The Heart of Annapolis

BerryBerry1

There’s this calming feeling when you go back to a place for a second time, especially since it’s been nearly two years since the prior visit.  Bean Rush Cafe has the coziness of Annapolis tucked away in an even more quaint and peaceful part of town, if that’ even possible.

BeanRushCafe

My continuously growing history of a place I love so much can be found here.

Yes, there’s always happiness layered upon happiness if you know where to look, or maybe not look so hard.  It’ll just come to you.  I think I wrote about a similar experience here back in August of 2016. It sounds dream like when I say it like that.  It does feel like two years ago, but then again where did two years go?

BeanRushCafeSign

Two years and many visits to one of my favorite towns in between compelled me to come back to one of the more charming and welcoming coffee shops (here is more about them and their contact information) I’ve ever had the pleasure of coming to.

It’s July, it’s summer, and it’s one of those be careful what you wish for deals.  While it’s gotten uncomfortably hot for many, in many ways we’ll miss this when it gets colder.  I’ve never been one to complain about the heat.  I love this weather, and I stay hydrated, stay safe, and stay spiritually whole.   It’s easy to do.

BerryBerry2

Iced tea is the only thing on my agenda at this and will be for a while.   Per recommendations from one of the friendliest faces and voices behind the counter, I went with the Berry Berry Iced Tea and a Raspberry pastry.   Why pastry?  Why not?

They complemented each other well, and I’m all for a lovely display.  The colors and tones fit the summer.  So do so many, and many other themes will be coming in the next few weeks, if not sooner.

BerryBerry4

This tea is fun.  Where have I heard that before?  I found a spot on the porch, which felt familiar and divine, well yeah, I sat here two years ago.  It’s not that mysterious and surrealisitic, but it’s still fun to me over-the-top dramatic.

I love this place so much.  I felt like I was at a friend or family’s house, and even felt more comfortable than that.

BerryBerryIcedTea

People were saying hello to one another, holding doors, and there was lots of smiling.  This made me so happy.  Where am I?  I’m in the most peaceful and serene place I’ve been in some time.

BerryBerryPastry2

The flowers in the vicinity, the refreshing tea, and harmonious surroundings makes me feel nostalgic, relieved, and wanting more of this.  I love more of this and I love Annapolis so much.

I didn’t want to get up, I didn’t want to move, so I didn’t.  I sat there for a while and just breathed some fresh air, soaked up the most beautiful and brightest rays of sunshine, and just appreciated being.  This is where the phone and camera was turned off.

BerryBerryPastry3

For a few moments I was the only person on Earth, and that’s a feeling I sense will be coming back in symbolic and necessary doses, when the timing is right.  Certain spirits will throw in reminders when they feel it’s right.

BerryBerry4

A place that has been so good to me for such a long time, is going to get a lot of love and support from me over the next few weeks, if not more.   There’s so much to celebrate, and while the wording and themes may be similar, the stories will all have a touch something new.   It’s all relative, it’s all constant, but it’s all love.

My heart will always be with Annapolis.

Peace be with you.

Ideen

 

Simple, Tranquil, Peaceful

ChamomileLavenderLatteTwo

You know there’s the simple joy of heating up that tea kettle, seeing all that steam, and hearing it whistle.   You pour the hot water into a cup, with a bag, loose tea, or however you do your tea already in place; and then you sip.   That’s simple, it’s joyful, and it’s one of those things I never want to take for granted.

ChamomileLavenderLatteIngredients

Then there’s the simplicity and happiness in adding a few extra ingredients, to take tea to another level of all those wonderful things I’ve alluded too.  And while winter is winding down, and the temperatures start to rise, there’s still time to appreciate a cozy drink in a pleasant, safe, and just as cozy environment.  Of course I’ve talking about a latte.

This was a suggestion from a dear friend to try, sip, and relax with this latte, over the course of a day of doing nothing, or as some might say, professional chilling.  That’s an official term by the way.

I take no credit for this beverage.  My friend did all the work, even though she suggested we try it together.  I knew I would not be involved in the prepping.  It’s just one of those things.  I’ll leave it to the experts, and I’ll do my best to write about it.

The Chamomile Lavender Latte is immediate peace, immediate harmony, and immediate (fill in the blank).   I’ve mentioned in the past how lavender is such a calming scent, that the affects are immediate, and are more than a placebo.  When it hits your nose, your lips, your tongue, and all other parts, the feelings are transforming.

