Monday, April 15, 2013

A Shop Worth Visiting

Please forgive me for sounding like an advertisement in this post.  Sometimes I get bored with talking about my life; and, today I'm feeling inspired to promote another local business that I'm affiliated with and love ever so much.

As I was making my delivery to Tea Here Now this morning, I decided to stop and enjoy a cup of tea.  I usually order a lady grey to go, but today I wanted something more exotic to sit down and "escape" with.  The woman in line ahead of me ordered a chai tea.  I watched as Andrea filled a cup for her from a big urn on the counter.  The room filled with the faint spicy aroma of cinnamon and clove, and I couldn't resist asking for the same.  Andrea explained that she makes her chai with soy milk, honey, and maple syrup.  It was the best chai I've ever tasted.  Andrea doesn't make the tea blend herself- she orders it from a company called Morning Glory which is based out of Seattle.  She also sells the tea blend at her shop, so you all now know where to go for my housewarming gift ;)

1721 1/2 Webster Street, Oakland*

If you haven't made your way into Tea Here Now yet, I really have to encourage you to do so as soon as you're able.  If you are anything like me, you will appreciate that there is easy metered street parking just outside of the shop.  While Andrea's dear little shop is not entirely vegan, nearly everything is, or has a vegan option.  She keeps both almond milk and soy milk for cooling your tea, and has agave nectar, maple syrup, and raw sugar for sweetening.  In addition to vegan baked goods from Oakland-based Fat Bottom Bakery and my own Picnic Bakery, there are also some darling non-vegan French macaroons and fruit galettes from Indie Cakes & Pastries.  Indie Cakes & Pastries also makes gluten-free scones and macaroons.   Stop in on a Friday for the Angel Cakes cupcake Pop-Up which also has vegan and gluten-free options.  Sweet treats aside, Andrea also serves up wholesome lunchtime meals in the form of beautiful salads, and seasonal vegan veggie pot pies (pot pies provided by yours truly).

Picnic Bakery's seasonal veggie pot pie being served up at Tea Here Now*

A selection of items on display at Tea Here Now*
It's not just the amazing teas and delicious locally-crafted  treats that keep Andrea's customers returning several times a day.  She has such a wonderful and cheerful demeanor that brings a little bit of sunshine to even the foggiest of bay-area days.  I'm sure her customers look forward to chatting with her every bit as much as I do every Monday morning.  She delivers a smile with every cup, and that is something I'm sure we all need more of in our lives.

The shop is open during the day on weekdays, and is occasionally open on Sundays when it could also transform into a pop-up location for such interesting things as tarot readings and shoulder massages.  To stay up-to-date on happenings (of which there are many) and menus, you can follow Tea Here Now on facebook.  I hope all of my local readers will take the time to sit, sip, and savor sometime soon.  And of course, be sure to order a Picnic Bakery peppermint panda and veggie pot-pie while you're there. Also, Andrea has informed me that due to popular demand, some of her customers are now ordering arctic pandas (peppermint pandas that have been chilled in the icebox creating a cool mint-chocolate cookie reminiscent of mint chocolate chip ice cream).  Go try one and let me know what you think!

*All photos in this post were taken from the Tea Here Now facebook page.