My Little Yogi


This weather is something else.  It’ll be in the 80’s this week here in Baltimore.  I love it. I’ll take this on a regular basis.  However, there this coziness with autumn.  The changing of the colors, the festival season picking up, and more of our friends home means even more fun things to do.  It’s also a sign that it’s only going to get colder.  That makes some excited.  That makes me well, want some hot tea.

Yogi Tea has been one of those brands that exudes positive vibes.  And that’s not just from their teas alone.   From their positives quotes on each tea, promoting well-being, wellness, and yoga poses, the goodness emanates from all over.

Speaking of goodness, I’m grateful to have friends from all over that also share the love of tea, and especially Yogi.

I was at some dear friends’ house this past weekend for an inspiring night of doing nothing and loads of professional chilling (that’s a term we may have coined by the way), which meant loads of good food, maybe some vino, a comfortable couch or recliner, and a cup of tea for the ages.


When you’re in a house with pals, that term, ‘mi casa es su casa’, might be taken too far and too literally.  In this instance, I had the green light to grab a tea from the tea cabinet. It was narrowed down to a couple.  But not even blog related, I hadn’t had a Yogi Tea in quite some time.

This would be my first (and won’t be the last) time having the Cinnamon Vanilla Healthy Skin.

If you hadn’t told me this was going to make my skin clearer, I wouldn’t have known any difference.  This is not a knock on the tea.  I find this more of a bonus.


This was one of the most enjoyable cups I’ve had in a long time.   Facing facts, most teas I come across are good to masterful.  This is closer to the latter.  I just had a sense while I was steeping that this was going to be special.  How about that color?  It’s got a tint that screams cinnamon and other enjoyable flavors.  It screams fall and it screams friendship.

I hadn’t heard of a single herb in the tea’s description but now they’ll be ingredients I’ll look for when it comes to my tea.  I’ll seek them out in other products that rejuvenate and rebuild my skin, and who know what else?


Cinnamon, cardamomom, cocoa shells, and vanilla bean make this one of the most eclectic and genuine blends you’re ever going to have.

It also helps being in a place of peace and around some of your favorite friends.  That enhances just about any experience.  It’ll make even the most mediocre of teas, foods, and anything else for that matter a lot more pleasurable.  That’s how life works.

It was a snack party so the tea went with some of our favorite finger foods.  But this was also treasured alone.  And whenever an animal friend joins the party, it’s definitely the best party ever.  For more on this lavish spread, click here.


For more on where to find Yogi Teas in your area, click here, or shop online!

And here’s my two previous discussions on this amazing company.

More Yogi reviews to come!

Thanks so much,







Feels Like Home


Silver Spring, MD has changed so much in the past 15 years, it’ll seem unrecognizable to many, if you’ve been gone from the area long.  Or perhaps locals to the Washington, DC area haven’t paid a visit back.   It’s close enough to DC that many transplants and I’d assume folks who grew up in the area will consider it home.


It’s a little to new and full of chains in some parts for my taste.  But if you don’t look so hard, the local businesses are flourishing and proving they belong.  And I hope they belong for some time to come.  I had the pleasure of visiting one of these establishments recently. Zed’s Cafe right on the outskirts of Downtown Silver Spring has that neighborhood and homey vibe I always look for in a place.  And I just don’t mean for tea.  I mean for food, for various places I shop, for my own self serving interests, and I’ll repeat, tea.

As they state, it’s one big living room.  I’m not sure whose spacious living room but I got cozy and comfortable real quick.  And I had yet to order anything.  I was sure I was setting myself up for a disappointment and free fall.

And I also should be careful to assume that all these gems of places have a tea list.  That’s a risky presumption depending on where you go.  Just about anywhere will have an expansive coffee list, yet the teas could be a standard national brand in a box, or thankfully in this instance, their had their own loose teas in house.  Whenever I come across the latter I’m so grateful.  It really adds a dimension to a shoppe that otherwise they wouldn’t have.


Speaking of dimensions, they literally had a 3-d display of their loose teas.  You don’t see that everyday.  Actually I’m not sure the last time I saw something similar.  I’m glad I got a picture.


Per their recommendation, I went with their house special, their lemongrass ginger tea. And we knew it was coming, but pumpkin season has arrived.  Actually, if you noticed, it started somewhere back in mid-August.  So I capitulated under the pressure of seasonal forces, and went with the pumpkin spice.  Don’t get me wrong I love pumpkin but we should appreciate every season for what it is.


I’ll first state that the presentation of my tea was masterful.  What a beautiful mug and plate.  Next, they had real pieces of ginger emanating from the tea.  Oh my and ginger!  I couldn’t resist, I picked a few pieces and ate them separate from my cup.


The tea was everything I hoped it be.  I love lemongrass, I love ginger, and I loved everything about this cup.  That atmosphere helped.   The muffin was fine but a bit rich for my taste.  That’s more of a reflection of my taste than anything else.


