Chamomile Calming


The best experiences, at least for me, are the ones that are unplanned.   We are now into autumn and as tough as that can be for myself and others, I still try to find the positives.  And I think discovering a new place for tea drinking more than qualifies!

Last week I was in Arlington, VA and did some random driving and sightseeing.  I wasn’t looking for anything in particular. Maybe I would find something fun to eat or drink.  I might discover a store that would tickle my fancy.   Without trying too hard, I found one with all of the above.


Trade Roots is located in the more laid-back and less frenetic part of the town, Westover.   And the store has a very positive and uplifting energy emanating, as soon as you walk in the door.  Even the outside signage made me feel something endearing.

I’ve driven through this part of town many times and never thought to stop.   I almost passed through again. For whatever reason, either to write about this place, or something bigger, I was meant to stop in. I’m grateful I did.  I want to give this place the proper credit it deserves.

The store represents the best in honoring what fair trade and giving back is all about.  I would have stayed longer if I could. I also would have seen my checking account depleted.  There were so many wonderful things available to purchase. And many of those items can also be procured online!


And to do my part, I bought an incredible cup of tea and some fantastic cinnamon-pecan granola bites!

I ordered a chamomile.  But not just any chamomile. This was a German one. You could say this is in honor of all the Oktoberfest celebrations that are happening and will be occurring all over the place soon.  But this drink raised my spirits up but without any potential hangover on the horizon.


Honesty, I did taste a difference in contrast to the traditional ones I’ve had before. I couldn’t place my finger on the why or the how.  But it made me feel so good.

Originally I purchased this to go.  But after surveying the area, I thought what is the rush. So I grabbed a seat on a bench and enjoyed myself.  Actually I was the only one around so I really did enjoy my own company.


I didn’t have a plate so I used the lid for my snacks. And any crumbs that were leftover I added to my tea.   How cool is that? Ha.


I wish I had taken more photos but all this entails is that I must come back before the year is out.   Besides taking in my surroundings and a few snapshots, I relaxed for a good 30-plus minutes.  There was a sense of ease in me that I can attribute to my tea, my environment, and how good I must have been feeling at the time.

Imagine feeling like that all the time!  Yes please!

There are a few seats inside but the weather was too good to be anywhere but here.  For those few minutes, I was meant to be spiritually in tune with things and with nature.  I think I succeeded.

If you’re in the vicinity, I highly suggest visiting this shoppe.   The folks inside were great.  Everything was great.

More to come.



It’s Still Summer

And we have until tomorrow to enjoy that.   I love the Summer, I love the heat, and I love the sun.  And I’m sad its winding down.

However, there is much in the fall season to look forward to.   The weather is still great and there’s plenty of more opportunities for outdoor events, festivals, parties, and whatever else makes us feel good.

With that in mind I wanted to do a review a tea that could embody the beautiful months we’ve recently enjoyed and a segue into what’s to come.

As promised I’ll be doing another tea from the marvelous Spice & Tea Exchange.  For last weeks post you can click here!


The Coconut Oolong Tea reminds me of many things. I wouldn’t think popcorn would be one of them.  I’m not saying that’s a bad thing.  I enjoyed the scent.


When I opened the package it felt like a movie theater. That’s the buttery aroma or note that cannot be ignored.  Oolong has never been a favorite of mine,but that could change. It’s just not a tea that I think to drink or seek out.   That’s the enjoyment of doing this. I’m trying tea I don’t always have in my sipping repertoire and experiencing new flavors I didn’t know existed.



This tea was a grower.  I didn’t love it a first.  As you can see, artificial coconut flavor is added.  I can’t say if that adds or takes away from the tea.  Maybe the flavor is necessary.  Maybe I should have added some sugar or flavoring but that’s not my style.

I’ve always preferred my hot teas with nothing.  In the few exceptions I’ve needed to add something, either out of experimenting or because it was necessary, the results have been mixed. Next time I would like to see how this tea could be chilled or with some sweetener incorporated.  Milk or creamer would go well with this too.  This would be a great alternative to coffee.

With all that being said I did enjoy drinking this tea and will gladly have it again.  It’s not on the top of my favorites, but it’s a cup I would look forward to having again.

That emerald color is visually stunning.   I took my time with my first cup just so I could enjoy how beautiful the tint was.

This cup reminded me that there’s so much fun that can come with tea drinking.   When the feeling and instinct is there, I may add some of the things that have been mentioned in this post.  It’s all about experimenting and expanding scents and flavors.  As we head into Autumn that will be happening.


In the meantime, I will enjoy my cup with some chocolates and candies!   Now that is fall-like!  Uh oh…

Thanks so much.



Decaf Spice


How did I get to this beautiful image you see above?

The Spice & Tea Exchange has been bringing it with their teas.

This will be another in the long line of positive posts.   There’s been so many great teas that have come into my life, the bad ones have been few and far between. So another mixed-to-bad review will have to wait.

Nevertheless, their Decaf Earl Grey was effortless to drink and immensely fun to prepare.

I haven’t done a lot of decaffeinated teas for my blog, if any, so I felt the time was right.  I’m not sure if it’s the tea, my state of mind, or the weather slowly turning cooler, but I am a bit tired.  It’s more of a relaxed feeling.  I’m more focused than usual.


The tea smelled so natural.  The ingredients are shown to you here.  The aroma of the tea leaves and orange peels permeated throughout, as soon as I opened the package.  I will admit, I cheated before and already knew how it smelled when this was given to me as a birthday gift.   The initial Spice & Tea post can be found here.


The Tovolo Tea Infuser also makes its long-awaited return!  I’m in love with this thing.  As it gets cooler I’ll be prepping more loose teas, so you’ll be seeing more of one of my favorite gadgets!


