Segue Into Summer


I’m not sure how this all transpired but once again I found myself in beautiful Annapolis, MD this past week.   And as we’re rapidly approaching Summer it’s only right I find myself on the waterfront.  More on that shortly.

I was all set to sample a specific tea and write a review of said tea, but once again plans have been altered and this could not have worked out more perfectly.

Of course I go into a coffee shop looking more tea.  Make sense right?  Well actually it’s nowhere near as close to perplexing as that sounds.  I just have to go and be different again don’t I?


City Dock Coffee is a place I’ve largely taken for granted and I have no explanation for it. I’ve walked or driven by the beautiful storefront a multitude of times and maybe set foot in there once or twice.  Maybe I grabbed a cup of coffee, I don’t remember for sure.

When I walked in I inquired about their teas.  A lot of staples you see in many shops were available.  Yet, one of the gentleman behind the counter pointed me to the last remnants of a familiar friend, Capital Teas.   I was told they stopped carrying their teas.  No explanation was given as to why.  Honestly, I was just so excited to see their teas in a somewhat neutral location (that’s a bit of a reach) that I didn’t care to ask anymore questions.


With what was left I went with the oh-so-appropriately titled On The Waterfront Tea. As I was steeping inside I fell victim to my own obliviousness to the outside world.  It was gorgeous out and I planted myself at one of the outdoor tables, soaking in the sun that has been missing in this area for quite some time.  It was hot, humid, and heavenly.  Yes I did that on purpose.

I had no idea what was in the tea nor did I care.  It was a comforting and soothing Rooibos gem.  As I was sipping I did detect spearmint and something nutty.  That would be almond and you can never have enough almond.


All the other ingredients belonged and bounced off each other perfectly.  Luckily, this tea was caffeine free or I’d be doing the same thing.  I loved it.  And this organic masterpiece if what I come to expect from this great company.


There’s a funny irony to all this.  Capital Teas has set up shop at a prime location, literally across the street (kind of across the water but I can’t embellish) and I’ve been meaning to write about my experiences with the shop.  This is just the segue I needed.   This will be revisited later in the Summer.


But for now I will add some pictures of all the pageantry and beauty of Annapolis.

I hope you all had an enjoyable and safe holiday weekend.




Tuesday Jam Session


The sweet tooth bug has really hit me these past couple of weeks.  I have no explanation why.  Maybe it’s the sunny weather (or lack thereof), or maybe it’s some inexplicable and something that doesn’t need to be made sense of.  There I go getting all deep on you again.

I believe the choice of tea for this week is only fitting.   Oh and there’s cake too.

Random circumstances brought me back to the Timonium/Towson area and the stars aligned for me to return to a now familiar stomping grounds, Baltimore Coffee and Tea Company.


With past posts I’ve been critical of their stalwart tea, Eastern Shore Tea.


One of the many pleasurable aspects of this thing is that I get to be random.  If I see a tea that catches my eye or even one that looks ominous, I’ll give it a whirl.  As I referenced earlier, my knack for something sweet has been permeating.  So with that resonating in my subconscious, I went with the Berry Jamboree Tea.

I’ve mentioned this before.  There is something missing with these teas. There’s been some quality ones don’t get me wrong.  But the oomph and the pizzazz is lacking.

For sure, I thought one bag would be enough.  The jammy elements of strawberry, raspberry, and blackberry should have made this black tea magnificent.  I wanted to feel cozy.  And with this horrific rain we’ve had all month, it would only be so fitting.  The irony was that it wasn’t and it was sunny.  Go figure.  Even two bags didn’t multiply the fruit.  If anything this cup plateaued.


Regardless, this tea was good enough to drink but it needs a thing or two to put it over-the-top.  The touch of hibiscus was unbeknownst to me until I read the synopsis.

There may be something to be said about location.   Towson has a feel but not the shame charm I remember.  The store nestled in an office park should scream anonymity and a sense of a tight-knit community.  That might be there but I don’t see it like I used to. Maybe my energy level was not at its best on this day or in previous incarnation, but there’s something more.

The first visit or first experience is always the most unpredictable.  You have no expectations and no preconceived notions.  Well there’s exceptions but I think you know what I mean.  My original visit to the Timonium location was special.  But honestly I have no memory of when this was, what I ordered, or whether I was with anyone.   But it was special.  Some memories stay so private and internal, even with the person who created them.

Annapolis, on the other hand, has my heart.  And there’s that small town and community feel I yearn for and that I love.  Oh and there tea variety is a bit more expansive.   I just have to go back and report from there again.


I love local and love supporting this company.  Even though this tea was only good, but not a masterpiece, will not deter me from trying some more.  Something tells me this will be revisited this summer.

