I’m So Grateful For This

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There are days where I feel lost, and have no idea what I’m going to write about.  In some instances I’ll start to worry that maybe it’s not meant to be this week.   That has only happened sparingly.  Worrying doesn’t accomplish anything.  I still do it knowing it has no benefits.  If that’s part of what keeps me going and motivating then that’s what I’ve created and is what I’m used to.

The positive contrary is relaxing, letting things come to you, being at peace, and being on with the universe, with myself, and everything.  I think I just repeated myself.

Leave it to Trader Joe’s to help with that peace.  The store that has brought me to so much joy way before writing about all this always comes through when needed, and when I’m not looking.

A few days ago another random visit (sometimes that’s how it is) brought me to my beloved store, and while scanning the tea section, I noticed something….

I’ve written a lot about them and for a split second felt like there was nothing left at this time.  At least in terms of the season.

But I didn’t sweat it.  What is the point in sweating any of this?  It’s not that serious even though I tend to make it as such.   The stories and my love of tea (and your love of anything) is about enjoying life and enjoying everything possible.    Putting yourself out there, while allowing entities to find you is the most beautiful thing.  And it happened again seconds later.

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Their seasonal kombucha aisle is perfect right now and perfect so many other right nows, and thens, and futures too.  The timing was perfect because I’m not sure how much longer the Organic Mango or the Pomegranate Hibiscus will be at a store near you.

Just like I feel I got in those holiday themed kombuchas down to the wire, I’m grateful to be sharing my thoughts with you on two that just echo what makes this Summer so great.

And some sweet treats never hurt either.

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The Organic Mango is so beautiful in all the beautiful ways.  It’s easy to drink, easy to look at, and easy to appreciate.  That color is gorgeous.  I sincerely mean easy to drink because some kombucha beverages may be too much for some.   The cultures, the probiotics, and the fermentation may be a combination that might be too harsh.

MangoKombucha

This is anything but harsh, even though I haven’t had many I didn’t like.  I will say that at least for me, it takes time to drink this.  A bottle can last me a few days.  And it can last you a while too.  That’s the beaut of this.

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I seemed to get more of the mango taste then I did of the pomegranate but that’s reaching for a complain where they really shouldn’t be. The latter also radiates with such a beautiful color that you really can’t go wrong with either.  You can only do right by both.

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I had some fun here, pouring them into fancy teacups.  That was about all I needed for today, based on what I was saying earlier.  This is to be savored.

Savoring is what I did with charming cookies that don’t necessarily pair with said beverages, but it doesn’t matter.  Like I was saying earlier, this is fun, this is joyful, and it’s blissful.

Drinking savory tea and kombucha is one of those simple and heartwarming things that almost shields me from things.  It’s a source of protection, comfort, and a feeling of home.  I love happiness and this makes me happy.

At under $3, this is as affordable as you’re going to find, when comparing to similar beverages.

I’m so grateful about all of this.  All it took was a little faith, some trust in myself, the universe, and to feel good about things.   This means a lot now but as time goes by, the stories I first share with myself but then with close friends and an audience is going to feel timeless.

Yes I get sentimental while in the moment, but I can’t think of a better way to appreciate the moment.  I’m overstating the obvious but it’s one of many instances I must tell myself that things are ok.

It’s more than ok…

Stay healthy,

Ideen

Feeling Blue

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Blueberries that is. Philadelphia has been so good to me.  Each time I visit I do tend to be drawn to my regular spots here and there. But I’ll always make room for new things, new experiences, and new locales.   This journey brings me to Steap and Grind in Fishtown.

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A search for tea houses led me here.  One might assume that a coffee shop is going to have a limited amount of teas, or they may have the standard teas you can find at your local supermarket.   This place exemplifies the opposite.  I don’t like to give a label to a place. To me it just feels harmonious and a place to relax.

The several patrons inside were sitting off in respective corners, wanting to go unnoticed. Doesn’t really matter if they were studying, relaxing, or just off in their own universe. It’s a happy place to be.

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My visit technically took place while we’re still in Summer.  As of this post, we have two days until the Autumnal Equinox.  That was hard to type.  Well not that difficult but time is moving right along and I’ll do my best to move along with it.  So that’s part of why I’m feeling blue.

