Missing The Tropics

rishiteacovered3

Actually I don’t recall the last time I was in the tropics.  So this title is purely for show.

coffeenature

However, a serendipitous visit to Coffee Nature in the Tenleytown neighborhood of Washington, DC gave me a little piece of the tropics at home.

coffeenature2

As I’ve stated before on numerous occasions, the atmosphere, the energy, and everything else around you is just as important as the tea you’re drinking.  If someone rubs you the wrong way, say a friend, family member, the staff member of the shoppe/restaurant, or some random person, if can suddenly dilute even the tastiest of food and drink.  The opposite occurred here.

Tea houses are not as ubiquitous as coffee houses, so sometimes that’s where you’re going to find some hidden gems.  It may be their own loose tea, the standard tea bags you can find at your local grocer, or some obscurities that you would only find when you weren’t looking.  I wasn’t looking for anything. I’m guessing the Tropical Hibiscus from Rishi Tea falls somewhere along the latter.

Before I even walked in I got the sense that I was in for something special.  The shop is nestled amongst a neighborhood of charming homes.  It felt like home walking in.  I didn’t even need to do research afterwards to get the sense that this has that community feel that I always hope to find when discovering a new place for food and drink.

Now I don’t know anyone in the neighborhood but I imagine, even for a city like Washington DC, that some friendly bonds and comradery would materialize organically and rather swiftly.  That’s also up to the individual and the universe itself.

I was all set to get a more familiar tea for the day but then I saw smack dab in the middle of all these teas was that Tropical Hibiscus and I’m grateful I did.

I ordered a turkey wrap for no particular reason other than I was in the mood for some turkey.  I figured the avocado was enough to make believe I’m on a tropical island.  An armchair will do.

rishiteacovered

To my pleasant surprise was the presentation.  My tea was brought to me with a silicone tea cover.  This also made the tea sipping experience that much better.  It may be a little thing but it’s a big thing.

rishiteaopen

The tea has loads of orange and tangerine flavors.  That’s the true stand out here. For a tea of this magnitude it’s going to feel feeler than what you might expect. Lemongrass is always a welcome addition to any cup for me. And I just love the fact that hibiscus and rosehips are ingredients in so many of the teas I’ve come to love. This one in particular I’m intrigued by.

Why am I intrigued?  I can’t find it on the Rishi site itself.   I hope I’m wrong but if you do a search it doesn’t come up.  So I’ve posted third party sites, like this on here, where you can find this tea.

rishiteawithwrap

The staff at Coffee Nature was laid back and welcoming.  Again, for DC I was surprised. Once again, it’s what you choose to see and what you attract.  Not everything in every cosmopolitan town is watered down and pretentious.  There’s a place for everyone. There’s room for everyone.   How funny that I’m the one who unintentionally had to write about one of the more obscure teas.   So I’m the jerk.

To find all of Rishi teas in your area (aside from obscure pick) click here.

rishiteasrishiteas

This photo was taken at a local grocer near me, Whole Foods.  Every Rishi tea known to man except the Tropical Hibiscus, oops.

If you’re in DC, check out Coffee Nature.  I hope to be back.  If I lived nearby I’d frequent it at least a few times a week.   And I love Rishi tea.  I hope to get the opportunity to talk about some more soon.

Here is my original post on their teas.

As we approach the chillier months, it’ll be most likely back to hot teas and complementary foods to go with.  If the weather presents itself, or I’m feeling unconventional, there will be a cold or iced tea review that will make a sporadic appearance.

rishiteaend

Thanks so much,

Ideen

This Was A Good One

StashChamomile4

But they all can be and should be.  However, this was more about the experience than anything else.   Otherwise I don’t know how good the Chamomile Tea from Stash truly is or isn’t.

StashPackaging

I can’t believe it’s September already.  Well yes I can as well.  Time just keeps on going. Yet for this post I’m going to take this back to June, when it wasn’t even officially Summer on the calendar year yet, but as you can tell by these pictures, the Sun was on our side.

This is one of those stories that might be too good to share, but also too good not to. I’m glad I waited this long to talk about it.  It’s gotten better with time.

The tentative plan was to grab some lunch nearby in Baltimore before I took a dear friend to the airport, in the Washington, DC area.   We gave ourselves ample time. However, there were signs all over that we should just drive closer to the final destination  and see where the wind takes us.

I had been to historic Herndon, VA a year prior on another random encounter, and saw nothing but happy and folksy people.  Like most historic locales you have your farmers market, museums, mom and pop shops, community centers, and independent restaurants. It was real and I soaked it all in.  It was with the understanding that right outside this epicenter is nothing but big buildings and gigantic companies that have infiltrated major cities.

One year later as we’re driving, that light bulb went off in my head.  I had investigated happy places to grab a bit to eat, in a cozy area beforehand, but realized that happy town was minutes away.

We found a great place to eat with outdoor dining, and took our time.  The town called for it.  It felt like we were the only people on Earth.  I don’t mean to overstate how amazing the Sun was on this day. Actually the heck with it, the Sun is our friend. The more I expound on this special trip, I realize how perfect everything was.

