Awaken, Invigorate, Revitalize


All roads lead to something, and some other roads lead to something, wait I just said that.  I was going for more of that dramatic stuff, but if and when I get to more, then so be it.

I’m writing this as there’s a little bit of mixed precipitation.  That’s been the theme of this and what seems like last year’s winter.  We get teases of things, only to get nothing.  But in that regard, I take it as a sigh of relief.  We had our cold days, our windy days, and our hints of the warmer weather to come.  But as always, it’s best to live in the moment.

So this takes me back to a recent memory, where I was on my own mini vacation.  I was staying at a home of some dear friends’, while I took care of their dogs (who are so dear to me), and I had the blessing to write about some of the teas in their collection (a few that are in mine as well), and to share it with you from a different perspective, a different vantage point, and with different props.  I love props.    I may have alluded to all this last week.

I don’t view one tea brand as better than another, but I do have my favorites.   Trader Joe’s will always be a favorite.  My ever growing encyclopedia of my Trader Joe’s tea recaps can be found here.

So it helps that while I’m away, to still have some familiar friends nearby.  And the TJ’s tea I’m talking about is the Organic Ginger Turmeric Herbal Tea.

The teas that actually aren’t tea (no leaves to be found), are some of those fascinating.  This is why we call them tisanes aka herbal tea.   Beautiful.

I think of this tea as an all in one kind of tea,  It rebuilds, it rejuvenates, it reinvents.  And it does all those things I list in the title, and so much more.  That seems like a cheesy plug for something, but it’s true.   My dear friend suggested I get to this tea as soon as I can.  I had the the time, I had the space, the setting, and all those other little things that are the big things too, that make a tea and the experience that much more exciting.

You see, any entity can be great, but when surrounded by certain elements that make you feel good,  it’s that much better.  This is not covering up any deficiencies, because there aren’t any.   This is just making this the most memorable experience, for me, that I can make.


I knew when I was brewing the water, opening the tea packet, and steeping, I was on the verge of something great.


I’m running on a string of great teas, as if you read my posts you can tell, and I hopefully don’t see an end in sight.  There may be a hiccup or roadblock or two, but it just says that the level of teas is off the charts by so many companies.


Maybe it’s the competitive marketplace, the interest in tea drinking going up, or maybe there’s room for everyone and everything.  I’d say it’s combination of all of the above, and then some.


I’ve said so much without saying a lot about the tea itself.    And that guy in the picture does seem a bit creepy no? Ha.  Those are animal crackers since you were asking.  Oh yes, the tea, finally…


The turmeric and ginger are easily detectable, based on appearance and on taste.  That golden color can only mean one thing.   I didn’t realize until after reading the synopsis, that that other powerful spice was black pepper, and not so much the licorice root.  Add some orange peel and orange oil, and you have an entirely organic experience, literally.

I’ve been spoiled and blessed all at once.  This tea did everything it said it would, and to call anything the best or the greatest makes those terms lose their luster.  So I’ll just say the tea was great.  Because it really is.


And as the weather begins to break, this is the perfect for now, and for a little while longer.  Actually for any date, time, and season you want.   And those are the best teas.

Those are the best anything.

It’s almost Spring.   More is coming.

Peace Be With You.


Have A Happy Holiday


Does that title sound familiar?   Funny lines and song lyrics like that have been embedded in my brain since childhood.  They resurface at this time of year, and it feels good to dig into the archives of my brain, and recite lines like these?

Where is this going?  It’s the third annual tree decorating party with a group of people I’m proud to call my friends.   So the heartwarming, dopey, emotional, cheesy, and most importantly traditional Christmas Music will be playing, sometimes two or three times over.  And that (along with so many other things) is the fun and funny part.

When it comes to any holiday party, decorating party, or dare I say any party, comes plenty of food and drink.  And there was plenty of that.  Everyone contributed something to the cause.  Because that’s what the holidays and gathering are all about, everyone sharing and giving.   And what may you ask, did I contribute?


Per a suggestion from a friend, I was told to review the Mulling Spices Tea from the R.W. Knudsen Family brand of products.  And it’s just a small part of what I brought to this Christmas Community.


If the name rings a bell it may be because you’ve had their juices and other various beverages.


I had no idea that this tea existed.  And from doing research, it looks like it has been around for a few years.   Why it took me this long to attract it into my life is one of those holiday mysteries.  But now I consider it a miracle.


I adore this tea.  The hostess of the party had a cup herself and she concurred.   It’s good to disagree respectively but isn’t even more rewarding to enjoy the same cup with people you truly care for?  It adds to the spirit of the season.  And I can always use some more.  I would assume many would feel the same.


And in this group setting the tea was necessary as a way to relax from all the commotion of decorating, eating, and the overall excitement of decorating a tree.   Oh and there was some champagne and mimosas earlier on (actually throughout) the day as well.  So the tea truly was a friend in settling the stomach and bringing me back down to Earth.


