This IS Living Tea.

MotherKombuchaLavenderMojitoFlower

I didn’t know when or how I would write about Mother Kombucha, but it needed to happen now and the universe told me that today was the day.  Actually I had intended this after my kombucha post last week. So you can call this a segue or a continuation but I just call this a celebration of some of the best beverages Mother Nature has ever provided.  That wording was intentional by the way.

Nearly two months after visiting the great city of St. Petersburg, FL. I recall fondly how gorgeous, spacious, and welcoming Central Avenue was.  While visiting a friend who lived on that street, and meeting with friends throughout the week, I still had plenty of time to myself and to do my own thing.

There were hardly any plans (here is my tea history in the sunshine state thus far), other than knowing that I would love to try some tea, try something new, and try something fun, and then try some more tea.  I love going in blind and going in open-minded and seeing where life takes me.

I can’t say it enough, the tea culture and lifestyle on the Gulf Coast give me goose bumps.  It’s something truly special that I only hope to experience either back in Florida or somewhere just as breathtaking.

IntermezzoFront

Well what would you know, that this amazing coffee shop (which does have great coffee by the way) Intermezzo, which is footsteps away from where one of my closest friends now resides, would be where I discovered the Mother of all kombuchas.  Yes I could do this all day…

IntermezzoSign

I walked in on a gorgeous and supremely sunny day to this cozy and charming space not knowing what to expect.  When I walk into a coffee shop my curious mind always wonders about the tea list.  Now many also have their own loose leaf tea, or might carry a few standard label tea bags (which are perfectly fine by the way), maybe some more lavish brands of tea, or in this case the Lavender Mojito, which to say is incredible is a severe understatement.

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Before I could even let my the friendly server behind the counter finish her suggestions, like a boisterous child ordered the Lavender Mojito without any hesitation.

Thanks to my new friend (I humbly apologize for not remembering her name) she allowed me to take pictures of the inside, and enjoy my this iconic beverage outside on a peaceful day. While many others are working, I’m on vacation, so it was an early afternoon, it was a tad lonely, but in the same way it was needed peace and time to reflect.  If it weren’t for this blog I would hardly share this with anyone.

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There were no check-ins, no pictures, and no hints at the time that I was here.  And that’s just the way I wanted it.   I took my few pictures (or so I thought), and then I stopped. Because sipping something like this, being in your own universe, being around the sun, around random people saying hello, and enjoying my own company lies a feeling that everything is going to be ok.  It’s not just one of those things you have to believe, it’s one of those things you should believe.

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The thoughts going through my head were different than what I would feel at home.  I can’t explain it, I can hardly remember even what I was thinking about.  I did recall my tea was unbelievable.  It’s one of the easier ones I’ve ever had, and I would be saying this even if I had this on a regular basis at home.  But I rather make this larger-than-life, because it was.

The ingredients and information are presented to you below but all I can say is that if you live in a place nearby that sells this, do yourself a favor and grab yourself as much as you can.  That flavor, that color, that bottle, that label, oh my god.  What else needs to be said?  It’s ecstasy in a bottle.

MotherKombuchaOutside

And the funny thing about being in your own ecstasy, I was the only one outside so for a while it felt like I was the only person on Earth.  After a while I noticed while taking photos a group of people drawing closer and closer to my location.   Then I noticed they all wore the same attire.  I don’t even remember who they were with or what they were about.  I hope someone can remind me.   But as they came near, if this were a bad movie or tv show the first thought would be to run.  However, this group was about spreading love, kindness, and hugs all around.  I got a bunch of hugs from people I’ve never met in my life and who knows if I will ever see again.  But it didn’t matter.  I was alone but I wasn’t, then I was alone again.  But I wasn’t lonely.  I felt good.   I took enough pictures that it may look like a flip-book or slide show for your enjoyment.

To say this made my Lavender Mojto Kombucha that much better would be one of those fabled understatements.

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After a little while I felt like it was the right time to go.  I’m grateful to Intermezzo for everything, and for letting me keep the bottle.

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I’m grateful for this experience, which will never happen this organically again.  It’ll have to be something else.  And that’s what makes this so beautiful.  This will continue next week, as this was not my only encounter with the Mother.