For that reason and the weather was beautiful, I went with the suggested Blueberry, Pomegranate, and Goji Berry Green Tea on Ice.  Words will not do this justice.  Saying it’s refreshing just isn’t enough.  After a few quick sips I realized it’s time to slow it down.  I was a bit dehydrated but I still needed to appreciate what was presented to me.  This is one of the best chilled teas I’ve had in some time.  And I’ve had many.

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And I love Goji so much.  It’s made the tea experience that much more amazing for me.

I envision this heated would be even more awesome.  But that assumption can remain as such until the necessary weather change.  Ah that makes me kind of sad to write.

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The blueberry cobbler bar I ordered with my tea was joyous as well.  You would think I may get another sweet treat to counterbalance the flavors but this was just fine. It was a blueberry kind of day and while I was feeling blue, I was feeling  hopeful.

After a few moments inside, I realized I was my own worst enemy.   The times of appreciating outdoor dining or professional chilling, or whatever you want to cal it, are still to be had.  So let’s take this outside.

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Much better!  After I got a few photos in, I enjoyed several minutes of appreciating my tea and pastry.  And my own thoughts.  Places like this lead to a lot of organic and natural contemplation about life.  Mostly good thoughts though.  The energy fields in here were at high decibels.  I can’t fully describe why.  Something just felt right.

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Some informative links for you : How To Steep and Tea 101.  This is a great site.

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The feel-good vibrations led me to hang out at the park which was footsteps away.  I even got a couple more photos in.   I could have sat here for hours, but I think I settled for one. And that’s an hour of my life I will look back on and say, I’m glad I walked in.  And I’ll be glad to come back.  Steap and Grind, thank you.

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Best,

Ideen

Pomegranate Power

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As I promised, I’m continuing and piggybacking on last weeks inspirational Twinings post.

I love Pomegranate and in part because my culture has always embraced this amazing fruit.  I was born in the states and my family is from Iran.  So there’s that connotation. It’s sentimental, it’s family, and it’s love.  I always equivocate it to a holiday, the upcoming Spring season, or in our case, Persian New Year.   Specialty teas for our celebration will be elaborated upon next month.

This wasn’t a life changing cup but this was another strong tea.   I need to remind myself not to have such high expectations unless it’s really called for.   I liked it but I think I wanted some more pomegranate flavor.  But what this might mean is this is a lot more natural than other ‘natural’ teas claim to be.   This is the genuine tea that we stumble upon from time-to-time when you’re not looking.  And seeing is believing or something.

Luckily I was visiting somewhere that had some remarkable Twinings teas.

Happy and healthy was the order of the day.   I paired my cup with some steel cut oat meal with raisins.   I think I just wanted an excuse to write steel cut oat meal in a blog one time. I don’t know why but that term seems funny to me.

PomegranateWithOatmeal

My stomach was settled and I felt good the rest of the day.  It was a welcome alternative to the not-so-healthy meals I’ve had in the mornings.  It’s just a matter of getting used to and being good to my stomach.  Our bodies deserve the best treatment.   I believe that’s one of the biggest reasons tea was created.  It’s good to be good to ourselves.

As I expound on this, I think I like this tea more than I realized.  It’s endeared itself to me.

It feels great.  It feels real.  I feel rejuvenated.

For more on where you can purchase this tea, you can go here, there, or maybe you’ve heard of this place.

Spring is coming! Yes!

All The Best,

Ideen

Steeped In Tradition

And when I mean tradition, I really mean tradition.  An inspired pun for the blog title may have been intended.

BigelowReady

Bigelow Tea is up there with one of the first teas that catapulted me into this passion of mine.  You can find it anywhere; hotel lobbies, restaurants, bars, gas stations, catered events, and parties.   That’s a good thing.

It’s always been a lower on the price scale compared to other brands and even more so now with all these teas coming to prominence that over $5.00 per pack.

The higher the price doesn’t always equate to quality just as the lower price doesn’t necessarily mean it’s lower-tier.  But a few of their teas I’ve never been the biggest fan of.  Some I’ve loved and always tend to have on-hand when I’m in the mood to boil a kettle and brew a cup.