What makes this tea so special is that the Mulling Spices is meant as a way to make hot spiced cider, blended with their Organic Apple Juice, of course.


I will do that soon but as I’m into holiday traditions, I’m also very traditional when it comes to my tea.  I prefer adding nothing to my teas.  I think the true test of a tea is how it stands alone, with noting but hot water and the bag or leaf itself.


This tea can be enjoyed in that form, and that’s an understatement.  I love this tea.  It went down smooth and I felt so balanced and at peace with each sip.  Again, I reiterate the importance of quality people around that makes the tea even that much better.   I got a few cups out of each bag, and the beauty of the brewing process only enhances that fact.


The aromas of lemon peel, orange peel, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves upon opening hit a festive nerve that emit the joy and peace of the season.   The smells remind me of holiday parties past with friends and family.  The way the tea brewed, the colors changing, and the steam rising made me all warm and fuzzy.  That tint is gorgeous.  It made me so happy for that moment in time, yesterday, to appreciate the present.  I appreciate my friends, I appreciate the holidays, and I appreciate being able to share this with you.


Everything about this day was right.  But it felt like it moved so fast.  That’s because it did.  Time flies when enjoying life.  And enjoying life with good people makes that time feel even more fleeting.   I’m grateful to have been a part of this day and look forward to doing this for many years to come.  And on top of that, I welcome any new traditions that unexpectedly present themselves.


Some of the photos of the awesome food spread may look like they were taken from a blimp. That’s just my camera phone.  But I did feel like a blimp after eating all this yummy Christmas food.  And over-indulging on treats is another tradition that will be timeless.


Speaking of time, these are moments in time I’m grateful to have captured and presented to you.  This party will be remembered for many things, and this tea will be near the top of this list.

Get this tea.  To find out where you can find all their fun products, click here.

To read more about all the good that R.W. Knudsen does, this link and this one should be of great assistance.


At my local Wegman’s, the price was over $5 so that may be a bit steep for buying tea, but I think it’s well worth it.

To read about the 2nd Anniversary party, click here.

I love this and I’m glad there’s so much more of the holidays to celebrate.  I hope you’ve been doing the same with the ones you love, and that love you too.

This is such a wonderful time of the year and I look forward what the holidays bring next.

Have  A Happy Holiday,





Bakers Is Beautiful


Over the course of the year-and-a-half I’ve been doing these posts, I’ve been professing my love for Annapolis.  We learn a lot about ourselves when we’re writing or sharing our thoughts, in whatever medium we see fit.   The subject matter is tea but it’s also about finding the good in every situation, no matter how difficult it may be.  This won’t be a challenge.


My visit to Bakers & Co. was one of the most enjoyable.   I didn’t want to leave.

A couple weeks prior I was driving through the Eastport neighborhood of Naptown, and saw this hidden gem nestled within a gorgeous set of houses. This was out of production set, and I hadn’t even walked in.  I just drove by second-guessing myself after a while. Why didn’t I just walk in?  Would I be back and in an organic fashion?  Two weeks later…

There are signs all around us.  There’s good people and good spirits in this universe to guide you in your journey.   And someone was looking out for me as I naturally arrived here and made it a point to park my car nearby and stroll right in.  And stroll I did.  This area is even more spectacular than I envisioned.

I was hoping in the back of my mind, there would be an obscure tea to write about. Otherwise, a coffee would suffice.  After poking around for a few seconds, I noticed a sign in the back for a special in-house tea.  I asked the friendly staff member what that was. She mentioned it was their homemade black tea with pineapple, orange juice, and spices.   On a 90+ degree day I actually asked if I should have it chilled or warmed.   Moving right along…

The pastry set-up was stunning.  Even on a smoldering day, I had to get something to pair with this exciting new tea I was about to have.   After passing on the almond croissant (which is extremely popular), I went with the blueberry oat bar.

I’ll get right to it after all this dramatic build-up. The tea refreshed me to my core. And my blueberry sweet treat complemented my cup perfectly.


I took my sweet (see what I did?) time with everything.   I took a lot of pictures and wish I could post them all.  Literally across both side of the street were homes.  I imagine the values of these properties are high and not close to my means.   Maybe in the next life.  But I felt so comfortable and so at home with these surroundings.


Some memories and stories are too good be shared.  They’re meant to be kept internal.  I debated on whether or not to write about this but I think I’d regret it if I hadn’t.


My main reason is my love for local businesses has been heightened with this blog.  I’ve always preferred family run shoppes versus the big box stores.  I imagine many people share my sentiment.    For as long as I can recall it’s always been my modus operandi.