For more on their teas or to purchase, click here.


To sunnier days ahead,


P.S. That lemon cake was delicioso!


May I Have Another?


I have never loved coffee.  If I did even just a little, or cared enough to blog about it, then I would.  But unfortunately it’s a necessary evil that I allowed to be a part of my life. I do enjoy a cup periodically, either just black or with some flavored creamer, but most times I wish I never had my first. Now I feel like I’m stuck.

This is not meant as a propaganda piece or to tell you what to drink or not to drink.  For many, it’s a passion and a hobby.  For others it’s just a part of every day life.  It’s funny to think about how I got introduced.  I don’t remember.  I bet the vast majority don’t know either.

Tea (for me) on other hand is a gift from something bigger than us.  There’s universal, cosmic, and metaphysical forces at play here.   Am I sounding a bit to deep and existential here?  Good.


And this past weekend another force or maybe just me feeling adventurous, brings me to one of my most favorite towns, Annapolis, MD, and even more specifically, 49 West Coffeehouse, Winebar, and Gallery.  That sounds like the best trios ever.

So what on earth does any of this have to with tea?   I had no preconceived notions about this place.  I’ve only driven by a plethora of times and never thought to stop in.  That’s my fault.  For this is the place I will forever remember that I discovered, Cacao Tea.

Again, as I have reiterated in the past, maybe I had it once and either didn’t internalize it at the time or quite simply, I took it for granted. My hunch tells me this is a first and I’m sticking with that (for now).

When I go in anywhere for the first time it’s exciting, tranquil, never-racking, and subdued all at once.  Yes those are oxymorons.   Here if anything I felt awkward and I had no reason to be.

Remember, I had no idea what I was getting into and thankfully the first person that exchanged greetings with me was the live musician.   They have live acoustic sessions on a regular basis and that’s awesome.

Honestly, I felt like I was inside a painting.  Annapolis has its stigmas or those aforementioned preconceived notions about being too stuffy and territorial.  I didn’t notice any of that here.  The staff was the complete opposite.  I got more the sense of free-spirits and down-to-earth folks just earning and a living and having fun while doing it.  If any of the patrons were snooty, I tuned them out or was oblivious.  If anything, maybe I was the stuffy one?  Catch my drift?


I’m not big on a hearty brunch.  My stomach can only handle so much.  I usually prefer lighter fare in the morning.  So whenever I see oatmeal on a menu, I like to go with that and I did.   This is where I could have paralyzed myself with all the selections of loose tea.


There was one I was going to go with and I’m glad I didn’t.  Cacao stuck out like a pot-of-gold and was begging me to order it.   I’m fortunate I did.

My oatmeal with blueberries was healthy and not too filling.  The bowl was just the right size.  A little on the petite side was what the doctor ordered.   But this tea took a while to hook me.  But that’s how you know it’s legit, it’s healthy, and it’s fabulous.

It’s a healthy alternative which never should have been.  This is one of the originators.  I adore that word.

I let that infuser steep and steep like there was no tomorrow.  My brain has been used to artificial sweeteners that I didn’t fully appreciate what I was drinking until halfway through my first round.  The cocoa is subtle yet noticeable at the same time, that it’s the perfect understated tea.


Rejuvenation, concentration, and healing come to mind when sipping on this tea.  Can you ever have enough?  Even when things are going great, I could use another dosage.  That came in the form of a to-go cup.  My world-class server was awesome enough to hook me up with one for the road.


The genuine state of feeling good didn’t really hit me till I departed.   It’s one of those short stints that I will love even more with time.  It’s one of those memories I wanted to keep internal but for the sake of the tea and the blog, I felt it was appropriate to share. With that said, I almost feel like the next time I have this treasure, it will feel like a letdown, or maybe it will be an equally amazing experience.  And maybe the next time I’m at this wonderful place, I’ll write attract something else extraordinary.   They do have wine.  Yes, wine!

Maybe I’ll let you know about next time.

Stay healed,



Lemon Aid


There is a bit of planning that goes into these reviews but that doesn’t mean they remain in place.   I had several ideas about what to get into for today but those can wait.  None of them made sense for a myriad of reasons.  The season has yet to fully break and certain teas and tea-related contraptions don’t feel right to be recapped, at least not yet.  Their time is coming but not now.

With that being said, I didn’t panic or freak out.  I knew a place would find me. I say place because it just felt right to venture out of the comfort of my abode and seek out something inspiring.   And this brings me to Sidamo Coffee and Tea.


A chance visit to to our nation’s capital and even more specifically, the revitalized H Street, brought me to this cozy and charming shoppe.

I just knew I was in for something special.