MotherKombuchaHQ

Where I was staying was minutes from their headquarters, but they’re not open to the public for tours, as far as I know.  But I did get a picture anyways.  This is how I play tourist.

WilliamsParkSummerMarket

But what I’ll get into next week is how a day after this awe-inspiring experience, was one at the Saturday Morning Market in Williams Park that I’ll only say is comparable in stature but how it comes out in my words will convey if it was just as awesome, or magical for other reasons.  I can’t wait to reminisce.  I had another dynamic flavor that I’ll leave as a teaser for you below.

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For more on Mother Kombucha, here is their story, where you can find their product, and their contact information.

This was beautiful.  More next week.  Thank you so much.

Ideen

Artscape Has My Heart

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I tend to say this sometimes.  Not everything has my heart.  If everything did would there be room for anything else?  I’m not sure.  But I’m sometimes selective in what I place stock and loyalty in.   If not, the things truly of value, may lose some of well, there value.

Since my first Artscape in 2006, I’ve never not been back.  I fell in love with the aura, with the atmosphere, with the culture, with the food, and a new found love for the city of Baltimore.

I was late to the party, so I have no idea how the event was before.   But I do know it’s evolved with the times and so have the people.  For a while that wasn’t necessarily a good thing.

Everyone has their take but somewhere in the late 2000s to the up to a a few years ago, the event lost something.  The spark, the local food vendors, the local artists were put on the back burner in favor of more corporate, more generic, and more vapid food suppliers, artists, and literally everything else.

Certain parts of the festival were eliminated, bands were booked for the sake of filling a lot, and overall the event had an arbitrary feel.  It was done just to do.  And not much else.

It felt like any other festival,  carnival, or sanitized event that you could find on a weekly basis during the warmer climate months. It no longer felt special.  It was still Artscape but not the Artscape we remember.

Then something beautiful transpired.  Enough people spoke up and over time.  They wanted local,  and I mean they wanted everything as local as possible.  The feedback was massive and unanimous.  People wanted their old Artscape back and to feel like its a Baltimore thing and no one elses.  And not in a territorial sense.  But we’re here, it’s the city, and it should represent that.

Now I could be wrong with everything I’m saying.  It’s just a feeling and an observation, that is shared by many of my friends.

The past few years has seen a renaissance.  With few if any exceptions, the festival is local.  The restaurant booths were all proud displaying a Maryland location,  the artists just the same.   While national acts were booked, that’s different.  That’s always been part of the event. But now the artists seem to be there because it clicks with everything else and not just there to fill space and time.

For many it’s just a festival, and for others there’s a sentimentality.  I always have and always will look forward to walking around on my own and becoming one with this event. I’ll run into people sure, but this is one I’v always enjoyed going at it alone, especially that Friday day, when it’s quiet and I can take in so much more.

Of course I’ve joined friends but Artscape has taken on a life of its own that hits us all in unique ways.

With all that, I did want to talk about a serendipitous tea experience.

ZekesRaspberryTeas

For our pals in Baltimore, Zeke’s Cofee, also hits a sentimental nerve with many.  It’s local, it’s great coffee, and they’re easily accessible.

Now I’ve had their coffee and enjoy it like many others but that’s not my forte.

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So it was a wonderful gift to see that Zeke’s had a perfectly located booth (more on this shortly) at Artscape, and even better, they were serving the most splendid raspberry iced tea.   I think I had at least four over the weekend.

I’m not sure what else was in it and I didn’t care.  It was raspberry iced tea, and on what is traditionally the hotter weekends of the year, it went down like a tea is supposed to. And I kept coming back for more.

A place that’s known for their great coffee also has other things, as their menu states, but it’s a joy to know they’re in the position to make brilliant teas to boot.

What adds to everything is my good friend Rachel who owns Byrdie Jewelry (and her stuff is awesome) had just as ideal of location in the center and heart of everything.  Yes we were right by Zeke’s, we were near the main stage, we were near the folks handing out free peanut butter bites, and free samples of pizza, but like i said, the best of all was that it was in the epicenter of everything.

ZekesTea&Pizza

My friends and I spent a lot of time there hanging out but did our share of walking around as well.  It felt like summer camp at times, it felt like a vacation (or staycation) in our own city, but most of all it just felt real.   And in a world that’s evolving and ever changing that is not as commonplace as once before.