Along those lines, my attachments and affinity for small towns, beautiful streets, and a sense of community is what I yearn for.  Bakers and Co. encompasses all of the above, and then some.

The people working the counter were amazing.   The quaintness of this all is worthy of romanticizing.


If you’re in the vicinity, I cannot recommend this place enough.  There’s comforting outdoor seating as my photos have hopefully captured.  And my intent was to show the beautiful surroundings.    I can only hope I did it justice.  And I can only hope that future visits will be just as inspiring.

Take good care,


Oh Is For Orange, Oh Wait..


I’m not sure what the title even means.  I’m not even sure how to explain the experience I had at Hard Bean Coffee and BooksellTEAers.   Yes, they have coffee and books.   But this has got to do with the tea correct?  Correct.  And this post will go to show that not everything in Annapolis, like last week, is rosy.   There’s a not so inside joke or pun there somwhere.


I’ve been going to this place for quite a number of years but the experiences tend to deteriorate each time.   Perhaps the newness and cache of being in the neighborhood was enough to overcompensate for any deficiencies.    And my tastes have evolved as well as my empathy.


But my last few visits have left so much to be desired.   In a pinch I’ve grabbed coffee and/or a snack to go.   For such a colossal space I’ve seen a decrease in the amount of patrons as I’ve grown accustomed to in the past.  Maybe I’m not alone in my sentiments?

Yet my own idealism and naivete leads me to give this place another go. And because I have to be so contrarian again to get tea in a coffee shop.  But they do have loose tea, so it’s not that eccentric of me

It was a sunny  and scorching day (I’m not complaining), so something remotely sweet and light was what I was looking forward to.   I went with the blood orange. Ordinarily I would be loving this but the vibe threw everything off kilter.

Maybe it’s the universe, maybe it’s me, maybe it’s everything, but the staff was even more disorganized and lackadaisical than usual.  I should have been more specific earlier but not only has service been slow but it’s been dismissive as well.  And it’s not something I take too personally.   I figure folks may have an off day but this has been a consistent narrative with this establishment.   The wait times for my food and beverage have taken much longer than necessary.  I get a sense that it’s deliberate.   This reinforces my point in how I see less guests here and more flocking to other more welcoming establishments nearby.


What gets lost in all this is the tea itself.  The orange with what I can only assume has orange peels and floral components would ordinarily be masterful here, but the negative energy surrounding me brings this down several notches.  It’s dispiriting.   The whole point of all is this it to enjoy a cup, your surroundings, and most importantly yourself.  I would go with none of the above here.


In the majority of situations I’d be singing the praises of this tea, but this was as mediocre and vapid as it gets.   I was so off-kilter at first that I started sipping and taking photos inside forgetting how nice it was outside.


When I got my bearings together I found some solace at an outside table but it was too little too late.  I didn’t want any more.   I’ll definitely seek it out again, just somewhere else.  And if past experiences will dictate, it will be in a much more spiritual and energizing setting.


You might be asking about the quiche that I paired with my tea.  An unusual pairing? The irony is that this was the most normal thing about this experience.  And that’s not saying much.

There’s a whole Summer for great sips and memories.   Here’s to better ones ahead.




An Oldie and A Newbie


I have been championing Twinings Teas for as long as I’ve been drinking the beverage of champions.


A blessing came into my life last week while staying at a hotel.   In the concierge area, they have a lovely spread of fruits and breakfast items.  But most important of all, they had an amazing spread of Twinings.   The display gave me goose bumps.  I’m not joking.

Several cups were enjoyed over my stay, however, I will go one at a time for the sake of brevity.  It’s good to give as much focus on one and save the others for another time.

The Honeybush, Mandarin, and Orange was my first brew and it was a rocker. The ingredients and brewing time can be seen within both tabs and are user-friendly for your enjoyment.  This tea was for my enjoyment.  I loved it and it keeps the tradition of how great these teas have always been and continue to be. It’s just a wonderful cup that helps alleviate any stresses in the world.   That’s tea for you.


One of the reasons I picked this is because it reminds me or Spring and warmer months ahead.  Even the packaging would tell me as such.  It’s beautiful.  And beauty is only a few more weeks away.

Funny how the ingredients list honeybush, natural mandarin, natural orange, and then other natural flavors. Honey, mandarin, and orange, now that’s a trifecta I can get down with.  This isn’t that mandarin orange soda you had when you were a kid and didn’t realize the detriments soft drinks had.  This is natural.  And speaking of which, do you wonder what those natural flavors in this tea are?

When you look at your cell phone or cable bill, they’ll always list other fees at the end of your statement.  We question that but move on don’t we?  I tend to believe seeking of natural flavors has a much more positive connotation.  Interesting analogy I know.  Maybe the mystery and intrigue is what we want.   Either way it’s a winner.


To keep it healthy, I enjoyed it with an apple.  This is my random take on a fruit salad but it worked.