Life has become too hectic in many instances.  And we allowed this.  But as I say that, we can also allow ourselves all the easy going experiences available to as well.   Life is meant to be enjoyed, to be awesome, and to be extraordinary, not ordinary.

This late is extraordinary.  And while you see the ingredients used, of course you can use your own creativity.

ChamomileLavenderLatteUpClose

Yes, that’s lavender.  This is what puts the latte over the top, when it’s already pretty great to begin with.

ChamomileLavenderLattePrep

What I didn’t realize at the time is my friend used syrup over honey.  That’s a pleasant change, as I’ve grown accustomed to using honey (if I am to ever use anything) in my tea.  So this makes me even happier.

Non-dairy milk, and in this instance coconut almond was milk, is also a positive attribute, that I think using regular milk may not bring.   You see where the Chamomile tea is from, and I’ve had this tea on its own, and it’s fantastic.  But to see if mixed in with all these simple, and fantastic ingredients is a testament to the tea, and to all the components.

The whole does equal the sum of all parts.

OrganicLavenderFlowers

But the lavender flowers are the true highlight.   I mean look how gorgeous that is?  I look at these photos with such a heightened feeling of nostalgia and happiness, that I knew existed.

There’s those moments at the time where you know you will look back with such fondness that it will be forever etched in your mind, and within your spirit.   I felt this at the time, but then I feel it even more as I write this.  I can’t explain why, and some things don’t need that explanation.  It just feels good, it feels abundant, and all feels right.

We took our time sipping this.  And even when there might have been a rush to go to the next thing, is there really a rush?

ChamomileLavenderLatteFlowers

Those lavender flowers were almost too pretty to take in.  But I took them in, we took them in, and yes there’s multiple meanings to take in.

OrganicLavenderFlowersLatte

This was incredible.  I’m grateful this is was my first experience with such a different take on tea, chai, or blend of so many wonders of nature, and the universe.  This was tremendous.

ChamomileLavenderLatteTwo

This moment will never be forgotten.

Here’s to many more…

Ideen

 

Festively Flavored

TJSpicedAppleCranberryKombuchaDisplay

I teased it last week and knew I was going to go back for a couple more from my old pals at Trader Joe’s.

When browsing their tea section, and looking for anything new I can get my hands on,  something told me to just walk around some more.  And when you’re at a store as captivating as Trader Joe’s, that’s not hard to do.

But after grabbing some free samples, at the corner of my eye in in the refrigerated beverage area, I spotted something new, something hopefully something inspiring, and most important of all, something perfect for the holiday, and the season.

They have recently introduced Kombucha to their already impressive repertoire of teas, and for that matter many of their food and drink products.   It was only a matter of time.  It never crossed my mind to think they would carry Kombucha until now.

TraderJoesKombuchas

When I saw the two on display basically begging to be purchased, I didn’t hesitate one second.

TJGentlyGingerbreadKombucha

I will admit that when I saw the Gently Gingered Kombucha Tea, I thought it read Gently Gingerbread, which would be quite ambitious.  Could you in theory make gingerbread flavored Kombucha?  Of course you can.  But that’ll have to wait.   This is…

TJGentlyGingerbreadKombuchaDisplay1

This wasn’t good.  This is about as flat as a Kombucha I’ve ever had.  And it’s not that it was terrible.  Take out hoping that this would taste like the flavors of the season you love so much, it doesn’t take like much.

TJGentlyGingerbreadKombuchaDisplay5

If you’re not into fermented drinks, this is not where you want to go.  These are meant to be sipped, savored, appreciated, and and drank slowly like you would have a cup of tea.  But this was a struggle.   I usually save my Kombuchas for a while if they’re in protected packaging.  This is the first I’ve had in a can, and I don’t think that’s anything to really expound upon, other than the fact is I’m going to have a hard time wanting to drink this again.  But if was able to be sealed I may give it another chance.   And  you know what, I still might?

You taste ginger but it’s light, it’s lacking, and it’s missing the heart and soul I want from a tea and now the Kombucha I drink.   This was about $2-$2.50, so I wouldn’t dissuade you from not trying it.  You might love it.  But I would say proceed with caution.