Now the place also says coffee so that’s their bread and butter.  Oh wait.  The venue only had about a half-dozen tables which is right up my alley. There was a gentleman grinding coffee beans on sight and what a sight to behold.   It felt as authentic as DC can get.  And if you know Washington, you understand why I say that.


Behind the counter is a magnificent array of loose-leaf teas and since I’ve been on such a lemon kick lately I decided to go with King Tut Lemonade.  I had no idea what I signed up for and that’s what I love about this thing.

The lady behind the counter was on her own and demand was starting to accumulate. However, she still made my tea at a fastidious pace.  I had requested a large cup but had not realized I got the most amazing teapot and cup display.


You see it posted at the top but this deserves multiples pictorials.   And she brought it to me.  I didn’t expect that.  It’s always the little things.  Notice how I’ve even yet to describe the tea.


This tea really hit me where I needed it most.   The benefits of lemon have been documented greatly and a nice brewing pot of tea opens up other nooks and crannies of this spiritually healing fruit.

You’ll likely know it right away.  The main ingredient is lemon peel.   For sure I’ve had a plethora of cups that contained lemon peel integrated with other herbs and gems, but not like this.  The lemonade means something else entirely different and I’m grateful for that.

My stomach has had issues for a while and this is just what the doctor ordered.  It rejuvenated me from the onset.  If I could get more than four 4 cups from this, I would have taken double.  Can you have too much of a good thing?  In this scenario I’m not so sure.   I took my time savoring what I could.   And 30 minutes later I felt revitalized.


That infuser teapot is a work of art, don’t you think?


I really didn’t need anything to snack on but a fruit and nut bar was a proper sweet treat to counter the bitterness of this tea.  And I mean bitterness in the best way possible.  I loved it more than these words can articulate.


I love figuring out the ingredient before reading up on it.  And I’m blessed to be from an Iranian heritage where lemon peels have been used in some dishes.   That is the main reason I knew it was the peel.  Even as distinct as a flavor is, a sentimental memory from the past makes the discovery all the more joyous.


Life is something grand.   I had a sense that this place had a familiarity about it.  It wasn’t until I looked the place up that I recall visiting their second location in Fulton, MD.  That experience was left so much to be desired.  The barista or team-member could not be a more polar opposite than the DC location.  I’m not big on being too negative so I honestly never thought to write about that experience until now.  And I may get into full details another time but for now I give major love and thank you to Sidamo, and I look forward to doing it again.

To purchase King Tut Lemonade Tea, I have posted a couple of links here and here!

Stay healthy,




One Step Up


I’ve mentioned it before, I have love for Harris Teeter. However, this may not translate to their teas.

Over 10 years ago I first set foot in one of their stores and it felt like a magical place. Maybe it’s the thought of something new, the thought of something simple, or maybe just the free samples.  If you’ve been inside a store then you know what I’m talking about.  I just had some delicious sugar cookies the other day.  Next time you’re by the register, check out the display rack and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

This brings us to HT Traders, which they proclaim is a step up from their regular brands. I’m going to assume that means more of an organic or healthier version of some of their staples.   It doesn’t work for their Earl Grey.

For me, I want some power in my Earls.  It’s been suggested that this is a tea to add honey, lemon, and sugar, among other flavoring.  Earl Grey was the first tea my dad and other family members introduced me and led me to my love for tea.   And I’ve usually always savored it in its purest form.  And I know when there’s a good batch.   Whether it’s been in loose or bagged form, you can smell and sense when it’s going to be wonderful.

I had a sense here of none of that.  It smelled too light and I got the sense it was uninspired and there was nothing behind it.  You might be able to tell by my post that I was headed in this direction.

Maybe it’s where my head was but during the whole heating process and creation, I got the feeling this wasn’t going to be anything to write home about.  And it wasn’t.

My cup was bland, drab, and lacking any kind of passion, for lack of better words. The tint gave me some hope otherwise but that was short-lived.

So what do we do when something tastes lifeless and unimaginative?  We dress it up and try to cover up its deficiencies.   Now this is where my friends and I got carried away.


I was at a friends house when I happened to discover this tea in their cupboard. Yes, I’ll just help myself, why don’t I.  Plenty of snacks and decor have been added to make this tea party the best it can be.  Sadly, I was the only guest that wanted to attend.  But thanks so much to my friends for setting it up anyways.


That mug is obviously not mine and for many friends in the Baltimore area, you understand how hilarious this truly is.   Easter has already passed but you may find some Easter eggs and hidden gems in a couple of these photos.


It’s a shame that the highlight of this experience was everything but the tea.  They all can’t be winners or this wouldn’t be fun.

Until next time…

Onward and upward,