Grateful For The Spice & Tea Exchange

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Well here we are.  Thanksgiving has passed, and we’re well into this most beautiful of times of year.   And when it comes to tea and beautiful times of tear, that can only mean the fine folks of The Spice & Tea Exchange.

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The Spice & Tea Exchange go hand in hand with all that is good about tea, and all that is good about the holidays.  They’ve been so good to me throughout this blog, it’s only fitting that the first ‘official’ teas I review post Thanksgiving into Christmas is in honor and tribute to them.  It would’t be right otherwise.

Here is my ever growing with this iconic and mesmerizing brand of tea.

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With amazing tea, comes the most work and thought put into it.  As with the holidays, a lot of heavy lifting, shopping, card writing, errands, the parties, and everything else in between is going to rear it’s holiday head.

It’s up to me, to you, and the universe to appreciate and savor these moments, or rush everything to the point of not living in any one moment.  I’ve been guilty of that continuously.   So for that reason and many others, I took my time here.  I really took my time here.

The prepping, steeping, brewing, display set up, and all the other minor details took an hour or so.  In the past I may have rushed things.  But what is the rush in life?  It’s life, it’s the holidays, it’s time to savor every moment possible.  It’s plausible I may rush through the teas I’m going to review but I really don’t want to.  I want to tell you how beautiful and charming this experience was.  Because it was.

And I’m so happy and grateful that I’m able to visit their many locations.  This past week it brought me back to their most charming of stores in historic Downtown Annapolis.

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With the Christmas Spirit in the air, and another heartwarming visit to one of my favorite towns, it’s time to review their three teas for this season.

And you will see of old friends along the way, that I’ve used as infusers before.  You could call them the ghost of infusers past.  Yes I really just wrote that.

First, is the Winter Granola Herbal Tea.

What I love about this is while it smells amazing when you first open this bag, and the aromas really hit you, it’s not as strong upon actual prepping.  And while that may sound like a bad thing, or bait-and-switch, it’s exactly what you want.

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My old pal the ManaTea is what I used, and initially it was a struggle.  I only blame myself.  I think this infuser is perfect for certain loose teas that don’t have as many solid pieces.  Get what I’m saying?   But I wouldn’t let that deter me.   Like I said, I remained patient, and wanted this to be as memorable and perfect for me as possible.

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Yes I took my time, and finally we got that color to shine through.  However, as I was saying, maybe this is how it was going to turn out regardless of whatever infuser I used.

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It’s light and has the perfect balance of maple, apple, orange, and cinnamon.  Yes this goes perfectly with breakfast.  I broke out some old pumpkin oatmeal I got off clearance, and it was a match made in holiday season heaven, or something.  Yes, it was beautiful.  This is a well crafted and constructed tea.  But I don’t think I could drink it outside of morning time.  And that’s exactly what’s intended.  Beautiful.

Second, is the one a few of my friends were most intrigued about, the Chocolate Candy Cane Tea.

Again, it’s so powerful on the nose that you would expect it to be too sweet (ha) when you sip.  Oh no, it’s refreshingly light on the tongue and it’s a still a black tea at heart.  And it’s so good to my heart and soul.  And the Pink Pig Infuser was ready to step up and steep.  And my cup got dark in a hurry, which is what made me initially think this was going to sweeter to the point of uncomfortable.

Again, it was the most pleasant of surprises.  And the lightness of the chocolate, the peppermint, and the candy cane makes this a blessing for those who find the candies of this season, that this tea represents a bit too harsh.

I put those said candies on display but strictly for display purposes.  Well maybe I indulged in a few.

Last and certainly not least is the Gingersnap Herbal Tea.

This was my favorite, simply because it’s most like a tea I could drink all year round.  I love ginger and it’s the most distinct taste in this tea.  While you have vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, and lemongrass, you still have ginger, and that makes so happy.  The smell of the bag will make you think of those tasty gingersnap cookies, and who doesn’t love that?

This is tea I can have all the time, and I think my ducky friend would approve.   And I think he brought some company.  This one is feeling a bit festive right?  I love that.

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There’s the cookies but you really don’t need anything with this tea.  It’s a caffeine free and herbal gem that I want right now.  So that’s what I’m going to do.

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Oh man, I went into this thinking this would be the heavy lifting portion of my holiday tea posts.  I don’t know.   It seems The Spice & Tea Exchange makes the love of tea so joyous, so effortless, and reminds me why I keep doing what I’m doing.  I’m so blessed.

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I’m happy to present these to you while it’s still November.  But I also think that all the posts that proceed this have a lot to live up to.  If time allows, during the month of December I will try to throw in some more than weekly posts.  I tried that for the last couple of weeks and happy with how that turned out.

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But for The Spice & Tea Exchange I’m going to savor this for a while, into next week, and beyond.   Just when I think I’ve run out of things to say about them, they just create a whole new world of joy, and happiness.

That’s the true spirit of the holidays.

For all your shopping needs, click here, here is their list of locations, and contact info.

This will be a repeated message, but I wish you and yours a happy, safe, and most amazing of holiday seasons.

Peace be with you.

Ideen

 

 

 

 

 

Chamomile Calming

Treats!

The best experiences, at least for me, are the ones that are unplanned.   We are now into autumn and as tough as that can be for myself and others, I still try to find the positives.  And I think discovering a new place for tea drinking more than qualifies!

Last week I was in Arlington, VA and did some random driving and sightseeing.  I wasn’t looking for anything in particular. Maybe I would find something fun to eat or drink.  I might discover a store that would tickle my fancy.   Without trying too hard, I found one with all of the above.

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Trade Roots is located in the more laid-back and less frenetic part of the town, Westover.   And the store has a very positive and uplifting energy emanating, as soon as you walk in the door.  Even the outside signage made me feel something endearing.

I’ve driven through this part of town many times and never thought to stop.   I almost passed through again. For whatever reason, either to write about this place, or something bigger, I was meant to stop in. I’m grateful I did.  I want to give this place the proper credit it deserves.

The store represents the best in honoring what fair trade and giving back is all about.  I would have stayed longer if I could. I also would have seen my checking account depleted.  There were so many wonderful things available to purchase. And many of those items can also be procured online!

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And to do my part, I bought an incredible cup of tea and some fantastic cinnamon-pecan granola bites!

I ordered a chamomile.  But not just any chamomile. This was a German one. You could say this is in honor of all the Oktoberfest celebrations that are happening and will be occurring all over the place soon.  But this drink raised my spirits up but without any potential hangover on the horizon.

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Honesty, I did taste a difference in contrast to the traditional ones I’ve had before. I couldn’t place my finger on the why or the how.  But it made me feel so good.

Originally I purchased this to go.  But after surveying the area, I thought what is the rush. So I grabbed a seat on a bench and enjoyed myself.  Actually I was the only one around so I really did enjoy my own company.

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I didn’t have a plate so I used the lid for my snacks. And any crumbs that were leftover I added to my tea.   How cool is that? Ha.

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I wish I had taken more photos but all this entails is that I must come back before the year is out.   Besides taking in my surroundings and a few snapshots, I relaxed for a good 30-plus minutes.  There was a sense of ease in me that I can attribute to my tea, my environment, and how good I must have been feeling at the time.

Imagine feeling like that all the time!  Yes please!

There are a few seats inside but the weather was too good to be anywhere but here.  For those few minutes, I was meant to be spiritually in tune with things and with nature.  I think I succeeded.

If you’re in the vicinity, I highly suggest visiting this shoppe.   The folks inside were great.  Everything was great.

More to come.

Best,

Ideen