Well enough of the meta and more tea.  This is great and I want more.  And you can have more too.  It’s so easy to order online and locate at your nearby grocery store or shoppe.

Here are the links in the United States to purchase locally and online.

For my pals in the United Kingdom, here you go.

And for the rest of the world, this is an accessible link!

I think I will do another gem from Twinings next week.  For my original post on this legendary company, you can go here.

Thanks so much




Fall Fun


I did just type that out.  I always embrace the Summer with open arms.  The autumn months are full of positives too.  And I don’t have to look too hard to find them.  If it’s not a genuine feeling of joy and euphoria than it’s not going to be feel authentic.

This tea I will discuss today is authentic and so much more.  It’s that time of year which means the changing of the leaves, different flavors, scents, foods, and of course pumpkins.

There’s going to be a lot of pumpkin-style and related posts forthcoming and I hope you enjoy!

The Harvest Blend Herbal Tea from our pals at Trader Joe’s is the embodiment of what this season is all about. From the packaging, to the beautiful illustrations of animals, and to the scent and taste of the tea itself, this is perfection.


First off, when I visited the pumpkin display at my local store, it’s an in-your-face reminder of the time of year we’re in.  But I’ve been seeing it while we were technically still in Summer.  I understand the rush but I really don’t.  I could have written about this a month ago but I want this part to be authentic as well.  Lets all get into the season in a little more sensible fashion.


I took multiple angles of this package as I only feel it’s right.  And one on of the sides are all the ingredients listed.  And it’s a lot.  But it’s a who’s who of what makes this season great.   After smelling the bag upon opening, the most noticeable scent is cinnamon, one of my favorite things on this Earth.


After steeping, more aromas start to come alive.  I got a great whiff of apple, chamomile, ginger.  If my nose and taste buds got carried away I may detect everything included and then some.  Nevertheless, this is a winner.   As my tea became ready to sip the cinnamon and apple hit me the post.  This packs a punch suitable for the season.   And since there’s so much involved I think multiple cups can be made from this.


With all these incredible elements you think something would get lost in the shuffle.  This is not the case. There’s room for everything here.   However, I will say that chicory is not a plant I’ve had much exposure too. I’ll be curious to see if I can trace it in other teas that I come across.  I may have to do some further investigating but I don’t want to lose course here.


As I ended my first cup, the flavors were so strong, I had to add more boiling water.  And I mean that with highest of praise. This tea cannot go to waste.  I’m ecstatic thinking about it.  This will be a staple in my sipping repertoire for the reason of this season and beyond.   It just tastes and feels so good.   The words soothing and comforting come to mind.  I feel so happy sipping it, thinking about it, and putting it to words.

And with a price tag of only $1.99 how can you go wrong?  This is a bargain for that price and what you’re getting.

I included some wonderful items that reflect the season that has just commenced. I’m enjoying wonderful piece of golden raisin cinnamon bread to complement my cup.

This is just the beginning.  I am thrilled to get fall off on the right foot.

Thanks so much!



Gotta Have A


Wawa is known for so many happy things on Earth.    I have been a fan, since I first visited one outside of Philadelphia, in 2000.   Just about all of their stores I’ve visited have had a strong energy, and a sense of community. Many I’ve seen have a strong sense of community and is a meeting place for locals, pals, and friends of from nearby towns of neighborhoods.   The coziness is endearing.    They have great coffee, but I love them for their tea.

And I love them for their hoagies, smoothies, soups, salads, sides, and of course the soft pretzels.   But, their tea has evolved into something delicious.   For years, I didn’t even know they carried their own teas.

I did some research about where they get their teas from, and I got nothing.   Maybe that’s how it’s supposed to be.  I should just enjoy their teas for what they are.  No over-the-top flavors, additions, or gimmicks.

I love their green tea.  Ingredients : green tea.

The added experience that it’s from Wawa, might make it taste even better. But it’s tremendous.  I usually enjoy it by itself.  But they have plenty of breakfast hoagies, bagels, pastries, and scrambled egg dishes to complement it with.  And I’ve indulged in them all pals.

Look at that awesome selection :


At certain locations I have had their Chamomile, which is a flavor that has grown on me.  The staples are there – Earl Grey, Regular Black, and Lemon.   Along with the aforementioned Chamomile, you might see Decaf, Ginger Peach, among some other charming flavors.   I am a big fan of the Lemon.  The flavors are parallel to their iced teas.   These teas are not glamorous. I don’t think Wawa intended them to be.   They’re just great and that’s all you can ask for.  I swear I’ve seen an Orange tea in a store somewhere.

Next time you stop into your local Wawa, give the tea a shot.  It’s one of the reasons I look forward to going to their stores now, along with the sentimentality and convenient food choices.   Happy sipping!