Simple, Tranquil, Peaceful


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.


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.


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


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.


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?


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.


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.


This moment will never be forgotten.

Here’s to many more…



Carolina Tea Party


I’m so out of sorts here.   I honestly forgot it was the 4th of July.  Happy Holidays.

One of the main joys and appreciation feelings I get from doing this is when close friends suggest trying a tea.  There’s a sense of validation, value, and a level of seriousness that people see I give this ongoing story of my love for tea.  It means so much.  I mean that sincerely.

So my friends suggested I try the Carolina Honey from Argo Tea.   I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that I don’t think I’ve ever heard of them or given them much consideration.  Not for many reason in particular.  The bottled and iced tea genre is loaded with options, so there’s some I may never get to in this lifetime.  Well a lifetime is a long time, maybe I have a chance.

I did a little research on Argo beforehand and their story is one to root for.  They’re a proponent on working with local growers, local tea organizations, and use Fair Trade ingredients whenever possible.  This is all the good energies that make me want to sample their teas for a second and third helping, and then some.


Unfortunately the Carolina Honey didn’t do anything for me to stand out.  And based on everything I just wrote, that makes me a little disheartened.

Nilgiri black tea, wildflower honey, and a splash of tart lemons sounds like a trio of flavors merging together and bringing you something incredible.  I wish I could say that. The flavors did not wow me like I had hoped.  It seemed lighter and standard at times, while after other sips I felt a few of my sips were a little too sweet for my liking.

How could that be?  The honey is in every bottle, and is going to be spread out evenly in every container, and hopefully with most sips.  Maybe it was the mood I was in.  I went from eager and excited to wondering if my expectations were too high.   When it comes to a tea and a company of this magnitude I feel expectations should be raised.

I actually waited to have this at my same friends’ party this past weekend because I wanted to pair it with some charming foods and be around some equally charming people.  I just wish this tea had done the same for me.

The party was beautiful, but as you can suspect, tea was not the main beverage being served. But for the sake of purity, water and this tea is the only thing I drank.  And the latter I couldn’t finish, and was only taking sparing sips over the course of the day.

I paired my tea with various finger foods; peanuts, pretzels, tiny sandwiches, and the the likes.  The smaller bites worked here.  I wish the tea did the same.  Can you tell I’m slightly despondent?  Yes I am.

But with all this being said, I’m here to support Argo Tea.    Their variety of teas and variety of bottled drinks, and among so many other fun things, is going to make this easy for me to find many things enjoyable.

Here are is their fantastic options for purchasing their tea and tea supplies online, and a link to find of their cafes near you, and finally here is a link to where you can find their bottled teas.

From their list of flavors I sense I’m going to really enjoy and appreciate the craftsmanship, the heart, and soul in many of these bottles.  I look forward to it and I also look forward to trying their loose leaf teas down the line.

I want to thank my friends for opening up a world to me that I otherwise may not have explored anytime soon.   This is the only beginning and I can only see things looking better and brighter.


More from Argo is coming.

Happy Holidays, Happy 4th, and all the other good stuff.



Always Go With Your…


I hadn’t even thought to do a post related to Earth Day.  This may or may not be it.  But I’m going to go with it.  There’s so much good to write about HEX Ferments that I didn’t know where to begin.  But I did go with my gut (hmm…) in more ways than one and the results were glorious, beauteous, and illustrious.

Whenever I have the opportunity to talk about a local business, it’s a blessing, it’s a joy, and it’s a one of the main reasons I do what I do.  I love local and to me it’s the soul, the conscience, and backbone of society.  It’s truly of the most authentic things we have in a world that may be running out of that authenticity.


So another couple of visits to Belvedere Square Market, where HEX is located, left me never any doubt I was going to try their Kombucha and try I did.

I ask myself this question after having something so amazing.  Why did it take me so long?  Well there’s no answers.  There’s so many uncovered gems in the world of tea, and the world of anything for that matter, that I haven’t tried them all.  But that’s the joy of the journey.


No I didn’t try all their Kombucha’s, but I did get to have two.  Yes, the two pictured above.  And these two are something I’m going to savor for a long time.  And even for the short time as they’re both still sitting in the refrigerator staying fresh because that’s how Kombucha works.

Fortunately, I had a friend for the first visit to help with suggestions on what to try.  We had different ideas which led me to wanting to have what they had the second time.  And that’s exactly what happened.


First, the Basil Jasmine.  This was a seasonal item that is no longer well, in season.  But I still have some.  And even though it’s a little bit past best by drinking date, it’s still magnificent.  And it’s the one that’s easier to savor and drink slower.  Because of that, I gave this the wine treatment.  Yes that’s right.   The bottles by the way are $15, yet $5 of that is refundable if you bring it back.  And yes that goes towards another Kombucha. This is beautiful stuff I know.  And that’s the stuff of Earth Day lore and living that I love so much.  And speaking of beautiful, yes this Basil Jasmine is giving me goose bumps as I write about it.


