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Taking a break in the Tiger Tea Room

<h6>Photo Credit: Katie Heinzer / The Daily Princetonian</h6>
Photo Credit: Katie Heinzer / The Daily Princetonian

As you stroll through the doors of the cafe tucked away on Firestone Library’s first floor, you might think you’ve stepped into the 1960s. You spy vintage-style chairs, round granite tabletops, and a black-and-white checkerboard floor. Welcome to the Tiger Tea Room.

Upon first glance, the Tiger Tea Room appears to be a place for anyone but Princeton students. Its retro, red chairs are filled with more visitors, locals, and professionals than students. Its hours, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., weekdays only, don’t lend themselves well to the packed class schedule of the average student.


And, let’s face it: if you’re locked away in Firestone all day, chances are you’re much too into your work to step away for a coffee break. 

While Princeton’s newest cafe may appear a bit too polished and upscale to be a casual student hangout, an unexpectedly cheerful and warm environment lies within the sea-foam green walls of the Tiger Tea Room. 

Photo Credit: Katie Heinzer / The Daily Princetonian

The coffee, while limited in scope compared to the Starbucks across the street, boasts reasonable prices, not to mention a 25-cent discount with personal cups — and hey, it beats dining hall coffee any day. 

The Tiger Tea Room’s most remarkable offering — afternoon tea — occurs on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2 p.m.–4 p.m. For 15 dollars per person, guests can treat themselves to a pot of tea of their choosing, a tiered carousel of pastries, and an assortment of miniature preserves, each jar no bigger than an espresso shot. Reservations can be made on Princeton’s WASE calendar.


While the price may seem steep, it’s worth the experience. For an afternoon date with roommates, classmates, or significant others, especially as we approach cuffing season, the Tea Room is sure to be an idyllic escape from the threat of midterms that looms on the horizon.

The Tiger Tea Room’s location proves to be an ideal spot for overworked students studying in the library: if you can’t justify taking more than a few minutes off from working, no problem! An equally quiet and far more relaxing environment lies just around the corner, one that students have yet to begin taking advantage of.

Next time you find yourself aching and exhausted from hours of sitting in the same chair at Firestone, reading the same textbook pages again and again, do yourself a favor — walk a few steps to the Tea Room, sit down in a plush red chair, and treat yourself to a break and a drink. 

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