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I found myself at a local bar in Baltimore and was not in the mood for an alcoholic beverage nor a cup of coffee.   I asked the friendly bartender if they carried tea and I shouldn’t have been surprised.  She brought out a beautiful case with a variety of Bigelow’s finest.

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Naturally, with little hesitation, I grab a bag of the Pomegranate Pizzazz as it’s something I’ve been familiar with and always enjoyed.   I believe that with the weather changing and cooler temperatures rearing their head, that more comforting and soothing drinks will be sipped on.   It’s the natural way our body craves and reacts to our environment and the universe.

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In that same vein I’ve been yearning for soup with much more frequency.   So I ordered an incredible spicy Thai style pumpkin soup to go with it.   This is a meal fit for a king, or someone who is freezing.  It was actually a decent day outside but I felt a chill in the air.   I usually would have this and go hide under my blankets.  I hope I’m a few months away from that, if at all.

The joy I felt from this tea and soup combo is from my love for the simple things. There’s nothing out-of-the-ordinary about what I had, but it made me feel good. And if something makes you feel good and hits your soul, that’s all that matters.

What drinking this tea has done has reminded me that Bigelow has so much value in the tea drinking community.  They’re only getting better with time with their social responsibility and pride in helping others. And their teas and packaging seem to have gone to a whole new level.  This is just the beginning.

On that note, I know I usually only post to this blog on Tuesdays, for Tea Tuesdays, and that’s no accident.  But that may have to change if I discover all these awesome season teas from all over.  We’re already in November. Where did the time go?

I hope to make time.

And a Happy Belated 70th Birthday to Bigelow!  And many more!

Thanks so much.

Best,

Ideen

You Know My Steaz

I went on another adventure or scavenger hunt in search of another tea, cold or hot, to write about.   And in keeping with this warm weather, I happily went with the former.

Steaz

I had never heard of Steaz until earlier this week.  And shame on me.  But at the same time, this is what this blog and learning new things is all about.  If it wasn’t for writing about one my favorite things, I may not have crossed paths with their products for a while. I probably saw them on grocery store shelves but were just a part of anything else in my view.

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I am really digging these organic iced teas that these companies are concocting.

In traditional fashion I grabbed two cans that I wanted to try.  And I did a taste test in the comfort of my home.   I went with some different flavors for this incarnation.

I went with the Super Fruit and Blueberry Pomegranate.  The links associated with both flavors are the same, but this website is so user-friendly, you should have no trouble finding your way.

And speaking of the same, they both taste very similar.  If you gave me a blind taste test, I would say they were both fruit punch of a medley of some sort.  I wouldn’t be able to get all the correct fruits for two respectively but I’d give it a shot.

With that being said, I liked both very much.   After a couple sips each, I wasn’t in love with either right away.  But with time they both grew on me.  It might have been my palate or taste buds at the time.  But I think the bigger picture is I am unfortunately used to drinking sweeter and artificial beverages in the Summer that I may not have been fully appreciating a natural and organic treat. That’s my educated guess on this.

SteazSuperSteazBluePom

In looking at the ingredients of both teas, I saw to a degree, that they are very similar.  Had I been had? Ha, I don’t think that to be the case. Fortunately, I had the wherewithal to pour each can into a glass with ice to get a better feel for what I was working with.

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At first blush both drinks look very similar. But as you look closer the Blueberry Pomegranate does have a darker tint to it. And yes it does have a little more power than the Super Fruit, which I did not expect at all.  I expected the Super Fruit to hit me like that comic book hero you may have heard about. All kidding aside, I enjoyed both very much. And I would love to try more of there selections in the future.  They have plenty of them.

And best of all, they are a Fair Trade ingredients so I know I am drinking something that represents good.  And hopefully I am bringing my good energy from this purchase back into the world.   And my other favorite part of researching these organizations is their role in helping the community or communitea if you will!

And information on where to buy their products can be found here.

I felt good drinking their stand-out iced teas and look forward to more in the future.   I felt so good trying them out that it made this post that much more easy to write.

More to come!

Best,

Ideen