No rush, no running around, no beating the clock.  It was as close to Zen as you can get.

After a little walking around, a little tea and coffee seemed necessary.  Green Lizard Cycling, (yes a cycling place) came through in the clutch.  Yes I wrote that on purpose. Maybe it was one of those moments where I felt random, but after a hearty meal a hot tea was a must.  And my inspired thought was that Chamomile.

StashChamomile5

Looking back at these pictures I realize how much that tea matches the color of the sun. The signs and the positive energy are all around us.  It just freaks me out, in a good way, how good this day was.  And all the intricacies and details that I overlooked have been presented to me months later.  This is what we call endearing.

StashChamomile2

But like I said, on another day, I’m not sure how great this tea would be.  Chamomile has not always been my favorite flavor, but this might be a change of heart.

StashChamomile

Circumstances allowed this to be a lot better than I think tea might be.   But Stash has been one of those brands that I feel is overlooked versus some of the more household brands you see at the store.  This is not a dig but more of an observation.

I need to review more Stash teas.  They’ve always been good to me.  Here is the one time I did a recap of one of my favorite and inspiring teas by them.  Talk about a dichotomy. Again,  nothing but signs and serendipitous situations.

The specifics of this day are not necessary and sometimes your best memories should be kept from within, and I’ll leave some details out.  But I did add a couple of pictures of the town and outside the cycling shop to give you a feel for how peaceful and inspiring this day was.  I might be overstating how tremendous all this was but I don’t care.  This was awesome and yet all so simple.

The future is looking bright and full of hope.  A good cup of tea always brings hope. And joy!

Here’s to many more unplanned and inspiring events to come!

Kindest,

Ideen

Lemon Aid

SidamoTeaReady2

There is a bit of planning that goes into these reviews but that doesn’t mean they remain in place.   I had several ideas about what to get into for today but those can wait.  None of them made sense for a myriad of reasons.  The season has yet to fully break and certain teas and tea-related contraptions don’t feel right to be recapped, at least not yet.  Their time is coming but not now.

With that being said, I didn’t panic or freak out.  I knew a place would find me. I say place because it just felt right to venture out of the comfort of my abode and seek out something inspiring.   And this brings me to Sidamo Coffee and Tea.

SidamoFront

A chance visit to to our nation’s capital and even more specifically, the revitalized H Street, brought me to this cozy and charming shoppe.

I just knew I was in for something special.

Now the place also says coffee so that’s their bread and butter.  Oh wait.  The venue only had about a half-dozen tables which is right up my alley. There was a gentleman grinding coffee beans on sight and what a sight to behold.   It felt as authentic as DC can get.  And if you know Washington, you understand why I say that.

SidamoTeas

Behind the counter is a magnificent array of loose-leaf teas and since I’ve been on such a lemon kick lately I decided to go with King Tut Lemonade.  I had no idea what I signed up for and that’s what I love about this thing.

The lady behind the counter was on her own and demand was starting to accumulate. However, she still made my tea at a fastidious pace.  I had requested a large cup but had not realized I got the most amazing teapot and cup display.

SidamoPreTea

You see it posted at the top but this deserves multiples pictorials.   And she brought it to me.  I didn’t expect that.  It’s always the little things.  Notice how I’ve even yet to describe the tea.

SidamoTea

This tea really hit me where I needed it most.   The benefits of lemon have been documented greatly and a nice brewing pot of tea opens up other nooks and crannies of this spiritually healing fruit.

You’ll likely know it right away.  The main ingredient is lemon peel.   For sure I’ve had a plethora of cups that contained lemon peel integrated with other herbs and gems, but not like this.  The lemonade means something else entirely different and I’m grateful for that.

My stomach has had issues for a while and this is just what the doctor ordered.  It rejuvenated me from the onset.  If I could get more than four 4 cups from this, I would have taken double.  Can you have too much of a good thing?  In this scenario I’m not so sure.   I took my time savoring what I could.   And 30 minutes later I felt revitalized.

SidamoInfuserTeapot

That infuser teapot is a work of art, don’t you think?

SidamoWithTreat

I really didn’t need anything to snack on but a fruit and nut bar was a proper sweet treat to counter the bitterness of this tea.  And I mean bitterness in the best way possible.  I loved it more than these words can articulate.

SidamoTeaWithTreat

I love figuring out the ingredient before reading up on it.  And I’m blessed to be from an Iranian heritage where lemon peels have been used in some dishes.   That is the main reason I knew it was the peel.  Even as distinct as a flavor is, a sentimental memory from the past makes the discovery all the more joyous.

SidamoTeaBottom

Life is something grand.   I had a sense that this place had a familiarity about it.  It wasn’t until I looked the place up that I recall visiting their second location in Fulton, MD.  That experience was left so much to be desired.  The barista or team-member could not be a more polar opposite than the DC location.  I’m not big on being too negative so I honestly never thought to write about that experience until now.  And I may get into full details another time but for now I give major love and thank you to Sidamo, and I look forward to doing it again.

To purchase King Tut Lemonade Tea, I have posted a couple of links here and here!

Stay healthy,

Ideen