Review: A Tavern for Tea – Meddling in Your Customers’ Lives

“Inside these walls, you’re just my customer. Same for anyone else who comes in. Nothing you say in this tavern leaves this tavern… unless you want it to.”

“All you need to do is tell me what you want to drink.”

From solo-developer npckc, A Tavern for Tea is the short narrative tale of two characters from completely different worlds meeting and really seeing each other as people for the first time. Known for their unique and beautifully-made visual novels, npckc’s newest PC release does not disappoint, though it isn’t the ground-breaking tea making sim I was hoping for.

Your two customers have a negative history

The story of A Tavern for Tea is a simple one. You play as a tavern-keep trying to fix the animosity between two of your customers who have a bit of a negative history with each other.

You open the tavern and wait for the first customer to walk in. It’s a quiet night – not busy, though that isn’t unexpected. When a new face walks in the door you greet them and offer them a drink. The new customer isn’t a big tea drinker and they don’t know what to ask for, but they would like something to calm their nerves. By making the right cup of tea, you can control how the day goes, how long a customer stays and whether the customers bond with one another. 

Brewing tea is the only real mechanic in the game

As A Tavern for Tea is a visual novel at its core, there is only one very simple gameplay mechanic outside of reading dialogue. When tasked with making a cup of tea you have to select three of the six ingredient options to combine to create the perfect cuppa. It’s a simple and effective mechanic but I do think that it would get boring quickly if the game was any longer than it is.

There is a lot of room to play with different ingredients and A Tavern for Tea encourages you to trial various combinations to find the right brew. There are no real consequences to getting the wrong order as the day will always reset to allow the story to move on – getting the wrong drink just brings the next day around faster. But reliving the same day over and over again, which means replaying the opening dialogue several times, can get tiresome. There is a skip button that will zoom through the text to get straight to the making tea options and, as much as I tend to stay away from skipping dialogue in games, I did find myself using it. You can only read ‘I want to clean out some old inventory…’ so many times.

Opening dialogue

When I say A Tavern for Tea is short, I mean it is very short. It took me about 45 minutes to play out the story and just over an hour in total to 100 percent it. You can get through the whole game only making four different cups of tea but there is a secret ending for anyone who makes every different drink.

One of my favourite things about A Tavern for Tea is the graphics. While they are by no means revolutionary, the art style fits so well with the style of the game that I can’t imagine it looking any other way.

demon tea
Horns speaking to the tavern keeper

To me the graphic style is reminiscent of a children’s flash game and it feels like something I would have played as a kid. While they are simple there is a distinct style that is cute and cosy, definitely appropriate for the game you are playing. There’s something about the sticker-style white outlines around the characters that really adds to the charm of the otherwise mostly static figures.

I am not the biggest fan of the backing music, however. It is your typical repetitive muzak and a bit loud and jarring in my opinion. I would have preferred something a bit more whimsical and light.

There is a secret ending if you make every cup of tea

Ultimately A Tavern for Tea is a pleasant game but it feels like a mobile release, which makes sense as it was originally released in 2019 on the Google Play store.

Saying that, I do think it is worth the $2.99 price tag. While the game is not long or groundbreaking, it is cosy and a fun way to wind down on an evening. The story is sweet and has a nice overall message that makes it a fun way to spend an hour.

Megan played A Tavern for Tea on PC via Steam with her own copy. A Tavern for Tea is also available on and the Google Play store.

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