What I love about the infuser is you get enough time to see the color literally evolve from beginning to end.  And I have enough time to see this in front of my eyes.  It may only be a matter of moments but the way the beauteous color of this tea is manifested is a sight to behold.   And I want everyone to see it as well, hence the clear glass.


I savored every sip with a small plate of almonds.  And the sips were savory.

Like I was saying, this tea was a gift from dear friends of mine, from the Ocean City, MD store.  I have been to OC  few times this summer, but the store was never open when I was in the area.  Maybe the timing was not right.  But I hope to check the shop out soon.  Yes we’re still technically in the Summer!

Where was shop alluded me, another did not.  I had the honor of privilege to visit New Orleans a couple of months ago, and maybe it was fate, but I got to visit their NOLA store!  The staff member there was kind of enough to ask me any questions while realizing I was acting like a complete tourist.   I literally stumbled upon this store while walking around the French Quarter.

And in touristy fashion, there will be plenty of photos for your viewing pleasure.


There will plenty of posts to come from this great company!  And I will continue so next week…

Thanks so much.



‘Tis The Season

This will be posted minutes after the Labor Day Holiday will be officially over. And for many that is the end of Summer. That makes me sad, but I can’t look at it that way.  I refuse. Technically, we have until September 22nd.  So two whole weeks!

But I am not going to be in denial of the fact that the temperature is showing signs of cooling.  The past few nights in the Maryland area have felt a little chillier. Because of that allergies may be starting to creep up.  And they may begin to rear its ugly head anyways. It’s just the nature of things.

So what does this have to do with tea? Well as several of my peers have been feeling a bit under the weather, I to have felt some of the effects.  It may be due to a long holiday weekend and having fun wherever I can. That can lead to exhaustion and not the most highly functioning immune system.


This leads me to an old friend, the Seasonal Sampler from Traditional Medicinals.   In bringing back the sampler you could call this a segue into seasons.  Oh now look at me moving too far ahead!

The last time I wrote about this package was back in January and you can find that post here.  At that time I wrote about their Breathe Easy tea and all the positive results of it.

This time it’s the Echinacea Plus and did it heal me exactly where it needed to.  I am writing this as my finish my second cup and I wish I boiled some more weather.  It has an interesting taste to it. It comes off as bitter and if you’ve seldom had echinacea in any form, it may not be pleasing to the nose or mouth. And the smell may not endear itself to everyone but this was a pleasure to drink.

This also reminds me was to why I stopped taking it in the first place.  The rejuvenating and spiritually healing benefits are unlimited.  I used to have a capsule or two on a daily basis and I always felt happy.  I loved life and felt like I could tackle anything.  I felt like this was more than a placebo.  My immune system was feeling grateful for operating at a top level.  And so was I. And after tonight, so am I. For all this looking back and forward, I’m currently in the moment enjoying my cup.

And as you’ll see one the mug represents one favorite places to visit in the Summer or year round.   And Annapolis is always a happy place just like the one I’m in now.

In pictures, once again, the awe-inspiring brewing process is shown.  The beautiful leaves and tint really shine through. And this was the only back left in the package, so I really lucked out. I don’t believe I missed a step!


As we head into the cooler months (not yet), the teas will be representative of that. I suspect this will not be the last you hear about Traditional Medicinals.

Stay healthy and happy!



Saratoga Style

Now I’ve never been to Saratoga, but I’m grateful that my friends who visited recently, thought to bring me a bag of tea as a souvenir.


The Trans Siberian Chai from Saratoga Tea & Honey Company was an absolute pleasure to drink.  What a work of art! And you can see a lot of thought and passion was behind this creation.

This tea really got my spirits up, as it’s been needed. Summer is slowly winding down, but I refuse to concede it ending.  We have a few weeks to go. Yet while this blend feels like more something more Autumn, it works well here as we’re now officially segued into September.

The flavors of cocoa, nutmeg, clove, and cinnamon are a soothing and comforting melange of joy.   I don’t know how else to describe it.  Actually I could write a ton more superlatives if I could.  The cocoa, especially, really stands out and makes this a unique tasting cup.   Cinnamon is one of my favorite spices and always warms my heart.

I’l be honest, clove and nutmeg are not something I’ve had enough of, so those flavors, for me at least, are not quite detectable.   As I was smelling it and then sipping it, I was looking for those scents, and they didn’t hit me as like the aforementioned cocoa and cinnamon. And chai is usually always a winner.

I wish I could add more links for everyone to enjoy, but the website seems to be incomplete and there’s an across the middle of the page it states that the online store is coming soon! Now that I look forward to!


I love how the back of the label encourages us to experiment with the quantity, duration, and temperature for the heating process.  And yet they still throw some helpful recommendations for time and temperature to boil!  Good on them!

What I also look forward to is a visit to Saratoga itself. A lot of places in the country and the world have alluded me. And I hope to cross that off my list.  Not only for their teas, but I see they have a honey room as well.  Join them at the bar for a pot of tea with pals! Yes please!

For now, I will do my best to capture the beauty of this tea brewing process.    The same friends who brought me this tea, also purchased this majestic teapot set from the wonderful World Market.  So it’s only right to bring it back for one of my favorite tea making rituals.



I wanted to show you how amazing the tint is that I threw in a bonus photo in one of my favorite teacups! How gorgeous is that?  And how beautiful are those tea leaves and spices? This is the real deal.

The inaugural post with this pot can be found right here!

As the weather turns, and that pains me to say, more brewing and more fun tea contraptions will be seeing their returns and debuts in the weeks and months to come.

Take good care!