Mango Times Three


It’s been several months since I’ve set foot inside a Trader Joe’s.  Oh how I’ve missed thee. And in theory, I found myself here for no reason at all.  I just had a bunch of errands piling up and needed to get some out of the way.  And lo and behold the store found me.

Once again, I sort of had an idea of what I was going to write about.  Last summer I focused on a lot of iced teas.  There were brands I’d never heard of.   Many were personal sized.  I looked back as to avoid repeating if I can do so.   Little did I know that this visit would also lead me to one of the more refreshing teas I’ve had in a while.

And after a few minutes of poking around the store, this mega display was my answer. And this week I proudly get to review the Trader Joe’s Mango Green Tea.


However, there are drawbacks.   The green tea and mango are not easy to taste.  The pear juice is what gives it flavor and not much else.  It makes me think are the tea and mango able to taste right simply as a duo?  That’s a question for the ages.  Well nowhere near that dramatic but it’s fun to speculate.

I love mango.  It’s a fruit that reminds us of the good times of summer, or maybe an island you’ve visited.  And to mix it with something as bitter as green tea may be the ultimate clash of universes.  So lets throw in some pear juice to shake things up a bit.

I’m a purist in many ways.  I want my teas to be as natural as possible.  There are additives, like extra sugar to make the taste for palatable.  And more palatable to the general public seems to be the goal.  I can’t disagree with that.  I also can’t be too serious.  It’s a seasonal beverage that’s meant to be enjoyed and not over-analyzed by the likes of me.

I liked it but with the understanding that the heart and soul of the tea seems to be an afterthought.


Since this beverage is a bit out there, the pairings could fall in the same category.   But at the same display rack were the Mango Joe-Joe’s sandwich cookies that taste a mix of real and artificial that at this point it doesn’t matter.


They’re good but best in small doses.  No I didn’t eat all of these pictured, that would be absurd.


For a healthier alternative, the apple and (you guessed it) mango bar is a bit more up my alley, and maybe yours as well.  This is what inspired this title.  Things sometimes go in threes.


I love Summer and everything about these sweet treats screams as such.  If you’re in the mood this tea and the accompanying treats will make for quite the sugar rush.  If that’s what you’re into then I say go for it.  Otherwise, proceed with caution.


I had one cookie and just one, I promise.  The rest I stored away for future snacking or to share with pals.   Portion control is a powerful thing.

Ah I love summer and I wish I could write that every week.  I will at least be doing so for a while.  Yay!





Summer Moves Fast


The thoughts, ideas, and inspirations come to you when you’re not thinking about it. It’s safe to say that I love tea.  Heck that’s the name of my blog.   But there are weeks where I’ would over-analyze and agonize on what to write about.  If that’s the case then my writing will suffer and the readers will do the same.

So where is this going?  I’m writing this on what is officially the longest day of the year. It’s the first day of Summer and and I want to enjoy every moment.  It’s also a full moon and the further we get from that the better.  It’s quite the conundrum.

Fortunately this files under the positvity and beauty of Summer.  And last week I found myself in a picturesque setting at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC.  I promise I’ll get to the tea in a moment.


Ok so that moment has arrived.  I hope you understand what I did there.

After appreciating the beauty of the outside, I realized a I needed a refreshing cold beverage, like a water or much worse a smoothie.   I enter the cafe and the first thing i see are the Mighty Leaf iced tea displays.  I had to do a double, maybe even triple take.   And even better was one of the teas is Summer Solstice. Pretty obvious where this is going.


At the time I poured myself a cup and started sipping I wasn’t concerned about the ingredients, brew time, or anything else in the description, I just had the belief and hope it was going to taste good.

Well I didn’t taste much of anything.   It’s unsweetened iced tea, it’s not going to be very exciting.  That doesn’t mean it wasn’t refreshing.  On a 90 degree day just about anything chilled will be passable at worst.  I’d peg this somewhere in the middle, nothing terrible, but nothing exciting.  And based on a previous post, that was my expectation.  But I still  wanted to love it.  Anything connected to Summer I want to be memorable, passionate, and full of inspiration.

What was inspirational was the view and the tranquility of just sitting outside.   Not all my time was spent taking photographs.  I took just a few, and just enough for storage and the rest of the time I sat and meditated on the beauty  that was all around me.


This is only the beginning.   Summer is just getting started and we need to appreciate every single moment we have of it, because it’s fleeting.  Time is relative but it also feels so much faster when we’re enjoying ourselves, our surroundings, and each other.

My intent is to enjoy every moment with myself, people I love, and hopefully a rejuvenating cup of tea from time to time.

This cup didn’t have to be amazing (well the fruit cup was not too shabby_ and for this day it didn’t have to be.  The rest of my situation was just right.   And I hope to make more internal memories from this.  For completist sake, I will seek out the Pomegranate Berry.


So while we have this time to enjoy the outdoors.  Make the most of it that you can. I intend to practice what I preach, and hopefully some fun teas will make their way on to hear over the course of this return journey into sunny paradise.