TJGentlyGingerbreadKombuchaDisplay4

The Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s you see here and in the next display of sweet treats are mainly for display, as I still want to celebrate all the deliciousness that Trader Joe’s has to offer.

TJSpicedAppleCranberryKombucha

All is forgiven and all is glorious, because their current offering, just in time for the holidays, the Organic Cranberry Spiced Apple Kombucha represents everything that’s right with the world, and that includes Christmas.  Especially Christmas and the holidays.

This makes me so happy.  The color tells one story, but the combination of cranberry juice, apple juice, and cinnamon within this black tea work-of-art is just what you want this month.  I would say you could have this year round.  Yes you can.

TJSpicedAppleCranberryKombuchaDisplay

Again, while this one is easy to drink, it’s one you take your time with.   The amount you see poured here is the amount I had.  Yet this one was kinder to my stomach , so you know the probiotics are working! I can’t rave about this one enough.   And at a little under $3, it’s worth splurging a bit on this.

TJSpicedAppleCranberryKombuchaDisplay2

Can’t forget those Peppermint Joe Joe’s.  Again, this is not really a pairing but more so an homage to all the joys of this holiday.

This will not be it for Trader Joe’s, as my history has shown, I will always be on the lookout for whatever awesome item they will introduce next.  Just when I think I’ve done it all, I know I never will, nor do I want to.

This is a journey, it’s a marathon, and anything but a race.  It’s not a race against time or anything else.  Though the holidays may feel like all of the above and then some, it’s about enjoying all the moments you can, with amazing food, drink, and of course the people.   We’ve got a lot holiday left and I look forward to what’s next.

Peace Be With You.

Ideen

 

Sipping Joyfully

TazoCinnamonAppleDisplay4

I love fall.  I also love that I have all this time between now until the holidays to revel in all of these wonderful teas.  And believe the best is here and the best will still be coming.  It’s going to be a perpetual thing.  Well unless I find a stinker.

And this week is anything but a stinker.   But while I tend to do a decent amount of repeats from some of my favorite teas and companies, I’ve forgotten about my go to’s and my old reliable’s.  Old reliable’s sounds like such a demeaning term.  But that’s not what I’m intending at all.  But how on earth that the last time and only time I talked about Tazo was in January of 2015.

Just become something is so accessible and available doesn’t mean we should take it for granted.  As we know, Tazo is most likely in a store or shoppe minutes from you, and that’s something to be celebrated and appreciated.   I’m going to show my appreciation for two beautiful teas that I just discovered over the weekend, the Organic Baked Cinnamon Apple and the Sweet Cinnamon Spice. Yes these two gems not express what’s good about fall, but what’s good and beautiful about life.

First up, the Cinnamon Apple, once again demonstrates how good rooibos is as a tea.  My ever growing of rooibos teas posts can be found here, but before I digress, I want to explain just how amazing this tea is.   Not only is there rooibos but that other charming taste is chamomile.  To blend these two teas together to create something so delightful is a work of art.

But of course you can’t forget the two featured flavors, apple and cinnnamon.  If you’re into these flavors as a part of your daily breakfast, say via oatmeal, an apple on its own, or throwing cinnamon on top of anything (I absolutely adore cinnamon and try to add it to whatever I possibly can within reason), this is another reason to celebrate.

I enjoyed this in the comfort of my friends’ house, with no added treats necessary at all.  I’m all for pairing a tasty snack, pastry, or yummy piece of food with my tea, but sometimes a tea is best had alone.   I let the bag steep for a while, and kept in my cup, while drinking,  The chamomile and rooibos are the perfect counterbalance for the apple and cinnamon.  This tea is magical.

Not to be outdone is the Cinnamon Spice.  This one I liked but it had a little more kick to it, where it was one of those semi-rare instances where I had take the bag out of my cup because it was a little sweeter than I expected.  And don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed this for different reasons.  This is perfect for the colder weather months as well.  And I suspect I will have a newer found appreciation for it then.   But it still warmed my heart, my stomach, and my soul.  There’s rooibos in here too, along with a whole bunch of other goodness such as licorice root, orange peel, almond extract, and of course, the cinnamon.

I think I would give the edge to the Cinnamon Apple just for the simplicity of it.  But I would highly recommend either for your peaceful, change of temperature, or any other celebration that makes you feel good, and makes you feel at peace.  Both of these teas did just that.  And being in the friendly confines of a pals house with some lovely company of dogs will make any tea that much better.   No dog pictures here.  I’ll save that for a Pet Blog, if I feel inspired to do so.

