Almond Joy


For folks in the Northeast, you know we got leveled over the weekend.  I’m not a fan of the snow.  I never will be.  I’ve learned to adapt to it in some ways.   But honestly I freak out with the best (or worst) of them.

I ski now so I have some affinity for it.   But it’s minute.  Give me warm, sunny skies all year round over what we just endured.

To my relief, I was able to leave the house yesterday.  Those little things I take for granted like going to the store, the bank, the gas station, all became so important to me yesterday. You know what else is important?  A nice cup of tea.  And I went to a place I don’t go to often enough.  It’s the taken for granted aspect in play again.

This brings me to Coffee Coffee of Bel Air, MD.    No coffee on this day.  It’s a necessary evil in my life.  However, it’s not something I love nor would dedicate to writing about.

I walked in and the energy was small-town and community feeling.  That’s always favorable and heartening.  And on day of freedom it’s enhanced to a much higher state.

I look around at their loose teas selection and what stood out immediately?  The Snowflake. I’m not sure if that was there strategically or happenstance.  But I had to chuckle.   I am giving this weather too much credit and allowing it to affect my life, where it shouldn’t.


Nevertheless, a black tea with coconut and almond sounds soothing and inspiring on this day.   I opened the jar to get a scent, and the nose tasted just like a candy bar you might have heard of.   It’s the title of this post if you weren’t sure.


I was eager to try it and still relieved to be out, that just about anything was going to taste wonderfully.


A cinnamon and raisin scone was ordered to go with my cup.

The sips tasted more like almond biscotti, which is not something to sniff at.  This is not a complaint.  It was fantastic.  And I took my sweet time enjoying this cup.

You might be able to see the sun shining in some of these angles.  It was bright and it was voluminous.  I was a happy guy.  I wasn’t ready to go anywhere.  I think I spent a good 30 minutes in there enjoying myself.


Look at the bottom. Heavenly.


The scone was a bit filling so I wasn’t able to complete that part of the party. But the tea I could expound on forever.  But I’ll end it there.  It’s great and I highly recommend it.


If you’re in the vicinity, the shop is definitely worth a visit.

Here is their menu and their various products for sale in the shoppe.

I see they have a customer appreciation day coming up this Thursday, January 28th. That’s always something to look forward to.   I would like to become a regular first before partaking in an event.   Even though my visits have been a few, I am becoming a stalwart. Maybe the next one.

I need to harp on this point again.  Whenever the people are friendly they deserve to be acknowledged.  Every time I’ve stopped in, it’s been nothing but friendly faces and accommodating service.

I’ll be back soon, when the weather is even better.



Hibiscus Healing


I’ll get it out of the way.  Don’t let the name trick you into believing something else.  iSiS Organic has been making great products for quite a number of years, 35 plus to be exact.

I’ve enjoyed their teas with my father and with other family members.  It would usually take place after a hearty meal where we needed our stomachs to settle. Sometimes I would prefer enjoying afternoon tea with a pastry.

They’re based out of Egypt and take great pride in being organic, sustainable, and free of GMOs.  That’s a trifecta of brilliance if there ever was one.

My background is Middle Eastern so my family loves anything healthy to come from that vicinity.  In the Washington, DC area there is a strong population of people from the region so Halal and Middle Eastern stores are ubiquitous.   And yes, iSiS’ food is Halal.


This weekend I was in for a pleasant surprise.  I visited a friend I haven’t seen in quite a while.  A lot longer than it needed to be.  And I got to meet members of the family, while we enjoyed some Hibiscus Tea.   I had the option to go with the Cinnamon as well, but I chose the former.


I was told that hibiscus is good for lowering blood pressure and that was needed just in the nick of time.  I was feeling a bit fatigued and stressed.  This did the job. How beautiful does this look?  An all organic tea made with the most elegant of flowers, and nothing to undermine it’s purity.

That’s how you make a tea and sip on one.  This was decadent.


I’ve been feeling under-the-weather recently so this really hit the spot.   The great company always helps this experience ten-fold.   Oh and maybe that chocolate chip cookie too.

If you can find the tea or any of their other products, I highly recommend.  I’ve been grateful to have several flavors when spending time with my dad.  I’ve also had their dates which complement any cup of tea.  It’s the archetype of a sweet treat.

Their site doesn’t list where you can find their great products, but you can contact them here.

I strongly recommend their tea and by virtue all of their products.   When something represents good or intends for good I’m more likely to be drawn to that over anything else.

And it’s getting cold on the eastern coast of the United States.  This tea is aiding in dealing with this drastic change in the weather.

I sincerely hope you’re all staying warm as well.

Best and Best,



OC Oolonging


Christmas came early and it came a little late.   Early as in the tea I’m writing about today was an early present.  Later because I just brewed some today and it’s magnificent.

