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Let's Do . . . Tea?

Make like a tea, and leaf the business dinner behind for a relaxing midday beverage.

This story appears in the August 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Lords and ladies do it. Counts and earls do it. So do kings and queens. Now businesspeople are turning away from dinner or lunch meetings and taking clients to tea. "Instead of meeting at a coffee shop, like Starbucks, which is kind of static and cold, meet at a place that leaves an impression," says Maria L.C. Salomao, owner of Armada Global, a communications firm in San Francisco.

You can find afternoon tea service everywhere from teahouses to hotels. Whether you prefer superformal English tea and crumpets or a more informal, earthy kind of place, tea is hot. "People I bring usually sit back, take a deep breath and say, 'Aaahhh. This is so great,'" says Salomao, 34. "Instead of being wound up, it's like they're sitting in their living room."

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