That golden honey color is mesmerizing.


I can’t put into words how amazing this is.  I said ‘is’ because I want hold on to this as long as I can.  I don’t know when it’s coming back.  Well yeah I did, most likely next Spring.  This is no sipping tea.  It’s something to take your time with.  Is it the honey, the basil, the Kombucha Culture, or the cane sugar.  I just reeled off everything.  It might be all of the above.  But all of the above is absolutely awesome.   I just wish it was still available for you to try.


Now comes the Butterfly Lime, which is always available.    This one, which is easier drink quickly, is wonderful as well.  For simply savoring reasons I’d give the edge to the Basil Jasmine, but this no knock on the Butterfly Lime.  I mean look at the purple?  This looks picturesque in any setting.  How did they make this look so good?  This is art, and it’s art to drink.   The butterfly pea flower tea and lime juice combination makes the perfect sense, yet I don’t know how it does.  And maybe I don’t need to know.  This one is always available yet I still have mine to savor and drink over time.  Honestly, I’m craving both right now.  They’re so close yet so far.   My mouth is watering.

One detail I must mention with both of these bottles is when you first unseal them, there is a fog or a steam that emanates upon first opening.  To me, this is even more exciting than popping open a bottle of champagne.  And I tried my best to capture a picture of this.  Maybe it’s the kombucha culture?  Maybe it’s the all natural ingredients opening up in celebratory fashion?  Yay nevertheless.


If you live in and around Baltimore, I highly suggest coming to Belvedere Square Market (here is another post I made from this heralded market) to find HEX Ferments easily visible in the right in the middle of the market, nestled in the back.  It’s worth what may seem like a hefty cost.  But it’s really not.   And you can get a class of any of their goods for $6.  Oh and they have other goods!


If you’re interested in finding them elsewhere, this link might be a friend to you.

For anyone with digestive issues these beverages are also a friend.

And here’s there list of Frequently Asked Questions you might have.   And finally here is their contact information.

This is only the beginning.  I need to come back here and soon.  HEX deserves all the praise in the world you can heap or anyone or anything.  I sincerely mean that.

Let’s do it again soon.  It’s Spring, so soon is highly possible.



A Tea for the Spring & Summer


I was told that the Peach Turmeric Tea from The Spice & Tea Exchange will only last a few weeks.  And if captain obvious is showing you that along with the tea I reviewed last week, the Wild Berry Spring, these are both in the Limited Time Offer section all to the themselves.

My question would be after this limited time offer ends, where would the extra tea go?  I think I answered my own question. At least for the Peach, it doesn’t have a chance.  And I mean that in a good way.   I would not be surprised if this tea is near the end of supply or getting close.   This is up there with some of the best tea I’ve ever had.  And I’ve had a lot of teas but I haven’t had them all.  Nor will I ever.  But at least for this moment, and it might be a temporary or short burst of feeling, this is up there with the classics.


Where the Wild Berry is fantastic, the Peach is just in class of its own.  I love both but I think I love the Peach just a little bit more.  I can see others loving the Berry more.


Turmeric is something that has been a a part of my life and my family going back as far as I can remember.  Yesterday, was the first day of Spring which also mean the first day of Iranian New Year.  And Turmeric has been used in traditional Iranian and Middle Eastern dishes for many a lifetime.  No, this wasn’t planned.  But I’m so happy I can incorporate Iranian New Year into this post.


But this tea has so many joys of not just the spring, but the summer as well.   When I first got my first smell of the tea at the Rehoboth Beach store, I just knew this was going to be special.   Yet with this blog, I knew there would be a little bit of a wait.  And boy it was worth the wait.


Yet a tea like this needs a beautiful presentation.  Maybe not quite like last week but another cup and infuser was in order.


Leave it to me to split my purchases with Rehoboth (the teas) and Ocean City (everything else), when I could have done it all in one place, or even online.


I spotted some fancy cups and thought a lighter blue would be more fitting.  I’ve done so many variations of greens that something else was necessary.  But I need more.  I needed a proper infuser for this occasion.  Leave it to Fred and Friends, and my new friend the ManaTea.  Yes it’s a silicone tea infuser and he looks so friendly.  No, not creepy.  I said friendly! Yes!


But after looking at him I can understand why one might get freaked out.  It looks like he keeps staring at you, similar to a creepy stuffed animal or some dopey looking person on a billboard.  But enough, how was this tea I keep heaping praise on?

The smells matched how it was after brewing.  I only had to place a little in the infuser since I was steeping it in such a tiny cup.  I placed less than a teaspoon and it worked to perfection.   The peaches, honey, coconut, and Rooibos really shine through to make this the perfect tea for the spring and the summer.   This can be enjoyed hot or cold.