I can’t go into every detail about all the amazing people I met, friends I ran into, incredible art I saw, or the stellar local foods I ate.  It was a lot.  There’s some stories better kept inside, and many of us like to hold stuff internal and to our hearts too.  I guess you can say I got nostalgic while already there.  That happens.

Every year tells a different story, and this was more focused on taking it easy, letting the awesomeness come to me organically, and being at peace with the universe.  That sounds like a theme I can embrace every year.

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For more on Byrdie, click here for their products, and where you can find them.

ZekesCoffeeBooth

For more on Zeke’s, here’s the link to buy online, and where you can find them as well.

I had a great time this year.  I’m grateful to have been able to do this again and look forward to not only this event, but hopefully others that will embrace their roots and focus on why local business is the best kind of business.

It brings out the best in everything.

Thanks so much.

Ideen

May Is Beautiful

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We got here quick didn’t we?  It’s gonna be Summer soon.  And for man the month of May signifies this.   I’m good with that.  But I’m also good with appreciating each day and time of year for what it is.   I love this month so much.  The outdoor events have already been making their triumphant returns but this is the month where it becomes a weekly, and sometimes daily thing.  I also hope that means plenty of outdoor tea drinking, hot and cold.

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The one I’m going to discuss today, can be drank either way.   I’m assuming as such.

There are many teas I try that I never get a chance to write about.  Either that, or they are stored in my memory bank, with a new note taken, for future use.   The Pink Lemonade Herbal Tea from Eastern Shore Tea Company, which can be found at Baltimore Coffee and Tea Company (hope that doesn’t confuse you), is a gem to drink, a joy to watch steep, and a tea I thin even the non-tea drinkers would appreciate.

And the funny thing is this particular experience took place late last fall, but I wanted to wait for this time, this moment, and this part of the season to share it with you.

The setting was their Annapolis location.  I’ve mentioned in the past how much I love our state capital,  And even though their location is away from the heart of Downtown Annapolis, it still has its own aura and charm that always feel good and omnipresent when I visit.

And even though it was months ago I still think about this tea.  Yeah it was that good.  No, it’s nowhere near the best tea I, or most tea drinks, will ever have.  But there’s something about it.  It has a universal appeal.  If you’re not a tea drinker,  you may find this enjoyable anyways, especially in the warmer months.  This will be perfect for any outdoor party, cookout, birthday, or any other event of celebration.  And there will be much to celebrate.

I wish I had the opportunity to try this iced, but in a tea shoppe, they gave me some hot water (which I assume I asked for) and I just steeped a bag.  And even that color will remind you of that perfect seasonal drink.  It radiates.

Lemongrass and hibiscus flowers are the ingredients.  You probably wouldn’t know it unless you looked at the label.  It’s a naturally created pink lemonade that’s better than your fountain soda, or your artificially enhanced flavored drink on your grocers shelf.

PinkLemonadeAndOtherTeas

When I look back at the picture above I’m reminded of the fact that I almost didn’t sip this tea.  I almost didn’t sip a lot of teas.  This also means that there’s still teas in this display and others that have seen been created, that I must and will get to sample.

That’s the charm of their stores.  You may have a tea in mind off the bat but another one is just waiting for you to try.  And that’s how I got to try the Pink Lemonade for the first, and what is still my only time.  It was beautiful in so many ways.   And the atmosphere is throwing down a gauntlet.  Which one should I try next?

I forgot I had a sandwich with my tea.  I do recall these beautiful flowers though.  So while this was all taking place in autumn, it was a charming preview of where we are now.    Time is accelerating my friends so whenever there is a chance to stop and appreciate the beauty of nature and life around us, we should do just that.   I would say this tea is in that conversation.  It’s been months but I’m salivating for another cup right now.

Here are some links if you’re interested in purchasing this or any of their teas.  You can order online or stop by one of their stores if you’re in or visiting Maryland sometime soon.   They do list a phone number as well.  Yes some places still take phone orders!

And here’s a few of my past posts related to Baltimore Coffee and Tea Company.

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Say the opportunity presents itself, and I do pour myself a glass of this (yes we’re talking iced) and it works out, I will do a follow-up to this post.   But for now, I will feel nostalgic over a moment that may have been trivial at the time, but is now charming and endearing memory to me.  Even if it is just tea, it’s those little things that make me happy.