For more on Mighty Leaf, locate a store, or to make a purchase go here.

For more fun tea stories, check back again soon!





National Iced…


As some of you might have known, National Iced Tea Day was on June 10th.  Yes this is an actual event and why the workplace and classroom remained open for this momentous of holidays is baffling to me.   This is as important as it gets ladies and gentlemen.

In all seriousness, I had a cold beverage or two in mind to write about, but all bets are off.  I wanted to do it all little different this time.

Once again this idea came to me just hours ago.   The weather is flourishing.   The sun is out, the temperature is up, and the heat is on.    It’s too obvious to write about iced and cold teas during this time of year.  I did it a lot last Summer and I will get back to that.  But for the first time since beginning this blog, we’re talking ice cream.  And ice cream makes everyone happy.   But does that include green tea ice cream?

What makes this blog fun is discovering brands and items one has never heard of.  At least I haven’t.   The famous brands in all areas are great to elaborate on but just when I thought I was going to go with a world famous brand, I go with maeda-en.  Yeah it’s new to me too.

The ingredients and nutrition facts are on display for your viewing enjoyment.  And I needed it as a reference point.  I’ve had green tea ice cream or matcha ice before as a dessert at Japanese or sushi based restaurants and was amazed by how much sugar was added.  I understand that just green tea in ice cream form is going to taste real coarse and bitter, that the aftertaste may leave a lot to to be desired.  I understand that but also find the concept to be counterproductive in terms of health.

But that’s on me.   I don’t see how it can be prepared and served any other way.  Ice cream is meant to be sweet.  It’s one of many joys of these glorious months where everything feels happier.


So how was this ice cream?  I liked it but since I have little to compare it by, my opinion may not be entirely accurate.  That could change with time one way or another.  I may love it more or grow to realize there’s better out there.  I adore green tea so any taste of that makes me happy.  It’s an interesting dichotomy with the artificial sweeteners.  I almost feel guilty having it.   Something doesn’t feel right.  I’m betraying the purity of green tea by having this.


The website doesn’t have any more than a broad list of items, but as you can see they have multiple flavors.  Will I get to any more?  If you look close at the photograph above, there is a teaser for something in the very near future.


For now, I will enjoy the rest of this bowl, as it’s very rich and will take some time to complete.   If you’re interested in this company, contact info, and most importantly where to buy, links have been provided.

Ah I love Summer.  More is coming.

Stay warm and stay cool.




Oh Is For Orange, Oh Wait..


I’m not sure what the title even means.  I’m not even sure how to explain the experience I had at Hard Bean Coffee and BooksellTEAers.   Yes, they have coffee and books.   But this has got to do with the tea correct?  Correct.  And this post will go to show that not everything in Annapolis, like last week, is rosy.   There’s a not so inside joke or pun there somwhere.


I’ve been going to this place for quite a number of years but the experiences tend to deteriorate each time.   Perhaps the newness and cache of being in the neighborhood was enough to overcompensate for any deficiencies.    And my tastes have evolved as well as my empathy.


But my last few visits have left so much to be desired.   In a pinch I’ve grabbed coffee and/or a snack to go.   For such a colossal space I’ve seen a decrease in the amount of patrons as I’ve grown accustomed to in the past.  Maybe I’m not alone in my sentiments?

Yet my own idealism and naivete leads me to give this place another go. And because I have to be so contrarian again to get tea in a coffee shop.  But they do have loose tea, so it’s not that eccentric of me

It was a sunny  and scorching day (I’m not complaining), so something remotely sweet and light was what I was looking forward to.   I went with the blood orange. Ordinarily I would be loving this but the vibe threw everything off kilter.

Maybe it’s the universe, maybe it’s me, maybe it’s everything, but the staff was even more disorganized and lackadaisical than usual.  I should have been more specific earlier but not only has service been slow but it’s been dismissive as well.  And it’s not something I take too personally.   I figure folks may have an off day but this has been a consistent narrative with this establishment.   The wait times for my food and beverage have taken much longer than necessary.  I get a sense that it’s deliberate.   This reinforces my point in how I see less guests here and more flocking to other more welcoming establishments nearby.


What gets lost in all this is the tea itself.  The orange with what I can only assume has orange peels and floral components would ordinarily be masterful here, but the negative energy surrounding me brings this down several notches.  It’s dispiriting.   The whole point of all is this it to enjoy a cup, your surroundings, and most importantly yourself.  I would go with none of the above here.


In the majority of situations I’d be singing the praises of this tea, but this was as mediocre and vapid as it gets.   I was so off-kilter at first that I started sipping and taking photos inside forgetting how nice it was outside.


When I got my bearings together I found some solace at an outside table but it was too little too late.  I didn’t want any more.   I’ll definitely seek it out again, just somewhere else.  And if past experiences will dictate, it will be in a much more spiritual and energizing setting.


You might be asking about the quiche that I paired with my tea.  An unusual pairing? The irony is that this was the most normal thing about this experience.  And that’s not saying much.

There’s a whole Summer for great sips and memories.   Here’s to better ones ahead.