Some sweet spring and holiday themed treats pair wonderfully with the tea itself, the cup and the season.  And that color and shine on that tea is magnificent.

Speaking of  cold, I realized I had a little left after a few hours and naturally got to savor this tea chilled.  It was beautiful.  Everything about this was beautiful.   In hindsight I wish I bought more and I may do just that.

Since I have a relatively small bag of this and the berry, I will appreciating and savoring every moment I can with these teas.  For a limited time really means just that.

And onto the subject of limited time.  That’s what spring (and much of life in general) feels like.  It comes and it goes.  So on this second day of spring my goal once again is to appreciate every moment.  It would safe to assume many of you want to do the same.  We don’t have to document or blog every moment (though that helps for yours truly) but to create and imprint new Spring memories is what life is all about.

Spring is a time of rebirth, a revitalization, a time of hope, joy, peace, love, and everything positive synonym and superlative you can think of.  I said Summer earlier and we do love Summer.  But one day at a time.

Yes this is a tea for both seasons.   If you only could get one of the two teas I’ve written about, I would go with the Peach Turmeric.  But that’s just me.

Here’s the list of Spice and Tea Exchange’s locations and their online store.  I have only had good experiences with them.

I want to thank Yanna at the Rehoboth Beach shoppe for giving me a discount on my teas (which went above and beyond) because of my blog.  And thank you to Tiffany at the Ocean City store for help on my new infuser, glass, and getting me essentially another tea for free.  Which I hope to get to down the line.

A limited time on teas, a limited time on this earth, means an unlimited amount of time to enjoy tea, enjoy each other, and enjoy life.  That’s the point of all this.

If it works out for next week, I will hopefully write about an Iranian tea like I did last year to celebrate New Years.

Nevertheless Happy First Day of Spring, Happy Spring, Happy New Year, and Happy Everything.


I Could Have Sat Here For…


And I mean that.  I sat outside the back patio and garden area of The Random Tea Room & Curiosity Shop, for a good while.  It felt like an hour.  Actually it felt like time stood still and I was the only person on Earth, or at least the only person back here.


Philadelphia has always feel full of enchantment and exciting things and places to come across.  This shoppe, nestled in the Northern Liberties part of town, ranks right up there with the best of them.

When I walked in I had to explain to Becky, the owner and Birdie who was working the counter about what I was doing.  I could’t be inconspicuous in such a cozy space like this. I’m glad I wasn’t.  Both could not have been more friendly and accommodating.   I took a bunch of photos of all the amazing wonders, artifacts, and teas on the wall.

Yes, I’ve heaped so much praise on this lovely establishment and I’ve yet to get into the teas I sampled.


A the weather continues to be glorious, the House Sencha was recommended.  Of course I had it in iced form and as an aside, when I walk into most places for the first time, I usually go for the ‘house” anything or a similar strong recommendation from the staff. It may sound amateur or touristy, but that’s the fun of this.


The honey I tasted from the sencha was incredible.  I was also dehydrated so initially I was taking much quicker sips than I should have been.  I need to take it easy and walk over to the garden, and that’s where I slowed down.

In between taking a few (well maybe a bunch) of pictures I just sat there.  All worries, all fears, all anything seemed to dissolve.  This was as relaxing and tranquil as could be.  And to say that all thoughts went away would be a falsehood.  I mean it did but then other thoughts and feelings presented themselves.  Many were positive yet many were contemplative.  As long as it’s a place of peace and de-stressing than you’re doing something right.  In this busy and hectic way of life many of us live, to find a place to sooth your soul is always welcome.  I’d like more please.  And then I’d like some more please.  And I took my sweet tea time with the sencha and appreciated it that much more.

Speaking of more, after a while, Birdie brought me a sample glass of their Red Berry Mélange.  What a joy this was too. It helps that this was free but I would gladly pay for the tallest glass in the place.  I love that the synopsis reads good for kids and grown ups alike. I felt like a kid and a grown up all at once while at this shop.  I adore this place.

If you believe in positive energy than this is going to be an uplifting and romantic experience.   I have romanticized places during my time of blogging and in my personal life for years.  I think that’s how it should be done.  A place that makes you feel good should be expounded upon as much as possible.


This was my first time, and the first can sometimes me the most memorable.  But I sense that a recurring visit will lead to many great memories in the future.  This tea room is perfect for solitude or a relaxed time with a love one.  Maybe next time I’ll do the latter. But either way you’re going to be good.  The staff will take great care of you.


Now here’s all the information you need, from their wonderfully user-friendly website.