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I promise you this tea will make you happy.

Happy May to you!

Ideen

 

Won’t You Be My…

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Happy Valentine’s Day.  This is a day with a mixture of emotions for people.  It shouldn’t be, but our manufactured societal pressures have placed more emphasis on this day than there really should be.  It’s one of those holidays that time doesn’t stop for.  The majority of us still go to the workplace and to the classroom like it were any other day. And if we treat this like any other day, than it will be over before you know it.  Actually it’ll be over no matter what.  That’s how days and times work.

Nevertheless, after the previous weeks post, I wanted to see if I had a little more holiday spirit in me.

Well it’s a different holiday than what I’m used to but I should appreciate the fact that my regular scheduled blog falls on this most polarizing of holidays.  I might as well make the most of it.  And chances are, I may not get this opportunity again.

And if you or I focus on love, in not just the romantic sense, but love of all, then it makes this and just about any other day that much better.  And you don’t need a specific day to show that love and embrace for what makes you feel good.

Do you know what makes me feel good? Well it’s not only tea, but it’s the love of all things natural.  I love animals, I love nature, I love plants, flowers, trees being out doors, and most of all our universe. This encompasses so many things, if not everything.  I’m grateful to present to you two more teas from a one of my favorite go-to’s Baltimore Coffee and Tea Company.   And even more specifically, Eastern Shore Tea Company.

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The truly one thing about tea shopping is there will always be teas to fit a certain season, mood, place of healing, and love.

For the love of tea I went with two of the most apropos tea for the occasion.  But as you will see, with this tea, just like so many others, these are meant to be sipped all year round, not just in Mid-February.

First is the Chocolate Strawberry.  It’s simple, Black Tea with those two flavors added. What I noticed right away is how quick the effectiveness of the steeping came through. The color transformed into a chocolate brown cup at a higher pace than what I’m expected or what I’m accustomed too.  I would take that as a testament to the quality of the bags. Either that or I’m losing my marbles.  Well the latter is happening anyways, but it was entertaining to see regardless.

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At first I was hoping for more flavor than what I expected.  But I’m drinking this with the understanding that this is a dessert wine.  And if was too heavy on the chocolate and strawberry, would the whole tea be undermined?  Absolutely.  I’ve had teas rich in flavors t that could have benefited from a dialing back.  And then there’s others that weren’t flavorful enough, that could have used just a little more.  I’m leaning towards this wishing this just had a hint more.

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It was good but still I feel like that pop was missing.  But look what you see here.  Yes I really got goofy here and purchased specialty dipped chocolate strawberries.  This was strictly for show but figured one wouldn’t hurt.

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What I also figured is the tea and the chocolate strawberries flavors’ would bounce off one another, as well as intensify the other.  That’s exactly what happened.  One particular bite from the strawberry and a sip took this experience somewhere I didn’t imagine.  For that alone I would try this tea again.  But I wouldn’t rank it close to any of my favorites.

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Next up is the Cupid’s Arrow, after someone we may know.

This surprised the heck out of me, and in a good way.  I didn’t think it was going to be anything out-of-this-world to be quite honest.  The back tea with flavors of cherry, vanilla, and almond have all the recipes of turning into something legendary or a complete bust.  This falls on the former.  I wonder if its my slight trepidation of embracing this ‘holiday’.  That’s possible, but good tea is good tea.  And this wasn’t it. This was actually phenomenal.

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I made myself a second and third helping of this one.  You can taste these flavors a bit more distinctly without aid from from a sweet treat or other type of food.

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As you might be able to tell the color is not as strong or as overpowering as the previous selection.  It’s not like any of that matters.  It’s just an observation.  But this was something fun.  Maybe because those flavors feel more like winter and more like a year round tea than the aforementioned Chocolate Strawberry.

cupidsarrowready

However, as I said earlier most teas can be had year round.  There’s no rules to this.  It’s tea, it’s supposed to be fun.  Tea Is Fun is not the just the name of a blog but it’s how it’s supposed to be.