As you’ll see below, that tea was done but not as fast as I usually sip these things.  I really did feel like I was in mine or someone else’s living room.  It felt like old times.  But it also felt like new times.  I love relaxing at a pals’ house with a good cup of tea and some tasty snacks to complement our cup.  It makes the tea, the food, and most importantly, the whole experience better.

I’m also sentimental because my family has ties to this area.  My family used to run a business in this area, way before any of these new, and even longer-standing businesses had arrived.  So I always get this feeling when I’m here.  Depending on what part, it’s not always the best energy, but at Zed’s, it was all good and then some.


If you’re in the vicinity or passing by, I would strongly suggest a visit.  It’s a home away from home.  And there’s no place like…

Stay ginger,





A Glorious Day


Leave it to the Fells Point Fun Festival to bring another magical moment and post to my blog. After last year, I didn’t expect to write about anything for 2016.  And not in any negative away, I just didn’t have any expectations or was actively looking for this week or next weeks post.   Several lessons can be taken from this, let it come to to you, and expect the unexpected.  I need to keep reminding myself that.

For us in Baltimore, this event means so much to us.  Many of us don’t know why we love this festival exactly, but its sentiment rings true.  The neighborhood has changed, so has the city, maybe we’ve changed ourselves.  I should speak for myself, maybe I’ve changed too.  Actually I know I’ve changed.  But nearly 15 years of doing it, it seems to have been rejuvenated the past couple of years.  The allowing of drinking in certain part of the streets definitely play a part but I truly believe the heavier emphasis on local vendors and local business is the true backbone and the true revitalization.

And we’re talking upwards of 100,000+ people that attend.  This being the 50th anniversary, you know that’s going to add to it.

Saturday was rainy, the skies were gloomy, but my friends and I weathered the storm and enjoyed ourselves.  That’s what life is about.   We drank, we ate, we shared laughs, we hopped from one place to another.  It doesn’t get any better.

Sunday felt like a rebirth.  The early afternoon looked ominous but the skies cleared and then it still felt like Summer.  I know it’s October but it was akin to a new sense of hope and possibility.  It also led to more casual strolling and a more focused energy on seeing what was outside of the madness.


After that extended monologue (prologue?) I’m grateful to have found within that hectic sea of humanity, the most charming of booths, the Wight Tea Company.


Again I almost just walked by and thought I have enough content to last throughout the year.  There will never be enough content.  And never enough to support local business.


I’m glad I turned backed around.   Izzy who was working the booth was kind of enough to let me try all four samples.   There were four, and if I get them wrong, I hope I’m corrected.


But I’m going to try and recite the orfer by memory. First, I had the Sage Rose White, then the Tropical Green, Evening Tisane (their Chamomile), and finally the Chai.

This sounds like a cop out but I liked them all and likely in that order.   White and Green have always been favorites of mine.  White teas in general have been a regular staple in my sipping repertoire.   Chamomile was once I tea I avoided but as ones palate expands and evolves, new interests develop.  That may be a reflection on me growing as a person too.

By virtue of this blog it has made me try and uncover new teas, new companies, and new start ups.


This is a start up that I’m rooting for.   I had the pleasure of meeting Brittany and Joseph Wight, two siblings who are the brains and brawn behind this operation.  You couldn’t meet two friendlier people.   When good people are taking a leap of faith, and using their own creativity to better humanity and themselves, it’s something you root for.

I live vicariously through such ventures, and it inspires to maybe one day do something myself. We’re all capable of it.  I motivated myself to do this blog.  And this’ll end up being looked back on as one of my most favorite posts.


If you’re interested in purchasing their amazing teas, you can click here.  I was told more teas, strainers, filters, etc.  will be added to the website soon.

For our pals in Maryland, their teas are currently located at Rooster & Hen Store in Ellicott City, and Boutique 44 in Roland Park.

And exciting businesses are about to open by the end of the year, that will be carrying their products.  R.House Baltimore will be opening by the end of the year, and a cup or pot of tea will be available at BLK/Sugar Stall.  This article will shed some more light on this.

Last but not least, their teas will be carried at BWillow in Remington, which is due to open at the end of the year.  Big things are happening!

Here’s a list of future events of where you can try their mesmerizing teas.  And here is their contact information, if you have questions.

Oh cool they have a blog too!  Yes, all the cool people are blogging!

My posts from the festival last year and Fells in general can be found here and here.

This is just the beginning.  I will be purchasing their teas and updates to this post may be happening periodically. And hey, another post may come in time as well.  This is one where I want to word out about these guys.  I had such a good feeling when I was there on Sunday.  I wish them all the best.  The best!


I love local,


Missing The Tropics


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


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Thanks so much,


Feeling Blue


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.




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,


This Was A Good One


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!