I Love Naptown

BeanRushTeaCookie

Annapolis has been so good to me this Summer.  More importantly than that, Naptown has been good to so many of us.  For me, this will go down as the Summer of Annapolis. But I don’t want Summer to end.  I don’t want my sentimental experiences and discoveries in Annapolis to end.  I won’t allow it.  I hope in the coming months, I will have uncovered plenty of other amazing finds in our state capital.

The amount of driving and walking, in the area, I’ve done recently has skyrocketed.  I’m drawn to this town.  We’re like magnets to each other.  One part that is still foreign to me is the Village of West Annapolis.  More times than not I would pass through and never stop. Why wouldn’t I stop? There’s no rush.  And speaking of rush…Ah I’m corny.  But one day recently I decided to park and take a leisurely stroll around the neighborhood. It’s a happy town within a happy town.  It’s another universe.

BeanRushWest

After a few minutes walking around this heavenly setting, I knew a cafe of some sort had to be around.  No I did not do any research ahead of time.  I wanted to go in without any knowledge of  what was around.  Playing lost tourist is a preference.

Bean Rush Cafe had my heart from the get go.  It’s somewhere I’d frequent regularly if I lived in the area.   And seriously, I would be here everyday.  It had the most welcoming signage, pictures, and outdoor setting I can remember.  I’vet yet to even walk in or even talk about a tea, and I’m raving about it.  Yes tea was purchased.

There’s a lot going on inside.  They sell tea, tea instruments, loose tea, and of course coffee.  I did order a coffee to go but that’s for another blog, if ever.

The staff was incredibly friendly to the point it was scary.   There’s an abundance of great people in the world, but this was on another level.  Their story explains so much.

I wanted a chilled tea since the weather called for it, so they suggested their Peach Green Tea, that is their most popular.  So I decided to follow the crowd, and I’m glad I did.

BeanRushTea

The floral arrangements hit my nose immediately.  This wasn’t as sweet to me as the team member said it would be.  And I’m good with that.  A little sweetness goes a long way. As time went on the sweetness began to permeate.  The cup had time to settle and open up, and it got better by the minute.  This was fantastic to say the least.

BeanRushTeaCookie2

I was able to snag a chair outside, and the views made my tea that much better. Great ambiance is always important, but this was out-of-this-world.  And as I mentioned earlier this was another world.  I knew i was in Annapolis, but I felt insulated and I felt safe.

BeanRushFlag3

A multitude of pictures were taken but after that, the cameras were off and I stayed here for a while.  And when I mean a while, I mean at least an hour.   This an experience to be savored.  In so many ways, I felt it was too good for me to even write about.  But this needed to be shared.

If you get a chance, definitely swing by.  I don’t know if what I’m saying does this place justice.   I will be back and I’m hoping that return is soon.

You may notice I had a sweet treat to go with my tea.  Recognize the chocolate pieces?  This is a tribute to the Olympics that have since concluded, and one of the great commercials of all time.

Here’s their Annapolis menu, their contact information, and yes they have a mobile cafe! That’s so cool!  And they also have a location in nearby Crownsville.

My previous Annapolis based posts can be found here.

What else can I say?  It feels great, it feels inspiring, it feels like home.    I love being home.

BeanRushDog

Kindest,

Ideen

Oh Is For Orange, Oh Wait..

HardBeanOrangeOutside1

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.

HardBeanFront

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.

HardBeanTheTeas

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.

HardBeanInside6

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.

HardBeanOrangeInside1

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.

HardBeanOutside2

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.

HardBeanOrangeOutside1

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.

HardBeanMat

Best,

Ideen