Most suppliers give around 20 bags per container for a reason.  We will try them again and again with what makes us feel good and feel inspired.  The Cupid’s Arrow is an inspiring one.  I felt so good after sipping this one in particular.  I felt healed.  And maybe that’s all in my head but this tea had  little more power than it really had any right to be.  Maybe it did.  Who am I to judge?   The cupcakes had nothing to do with any taste enhancing, like it did earlier, by the way.  But they look cool don’t they?

cupcakes

And who are we to judge how one celebrates a certain day.    I spent more money on myself and this blog than I’ve had in years to commemorate Valentine’s Day.  But it was gift to me, to my audience, and to the universe.  It was my way of celebrating what I love; nature, animals, and of course tea.

These gifts I bought can be used more than once. These two new teas will last be a while, as well as my new drinking mugs, as well as those orchids.  Which are already outside and have been watered.

The sweets won’t last, but not because of me.  Someone else can have those.  But I’m going to hold on to the tea.  And maybe even those  new animal friends.

And those are just some of the things I love.  And I’m glad I can present tea in a spiritual way that combines many other things that make me feel love.  And this is not just one day a year, not a weekly post either, but as much as humanly possible.  And that’s the same love I will feel on this day, the next one,  and so many more.

Like I said last week, if you’re looking for a different kind of gift for a loved one, I think tea is a fantastic alternative.  And at only $5.00 per bags, it’s a fantastic deal.  And they’re ribbon bags too!  Beautiful.

This experience as beautiful.  And if you want to experience these and their massive array of teas click here.

Here’s my written history of the Eastern Shore Tea Company.

More love of tea and all else that is possible, next time.

 

Love,

Ideen

 

 

 

With A Little Help From My…

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Winter can throw many for a loop, depending on where you live.  For those of us in Maryland we’re currently in the heart of those winter doldrums.   It’s been a relatively mild and free from much precipitation.  That part I’m embracing and celebrating.

It’s the end of January so we’re in the heart of it and yet can see the light.  The light is coming.  The days continue to get longer by a few minutes.  And that’s something to be celebrated.   Most of my dear friends haven’t really been hibernating.  They’re more so doing different things, more low key things, and more cost-effective things.  And I’m for all of the above and anything similar.

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Speaking of cost effective, I had the most beautiful and affordable meal at one of my favorite places to sip tea and exist peacefully, Baltimore Coffee and Tea Company.

There is much to embrace about winter and January.  What I should have harped on more was that January is National Hot Tea Month.  Personally, every month for me is hot tea month and tea month in general.  But I digress and I welcome any extra excuse to drink some delicious hot tea.   And to explore teas and flavors I don’t always try.

I have a bit of an adviser.  I refer to this tea guru from time to time.  And when I’m at a personal stalemate or impasse I seek guidance from said guru.  My good pal has never failed me and came through in the clutch once again.

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She mentioned that she’s been enjoying the Pure Peppermint Tea from Twinings.

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I enjoyed it too.  And how I got to try it was serendipitous, organic, and spectacular.

I was all set to buy this package at my local store.  But I felt inspired.  I hadn’t been to my usual Baltimore Coffee and Tea Shop, in Timonium, MD, in quite a while.  I actually have been a couple times recently but don’t always look to blog or take pictures.  Sometimes I just need to grab a cup and a snack, and relax.

My senses told me that this peppermint tea would be available in individual bags for me to drink on site, and to pair with something healthy.

I searched through the goodie basket of singular teas and saw loads of Twinings, but not the Peppermint.

Luckily, the staff here is so great.  They will open a box of teas upon request.  I had asked and without any hesitation the extremely kind person behind the counter was thrilled to open a fresh package of Peppermint Teas, and even mentioned that it’s most of the baristas favorite teas.  That made me feel good, and it was a win-win all around.

That kind of service is so charming, and will make me want to keep coming back. And it was going to make my tea so much better.  It’s not a little thing. This is going above-and-beyond when it wasn’t even necessary.  I’m so appreciative and so grateful.

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My day was already made.  But I just needed a little something extra, and no it’s not the free sample area (I might have more on this later) you see below.

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I’m feeling like myself again, but that doesn’t mean I abandon what got me back to near full strength.  I wanted some chicken noodle soup.  I’ve been craving it everywhere I go. It’s sometimes been a part of my breakfast.  Yes, breakfast!

This was early afternoon so this tea with soup pairing seemed a little more practical.   And what a dynamic duo.