Tazo has so many incredible teas that there’s no time to get them all.  Well maybe there is.  But it won’t be that long before I get to them again.  If I discover some more gems that fit with whatever time of year it is, I’ll be sure to give them their proper due.

Here is more about Tazo, all the good that they do, and their contact information.

I adore fall, and I can’t wait to see what I get into next week.  I look forward to sharing it with you.

And never mind what I said earlier, here’s some fun dog pics!

Take good care and have a blessed one.

Ideen

 

 

 

 

 

I Love This So Much

CelestialPeachTea1

I don’t have any clever titles for Easter or any other holiday this week.  What I do know is that the weather is more of a friend than a roadblock at times.  And as the sun shines brighter and the days get longer the tea drinking will slowly transfer over from hot to iced.  Maybe.

The tea I experienced recently is from a company that is near and dear to my heart.  And I’ve written about them once or twice before.  Well more than that.  But Celestial Seasonings will always have a soft spot with me.  They’ve been so good to me and this blog that each time I write about them (here is my history lesson) I want it to be crafted and worded in the best way possible.

With the Country Peach Passion this shouldn’t be difficult.  This is everything that I want in my tea and reminds me of everything that is good about this season and life in general.

And it helps when you’re in the comfort of your friends’ living room relaxing and doing as little as possible.  If this sort of sounds familiar, this is the same spot I was sitting in last fall for another wonderful tea sipping experience.

I think I would love this tea in any setting, with or without friends and family, hot or iced, or even when I’m not feeling so hot.  This is just the cup that’ll rejuvenate and brighten anyone’s day.  I mean how can it not?  That packaging is the gateway to wonders and enjoyment that I knew was coming, but I didn’t know it would be this good. Well yeah I did.

CelestialPeachTeaBox1

CelestialPeachTeaBox2

Celestial Seasonings has always been evolving with their packaging and presentation. Yet it continues to even be more approachable, accessible, and all the while still affordable. We can’t take that for granted.  You can find this tea in many a grocery store shelve that it’s hard to miss.  But that’s the thing, it’s always there that these are the teas I sometimes overlook when searching for something new and something that might be amazing, but sometimes disappoints.  Celestial has rarely disappointed.

CelestialPeachTea2

Upon opening I just knew.  I just knew this tea would be great.   One of my dearest friends who I was hanging out with was raving about this tea, and that may have influenced my feelings a bit, but there’s no denying this.  This is a tea I want in my life forever.

CelestialPeachTea4

Peaches are symbolic of what’s happening now and what is to come.  It reminds me of sitting outside, relaxing, fun festivals, outdoor events, and the good people that we share these experiences with.  This was a tea I was grateful to share for the first time, with some amazing people.

Oh and my dolphin friend from the fall was back to enjoy the experience one more time.  Not sure my friend had any of this tea but I would be happy to share it.  This is a tea I’ve already purchased since for enjoyment at home and I highly recommend it to anyone who would like to try some peach tea.

This is also another reinforcement of my love for chamomile.  But there’s so much to love and there’s ingredients I love that I can’t pretend to be familiar with or understand.  But I don’t need to and neither do you.   The peaches and orange peel is what really stands out the most, to me at least.  I love hibiscus and not sure if I tasted any but I bet it added something just the same.  Sometimes less is more but sometimes every ingredient just works here.

CelestialPeachTea4

I tend to say this a lot but this is now one of my favorite teas.  I imagine the present company and the hours of relaxing and doing nothing definitely added to it.  But it’s an awesome tea all the same.

CelestialPeachTea7

After just a few pictures to capture the moment,  I went back to lounging in my comfy chair with an absolutely inspiring cup of tea.

CelestialPeachTea8

The sailboat mug and images in the background are just an added touch to a tea that didn’t teach any added touches.   Get this tea.

CelestialPeachTea6

You can the Country Peach Passion and any of their other stellar teas either online or at a store likely minutes from you.

CelestialPeachTeaDone

I hope you all had a Happy Holiday weekend, whether that would be Easter, Passover, or any other tradition that you honor.

More fun teas to celebrate and more celebrations (and times to relax and do nothing) to come.

Ideen