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.