Tea Unites Strangers Across the Nation

ankit shahAnkit Shah was approaching graduation from the University of Pennsylvania in the spring of 2013 when he realized that there were many students he never had the chance to meet. He decided to do something about it. He created a website that invited people to join him for tea, wondering to himself if anyone would be interested. They were. For two months he spent nearly three hours a night having tea with complete strangers, engaging in interesting and unexpected conversations.

WTN_ART_140714_TeawithStrangersSince then Shah has relocated to San Francisco and launched Tea with Strangers. Shah and seven volunteer hosts take online reservations to join them for tea at cafes across the Bay Area. Tea takers go online, read about the hosts and select a day and time. They will then spend up to two hours with the host and four other participants for relaxed conversation over a cuppa. The hosts have now enjoyed tea with nearly 500 Bay Area residents. The events are free; participants just have to purchase their own tea.

Tea with Strangers has spread beyond the Bay Area to Princeton and Miami. Plans are now in place to launch groups in Boston, New York City, Washington DC, Portland, Palo Alto, Seattle, Chicago and Los Angeles.