The Mountain Copper Oolong from Ocean City Coffee Company is an absolute prize.

When I remember drinking tea with my dad, with close relatives, and dear friends, this is a tea that comes to mind.  It’s getting colder and the sipping is going to escalate.  It’s a source of comfort, peace, and coziness.

It’s January and the holidays are over so there may be a lull in between seasons. But that’s if I or if anyone allows for situations to be boring.

This is the perfect opportunity to try new teas, new blends, and new flavors.   I am so lucky to have been given access to a tea and company I didn’t know existed.

The first thing I got when opening the sleek package was a scent that is out-of-this-world.  You’ve got to be kidding me.    Buttery aroma is spot on.  I could smell something phenomenal and no matter what the nose is to you, it’ll rock your world.  I’m pretty confident in that.

And the leaves are visually stunning as well.  Beauteous.

I brought out my old friend the Tovolo Tea Infuser for this brewing party. It was a party I took my time to enjoy.  I didn’t leave early or stay too late.  But I never wanted it to end.   The celebration will be ongoing as I can look back at this post and revel in that.  I will be making plenty of savory cups again as the temperature continues to plummet and I look for serenity during this time.

Oolong is a tea I will be having more of, especially after this.  That color is phenomenal.  If that’s what copper looks like in liquid form, I want more of it.


I took my sweet time drinking this.   And usually I may enjoy it with a unhealthy snack or sweet treat, but this was perfection on its own.   This just hit me like a good tea can. Sometimes a great anything will do that to you.   Where can I get more of this?

Well a list of all their products for online purchase can be found here.  The amazing tea I just praised and all others can be found here, there, and everywhere.

Here is their contact information.  I will write them too and tell them how awesome they are.  In case they don’t see this.

This will not be the last time I write about them.  I don’t live too far away so if a drive to visit needs to happen.  I will make that a priority.

The new year is off to an awesome start in my world of teas.  I can’t wait to see what’s next.

Thanks so much,



Thank You Celestial Seasonings


Three weeks ago I mentioned how Celestial Seasonings sent me a care package of teas revolving around the holidays and winter season.

It was in response to this selection in this post where I said I wasn’t thrilled with it.

Well the last three weeks of recaps showed that one tea was just an aberration. As these teas have all been good-to-great.  And the reviews for those teas can be found here, there, and, everywhere.

Like I stated previously,  Celestial did not pay me or instruct me to automatically praise their teas to the atmosphere.  All views are my own and fortunately I will say they’ve been palatable and exquisite.

This brings us to the Cranberry Vanilla Wonderland.  I saved this one because the others were more in line with a holiday theme which has sadly concluded for 2015.


Funny how things work out, it does finally feel like winter now in the Baltimore/Washington area.  All it took was for me to write about an apropos named tea and the weather got cold.  Yeah that’s it.

When I first opened the box, the cranberry smell was intoxicating.  Shortly thereafter I got a whiff of the hibiscus and roobios.   I’m guessing those are easier to figure out from experience.  But the cranberry really overpowered everything else.

During the brewing process, the color changed rapidly.  As soon as I poured the boiled water into my cup, it was magic.  And the fragrances were off-the-charts.

I love cranberry.  I especially love it in dry format and this tasted more like drinking it in a heated juice form.  If you think that’s a weird description, well it is. I had my reservations after the first couple of sips but I was won over not soon thereafter.

I enjoyed a little fruit with my tea, as it only seems fit.

I wouldn’t call it my favorite.  But I really like this for the cold and would gladly make it an iced tea during the warmer months ahead.  I don’t want to think too far ahead but it’s something to look forward to.    Brewing methods for this, as well as other teas can be found in at the bottom of each choice.

What is a Juniper Berry?   I got nothing.  And even after researching it, I still don’t have anything.  But it’s listed as an ingredient.   It’s something I will want to delve into again.

I think what frustrates me is I see so many amazing spices and the like listed, and I can’t detect them.   I shouldn’t try this hard but the orange peel, chamomile, and (at times) the vanilla was hard to come by for me. Thankfully, the cinnamon meshed well with the berry. All the more reason I need to brew this again.  A follow-up may be forthcoming, if not then I’ll prepare it in iced-tea form for the Spring as promised.  And I’ll write about it then.   This is compelling.


I don’t want this to be the end.  I could write about Celestial Seasonings forever.   I am so grateful they sent me this package with a personalized note.  It validates much of what I’m doing.  And I can only hope I will write about them again.  And soon.


The fact they got in touch with me personally speaks volumes.  I have that much more affection and an affinity for their brand.  It will lead me to purchase more of their teas that I may not have otherwise wanted to or gave a second thought to. Now I’ll be scoping them out at my friendly, neighborhood store habitually.

I will remember this string of teas and posts very fondly.  I intend to sustain these good vibrations as we continue into the new year.

Thank You Kindly,