Here’s their menu of teas, upcoming events, exhibits, and their menu, which is deliberately limited.  I love how they downplay serving food.  It really makes them stand out.  However, you may have seen a minuscule looking cookie in some of these pics.  Yes this is was a magnificent vegan rosemary shortbread cookie.  It complemented both of my teas to perfection.

Maybe most of important of all, you can purchase their teas online.  This is where things could become habit-forming if their first two teas I tried were any indication.

I love Philadelphia and I adore this shoppe.  It’s so approachable and I love the size.   It’s so understated, yet overwhelming initially, but oh-so-welcoming.   I look forward to be welcomed again soon.

Feeling Good,


Saratoga Style

Now I’ve never been to Saratoga, but I’m grateful that my friends who visited recently, thought to bring me a bag of tea as a souvenir.


The Trans Siberian Chai from Saratoga Tea & Honey Company was an absolute pleasure to drink.  What a work of art! And you can see a lot of thought and passion was behind this creation.

This tea really got my spirits up, as it’s been needed. Summer is slowly winding down, but I refuse to concede it ending.  We have a few weeks to go. Yet while this blend feels like more something more Autumn, it works well here as we’re now officially segued into September.

The flavors of cocoa, nutmeg, clove, and cinnamon are a soothing and comforting melange of joy.   I don’t know how else to describe it.  Actually I could write a ton more superlatives if I could.  The cocoa, especially, really stands out and makes this a unique tasting cup.   Cinnamon is one of my favorite spices and always warms my heart.

I’l be honest, clove and nutmeg are not something I’ve had enough of, so those flavors, for me at least, are not quite detectable.   As I was smelling it and then sipping it, I was looking for those scents, and they didn’t hit me as like the aforementioned cocoa and cinnamon. And chai is usually always a winner.

I wish I could add more links for everyone to enjoy, but the website seems to be incomplete and there’s an across the middle of the page it states that the online store is coming soon! Now that I look forward to!


I love how the back of the label encourages us to experiment with the quantity, duration, and temperature for the heating process.  And yet they still throw some helpful recommendations for time and temperature to boil!  Good on them!

What I also look forward to is a visit to Saratoga itself. A lot of places in the country and the world have alluded me. And I hope to cross that off my list.  Not only for their teas, but I see they have a honey room as well.  Join them at the bar for a pot of tea with pals! Yes please!

For now, I will do my best to capture the beauty of this tea brewing process.    The same friends who brought me this tea, also purchased this majestic teapot set from the wonderful World Market.  So it’s only right to bring it back for one of my favorite tea making rituals.



I wanted to show you how amazing the tint is that I threw in a bonus photo in one of my favorite teacups! How gorgeous is that?  And how beautiful are those tea leaves and spices? This is the real deal.

The inaugural post with this pot can be found right here!

As the weather turns, and that pains me to say, more brewing and more fun tea contraptions will be seeing their returns and debuts in the weeks and months to come.

Take good care!



One Love

I’ve wanted to find any reason to incorporate the things I love into my posts.   And fortunately, the iconic and legendary Bob Marley is near the top of that list.

I found out about Marley’s Beverage Company only a few months ago and was looking for the perfect time to write about it. Well the Summer is the right time to talk about anything cool.   I didn’t want to wait all the way to February on his birthday to write about it.

I could only hope that a grocery store or the like would carry a product with such a monumental and historic name attached to it.

I am grateful to say that was the case.   Even though there were only two flavors available, luckily they were both the bottled teas. And did they taste fun and yes, I’m feeling mellow.


Of course there would be a bias and I was hoping they would taste at least satisfying.  It was all that and so much more.  I felt great after sampling both.  It became more than sampling.  I decimated both.   Thankfully they were decaffeinated or I’d be bouncing off the walls.

As I’m writing this and feeling so calm, I realize that on the products site, they list the 100% Natural Calming Botanicals and this feels more than a placebo.  I feel so at peace.


First up is the Black Tea with Peach, Raspberry, and Passion Fruit.  That is quite the trio of fruit.   And the trio comes together for a masterpiece of flavors.  I felt so good drinking this.

Most important, the tea does not get lost in the shuffle even though these powerful fruit flavors are included.   I can tell a lot of soul and a lot of passion (pun not intended) is behind this beverage.


And then we have the Green Tea with Honey. The tea and honey combo is terrific.  There’s an even balance that both complement the other so well.  I’m relaxing and enjoying life sipping on this one as well.

This is also a tea that should be savored and drank naturally. Neither of these feel like the usual chugging iced teas or cold beverages that other may seem designed to do.

In what is now becoming a tradition with my recent recaps, I opened up the bottled and poured them in glasses so you can get the beautiful tints and shades of both.

How gorgeous do they both look?

To see if their beverages are sold near you, click here. And to read more about this great company, click here and here.

I had so much fun trying these teas and talking up how great they were, that I hope I get the opportunity to do so again.


One love.