Espresso Royale’s Feel Better Tea provides wintertime relief

Espresso Royale’s Feel Better Tea delivers the magical power of temporary relief from winter bugs, said Shawn O’Niell, Espresso Royale barista and junior in LAS.

The first time he tried Feel Better Tea, O’Niell was feeling under the weather at work. He said it cleared up his sinuses due to the hot temperature of the drink.

“I had (the tea) with some honey, and that actually cured me pretty well to finish my shift,” O’Niell said. “It’s good for the throat.”

The tea is a mix of the cafe’s Nighty Night, Pharaoh’s Cup and Lemon Zing — mint, chamomile and lemon teas, respectively — said Lauren Gramly, Daniel Street’s Espresso Royale store manager.

The medicinal qualities of the tea help soothe sore throats, stomach aches and sinuses, Gramly said. With honey and lemon, the drink coats the throat and lessens discomfort. The effects of the drink can last up to a few hours, Gramly said.

While O’Niell likes Feel Better Tea served with an apple fritter, Kevin Parker, another barista at the Daniel Street location and junior in Engineering, suggested pairing the drink with a tea bread.

The tea, containing dried ingredients and hot water, is low-calorie, all-natural and caffeine-free, Parker and O’Niell said.

“I think there are no negatives of this tea, except if you’re trying to stay awake for long periods of time. It kind of puts you to sleep because of the chamomile; it’s like a natural relaxant,” O’Niell said. “But other than that, it’s good because it’s nice and warm.”

Espresso Royale promotes the tea on their seasonal board in shop during the fall and will probably continue to do so during the winter because of cold and flu season, Gramly said. O’Niell observed an increase of Feel Better Tea sales during the winter and change of seasons. Now, 10 to 15 customers order the tea per day, Gramly said.

“It’s just word of mouth sometimes,” Gramly said. “(If) customers ask for something to make them feel better, we’ll recommend (Feel Better Tea).”

The tea, with tax, costs $2.19 for a medium and $2.46 for a large. The tea is served with optional lemon and honey, free of charge.

In addition to the Feel Better Tea, the cozy, tight-knit Espresso Royale locations may also attract customers.

“I love the people who work with me,” Gramly said. “I love the customers who come in every day, because we get a lot of regulars. I think it’s just a fun environment. It’s a fun job to have.”

Parker and O’Niell contributed to the friendly, positive atmosphere, as they playfully conversed behind the counter during their shift.

Espresso Royale’s location on Daniel Street has around 15 employees, with anywhere from two to four baristas working at one time, depending on the time of day, Gramly said. More customers come in during the morning and afternoon, although Parker observed a spike in Feel Better Tea purchases at night.

Espresso Royale also brews pumpkin- and cider-flavored drinks, as well as hazelnut hot chocolate, Parker said.

The Daniel Street location does their own in-house baking and makes everything from scratch, such as chai brew and blended drink bases, Gramly said. Local items and products are also used.

Espresso Royale — with locations in Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin college towns — was founded by Marcus Goller in 1987, according to the chain’s website. The company buys organic fair trade coffees and teas, many of which contain no fertilizers or pesticides.

The business also donates Single Origin coffee earnings to RainCatchers, an organization that aids Haitian farmers by building water systems, according to their website.

Both the medicinal ingredients of Feel Better Tea and the source of the product can give customers something to feel good about.

Mikayla can be reached at [email protected]