The tea is exactly what I hope for and more.   The ingredient is pure peppermint, all natural, and all awesome.  My friend told me it helped with her bloating.  So this is something I was all about trying, and be a part of my tea rotation, not just during the cold weather months, but throughout the year.  Yes this a tea for all seasons and all temperatures.

My simple soup and tea made this a peaceful, calming, and soothing meal.  And I can’t forget healthy.   I took a few pictures but after that I shut my phone off, and just sat there. I needed this.  I need this zen as much as possible.   For such a simple and satisfying meal, at just a touch over $5, I was there for nearly an hour.

I felt great.  I feel great.  And what made this all the more great was this tea.  When you know you’re drinking something healthy and so natural, your mind and body responds in kind.

I genuinely felt a healing during and after each sip.  My stomach and bloating issues are something I’ve been dealing it for some time.  This alleviated so much of that.

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Why didn’t I drink this sooner?  Maybe I’ve had it in the past and in a previous life, and it didn’t resonate with me like it has now.   Now I’m craving some as we speak.  I will make a cup as soon as this article goes up.

Having a tea like this can make a person feel good, but so can discussing it, and recanting the experience.

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I loved this experience.  Thank you as always Twinings, and thank you Baltimore Coffee and Tea.

For my previous posts on Twinings, which has been an important tea to my family and I for years, click here.   

And here are my previous posts pertaining to Baltimore Coffee and Tea.

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Finally, here is where you can find Twinings Teas at your local store, or for our friends locally, you can get it through Baltimore Coffee & Tea’s website, or in person.  Here’s their entire tea collection.

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Happy Final Day of National Hot Tea Month!  The celebration will continue into February, and for a while.

Ideen

 

Super Everything

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I had heard about Chocolatea in passing by a few friends, but never had the opportunity or gave myself time to make the short drive to the Tuscany/Caterbury neighborhood of Baltimore.  That’s actually the location.   I will always think of it as on the peripheral  to Johns Hopkins University.

Sadly, I only have a few more days to think of it as that.   For after 10 years, they will be closing their doors on November 20th.

I had mentioned to a close friend that it’s important to venture out of our usual comfortable and all-too-familiar places of Baltimore.  It’s great for our spirits, our souls, and our sanity’s to change it up as much as possible.  I’ll give some of the credit to the Supermoon.

But if I hadn’t looked up going here on this day, this experience was never going to happen.  Seriously.  That freaks me out in a way.  Fate and destiny were calling.  This one and only visit was supposed to happen today and no other time.  I love the speculation.

I’m going to project a bit here.  I’ve driven by the storefront so many times that I’ve lost count.  But I never thought anything of the location.  And not in a bad way.  It’s a habit I have.  And I would be willing to say that many of us have a way of overlooking and flying past things, entities, places, etc that are right in front of us.   I took this location for granted and now it’s being taken away before I really got the chance to fully embrace what could have been my favorite tea shop in the city.

Now I could be heaping high praise simply because the place is closing its doors.  That’s possible.  But knowing me and knowing many of my friends it’s the continued sign that times are changing and much more rapidly than I anticipated or wanted to believe.  More on that in a few.  Onto the teas, and more…

My friend and I had no idea what to expect other than it was most likely going to be cozy and feel as authentic as a cafe can be.  We were correct on both counts.

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There’s less items available since they’re in the final days so I was happy and grateful to get the Peppermint Tea in honor of the holidays.   My pal ordered a chocolate peanut butter coffee.  Not tea but I think in honor of everything, exceptions for this blog can be made.

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I ordered a pot and the tea press that was presented to me was a dream.   You could literally see the leaves brewing and steeping in front of your very eyes.   I got a few magical cups from it and could have made many more.  And I mean that.

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This was a tea that never stood a chance.  My only wish is I could have savored it longer. And we were there over an hour but it didn’t feel like enough. Our conversation was off the charts and that only enhanced this experience.

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We did order cookies to complement our cups.   A chocolate chip went with the coffee.  I got an oatmeal raisin for mine.  They were great too.  But it didn’t matter, we could have likely had any food and beverage combination and it would have been a masterpiece.  And since you asked I did get a sip of that coffee.  It was decadent.

