opened up two retail stores in the Chicago area.
Adagio's stores are very customer friendly: If you are a DIY sort of person, you can sniff dry tea leaves and select your teas from the pre-packaged selections (yes, sample sizes are available) on your own, instead of having to wait for an employee to measure out your tea. This leaves the employees free to work with you if you do need help selecting a tea or want to try something new.
While the stores don't offer sit-down service, you can buy cups of tea to go, and can even sample a tea for free if you are indecisive. The stores also sell Adagio's reasonably priced teaware, including the innovative ingenuiTEA tea infuser.
Adagio Skokie is located at 4999 Old Orchard Center, Suite F6, Skokie, IL 60077, and open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays.
Adagio Naperville is at 27 W Jefferson, Naperville, IL 60540, open each Tuesday from 10 to 7.