I Felt Transformed, Transported…

SPORTeaOutside

Some time ago, I had stumbled upon SPORTea at one of my favorite places, Baltimore Cofee and Tea Company, and it was on a display table along with many other teas to select for your brewing and steeping enjoyment.

It just didn’t feel right at the time.  Sometimes it just doesn’t.  It didn’t stand out to me.  I drank it hot.  It literally felt like a tea that was just there to me.  I ordered it, I drank it, and then I left.  Maybe it felt forced.  If it sounds like I’m talking badly about it, I don’t mean to.  There’s a reason I never felt compelled to write about it.  I have so many teas like this on backlog, and these stories will sadly (or not) never see the light of day.

But then something magical happened…

BaltimoreCoffeeTea

A couple of weeks back I stopped in at Baltimore Coffee and Tea’s newest location, at the Annapolis Towne Centre, I already knew I was going to walk into something special.

I could tell from the outside looking in that this has that place to be kind of vibe.  And I don’t mean in a pretentious sense.  I mean in a place to feel like you’re in your world world, or your own universe, but still feel same to be near your home or loved ones.

In typical fashion, I stopped in alone and already felt at peace about things.  It’s all your perception, and I could have felt like I was just there or in a funk, like I was in a previous visit I alluded to, but I felt good.  The gentleman at the counter literally read my mind.  I asked for an iced tea recommendation and without any hesitation, he said SPORTea.

There was a blast from the past and a flashback but right away.  I had heard that name from somewhere, but it didn’t register right away.

All you need to know about SPORTea can be found here & here.  I’ve done my job and now I’ll just tell you how great this tea is.  The dichotomy is like night and day.  This is meant to drank iced.

 

I don’t think words can describe how healing and uplifting this drink is.  It hit the spot on so many levels, and I don’t have the words for that either.   Being in a good mood and in a good place helps.

BaltimoreCoffeeTeaTheTeas

I started off admiring the inside, but a drink like this and a place like this screams sitting in the courtyard that faces the Towne Centre and the rest of the world.  But inside I felt safe, I felt protected, and I felt like I was the only person on Earth.  I’ve often said this in previous stories, but it’s true.

SPORTeaOutside

The skies and the sun were looking picturesque, and it was a perfect day for doing nothing or anything you want.  That can apply to just about any day if you think about it, or better of not.  This felt like a go with your own flow kind of day, and I’m grateful I ended up here.

Baltimore Coffee & Tea has always displayed the best, brightest, and most inspiring stories to me, for not just tea, but life life in general (previous visits from all around the area can be found here) and for this to be in Annapolis (My past Annapolis memories for your viewing pleasure are right here) makes it that much sweeter.

SPORTeaWithCake

Speaking of sweet, I can’t help myself but include a sweet treat with my teas, but SPORTea can be enjoyed alone or with anything you want.

SPORTea4

I’ve yet to see SPORTea outside of Baltimore Coffee & Tea but this link to shop online seems like a good start.

I hope you have a great one and as always, peace be with you…

Love,

Ideen

 

It’s a Summer Fest!

I can’t go the whole Summer without taking about one of the greatest places on the planet.

Wawa has brought me happiness for so many years.  And today I realized I hadn’t done their flavorful iced teas this season.

And I go here on a regular basis.  And when I mean regular basis, I mean almost everyday.   What’s the opposite of taking something for granted?  Well hopefully that’s my relationship with Wawa.  I love this place and I feel the love back.

Hoagiefest

And speaking of love it’s Hoagiefest.  It’s one of the many and unlimited reasons I love this season. And it’s an event I always look forward to.  And their hoagies have always resonated with me.  Not only do they taste great but I always believe the soul and feeling behind is usually a good one.  I just don’t mean the person fixing it up themselves.  That’s one thing.  But I also mean the spirit of the franchise itself.

So during this fiesta, the food and everything else takes on a life of its own.

2For2

In regards to the teas, I’ve always enjoyed their peach iced teas along with their half tea and half juice creations.   During the indoor festival other items are sold at lower prices, including many cold drinks! So with that I grabbed a couple of others I’ve never had, for this review.

WawaTeas

The diet raspberry tastes very light, hence being a diet drink.  It’s a very refreshing and tasty beverage.  This is not only for this year but I feel this can be drank all year round.

The blackberry is very sweet and since it’s a regular beverage is quite the dichotomy from the aforementioned diet raspberry.   It’s a unique taste but maybe a bit too rich for me. The higher sugar content would likely steer me away from trying this again anytime soon.   This wasn’t a favorite of mine. In the photo you can see it has a stronger shade or tint than the raspberry.

TeasWithHoagiePreMeal

I am really digging the raspberry tea.  And it paired well with a succulent oven-roasted turkey and swiss hoagie on their fresh baked whole wheat bread   What a great complement to one another!

ReadyToMange

And from complements to compliments, I can’t praise Wawa enough.  I will throw them all the superlatives and support that I can. They were just named the best convenience store in the United States.

One of the my great joys of these postings is when I see these companies show their support for the community.  If

As of this writing, Hoagiefest runs for a couple of more weeks.  If you’re fortunate to be in an area where there’s a store nearby, I’d definitely check it out!

For my previous post on their hot teas, click here.

I think I will write about a few more of their iced and bottle teas this Summer.  They’re that meaningful and significant to me they deserve multiple posts.

Thanks so much.

Best,

Ideen

Happy Trails

I took a nice bike ride recently on the Northern Central Railroad Trail or NCR for short.   It was an enjoyable ride that goes over 20 miles into Pennsylvania.  There’s a few pot of golds at the end of this rainbow.

CafeSignRailTrailCafe2

I’ve made the several hours ride to the Rail Trail Cafe before, so this was gold I expected to find.  But this ride never gets old and I always look forward to grabbing a beverage, a snack, and a few minutes to enjoy the view.   This time I look a lot longer, took some pictures, and then appreciated my surroundings.

The staff here is top-notch.  They’ve always been so friendly and welcoming.  There is a very folksy and small town vibe here and in the surrounding neighborhood.  Even though they probably get outsiders on bikers, on a daily basis, they seem appreciative of everyone that pays a visit.  It’s a good area to regroup, relax, and recuperate.

It was a warm Summers day and that means a cold, refreshing tea.  And it was needed.

And speaking of gold, what kind of teas did I happen to see in their refrigerated beverage section?  Well none other than Gold Peak Tea.

I’ve seen their drinks everywhere, including many restaurants, adjacent to the soft drink machines.  As this is a beverage many establishments use as an alternative to sodas.

Their brand is not one I’ve had frequently and if I have I may have had it by default because I wasn’t in the mood for soda. This is not a dig at them, but just a statement.

GoldPeakDietGoldPeakDietOutsideBackOfLabel

I grabbed the Diet Tea from the fridge and as a snack I ordered a homemade Rice Krispies Treat.  It was fuel need for the bike ride back. The treat was fantastic.

RiceKrispieTreat

The tea was satisfying but I wasn’t wowed by it.  I don’t think it had anything to do with it having zero calories and added sodium.  I just thought it did the job and nothing more.   That doesn’t mean that you won’t like it or that their other flavors aren’t any better.

It’s going to be warm for a while and I will absolutely try some of their other flavors again.

Train

I took my time enjoying the riders and pedestrians go by.  And to my pleasant surprise, a train passed through as well!

I will be back soon as I love riding through here.   I leave you with some photos of this peaceful experience.

NewFreedomRailTrailCafeRailTrailMuseum

Stay healthy.

Best,

Ideen