But this is one of the many reasons why I love tea :

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It hurts my heart that Chocoaltea is closing.  I can’t pretend to have any history with this place but it felt so familiar.  I felt an energy, a spirit,  connection that felt so familiar.  I don’t know where it was from but it made me sad to know the end was near.  But also there was this feeling of relief and finality that we got to experience this.  One time only is better than no time at all.

I got to meet one of the partners, Janice, as I was leaving and told her about this blog.  She could not have been more friendly.  She told me after a good 10 years it was time for a change.  I hear that.  Change can be good. Our visit to this Baltimore staple was a necessary change.  New experiences and situations is what life is all about.  I’m so thankful to have been a part of this one.

It’s not a complete goodbye.  Even though their doors are closing, you can still find them at Ejji Ramen in the Belvedere Square Market.

If you live in the area and get a chance before the 20th, go check them out.

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I’m hoping this is where I get to talk about them again.  So instead of goodbye, it’s a see ya in the next life, or see ya soon!  Whichever comes first!

More holiday posts soon!

Ideen

 

 

Missing The Tropics

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Actually I don’t recall the last time I was in the tropics.  So this title is purely for show.

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However, a serendipitous visit to Coffee Nature in the Tenleytown neighborhood of Washington, DC gave me a little piece of the tropics at home.

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As I’ve stated before on numerous occasions, the atmosphere, the energy, and everything else around you is just as important as the tea you’re drinking.  If someone rubs you the wrong way, say a friend, family member, the staff member of the shoppe/restaurant, or some random person, if can suddenly dilute even the tastiest of food and drink.  The opposite occurred here.

Tea houses are not as ubiquitous as coffee houses, so sometimes that’s where you’re going to find some hidden gems.  It may be their own loose tea, the standard tea bags you can find at your local grocer, or some obscurities that you would only find when you weren’t looking.  I wasn’t looking for anything. I’m guessing the Tropical Hibiscus from Rishi Tea falls somewhere along the latter.

Before I even walked in I got the sense that I was in for something special.  The shop is nestled amongst a neighborhood of charming homes.  It felt like home walking in.  I didn’t even need to do research afterwards to get the sense that this has that community feel that I always hope to find when discovering a new place for food and drink.

Now I don’t know anyone in the neighborhood but I imagine, even for a city like Washington DC, that some friendly bonds and comradery would materialize organically and rather swiftly.  That’s also up to the individual and the universe itself.

I was all set to get a more familiar tea for the day but then I saw smack dab in the middle of all these teas was that Tropical Hibiscus and I’m grateful I did.

I ordered a turkey wrap for no particular reason other than I was in the mood for some turkey.  I figured the avocado was enough to make believe I’m on a tropical island.  An armchair will do.

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To my pleasant surprise was the presentation.  My tea was brought to me with a silicone tea cover.  This also made the tea sipping experience that much better.  It may be a little thing but it’s a big thing.

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The tea has loads of orange and tangerine flavors.  That’s the true stand out here. For a tea of this magnitude it’s going to feel feeler than what you might expect. Lemongrass is always a welcome addition to any cup for me. And I just love the fact that hibiscus and rosehips are ingredients in so many of the teas I’ve come to love. This one in particular I’m intrigued by.

Why am I intrigued?  I can’t find it on the Rishi site itself.   I hope I’m wrong but if you do a search it doesn’t come up.  So I’ve posted third party sites, like this on here, where you can find this tea.

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The staff at Coffee Nature was laid back and welcoming.  Again, for DC I was surprised. Once again, it’s what you choose to see and what you attract.  Not everything in every cosmopolitan town is watered down and pretentious.  There’s a place for everyone. There’s room for everyone.   How funny that I’m the one who unintentionally had to write about one of the more obscure teas.   So I’m the jerk.

To find all of Rishi teas in your area (aside from obscure pick) click here.

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This photo was taken at a local grocer near me, Whole Foods.  Every Rishi tea known to man except the Tropical Hibiscus, oops.

If you’re in DC, check out Coffee Nature.  I hope to be back.  If I lived nearby I’d frequent it at least a few times a week.   And I love Rishi tea.  I hope to get the opportunity to talk about some more soon.

Here is my original post on their teas.

As we approach the chillier months, it’ll be most likely back to hot teas and complementary foods to go with.  If the weather presents itself, or I’m feeling unconventional, there will be a cold or iced tea review that will make a sporadic appearance.

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Thanks so much,

Ideen