Silver Spring, MD has changed so much in the past 15 years, it’ll seem unrecognizable to many, if you’ve been gone from the area long. Or perhaps locals to the Washington, DC area haven’t paid a visit back. It’s close enough to DC that many transplants and I’d assume folks who grew up in the area will consider it home.
It’s a little to new and full of chains in some parts for my taste. But if you don’t look so hard, the local businesses are flourishing and proving they belong. And I hope they belong for some time to come. I had the pleasure of visiting one of these establishments recently. Zed’s Cafe right on the outskirts of Downtown Silver Spring has that neighborhood and homey vibe I always look for in a place. And I just don’t mean for tea. I mean for food, for various places I shop, for my own self serving interests, and I’ll repeat, tea.
As they state, it’s one big living room. I’m not sure whose spacious living room but I got cozy and comfortable real quick. And I had yet to order anything. I was sure I was setting myself up for a disappointment and free fall.
And I also should be careful to assume that all these gems of places have a tea list. That’s a risky presumption depending on where you go. Just about anywhere will have an expansive coffee list, yet the teas could be a standard national brand in a box, or thankfully in this instance, their had their own loose teas in house. Whenever I come across the latter I’m so grateful. It really adds a dimension to a shoppe that otherwise they wouldn’t have.
Speaking of dimensions, they literally had a 3-d display of their loose teas. You don’t see that everyday. Actually I’m not sure the last time I saw something similar. I’m glad I got a picture.
Per their recommendation, I went with their house special, their lemongrass ginger tea. And we knew it was coming, but pumpkin season has arrived. Actually, if you noticed, it started somewhere back in mid-August. So I capitulated under the pressure of seasonal forces, and went with the pumpkin spice. Don’t get me wrong I love pumpkin but we should appreciate every season for what it is.
I’ll first state that the presentation of my tea was masterful. What a beautiful mug and plate. Next, they had real pieces of ginger emanating from the tea. Oh my and ginger! I couldn’t resist, I picked a few pieces and ate them separate from my cup.
The tea was everything I hoped it be. I love lemongrass, I love ginger, and I loved everything about this cup. That atmosphere helped. The muffin was fine but a bit rich for my taste. That’s more of a reflection of my taste than anything else.
As you’ll see below, that tea was done but not as fast as I usually sip these things. I really did feel like I was in mine or someone else’s living room. It felt like old times. But it also felt like new times. I love relaxing at a pals’ house with a good cup of tea and some tasty snacks to complement our cup. It makes the tea, the food, and most importantly, the whole experience better.
I’m also sentimental because my family has ties to this area. My family used to run a business in this area, way before any of these new, and even longer-standing businesses had arrived. So I always get this feeling when I’m here. Depending on what part, it’s not always the best energy, but at Zed’s, it was all good and then some.
If you’re in the vicinity or passing by, I would strongly suggest a visit. It’s a home away from home. And there’s no place like…