Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Staycation Notes: Pick a Theme. Howabout Tea Tasting?

The past two weekends the hubs and I have been celebrating our anniversary with an extended staycation. Staycations are not only affordable, they're also a great way to support your local businesses.

One of the themes of our staycation was tea tasting. It started with a trip to Crown and Crumpet in San Francisco, a tea salon in Ghiradelli Square. Yes, the hubs is a good sport to go with me to such a cute, pink place (:

He had the Crown & Crumpet Private Blend, and I had their Paris tea (bergamot and vanilla) which was so good we had to buy a little bag of it to take home. We also had our first crumpets, which were freakalicious.

Our second tea tasting stop was the Numi Tea Garden in Oakland. Regular readers and Big Vision Podcast listeners might remember that I interviewed Numi Tea Co-Founder, Reem Rahim, for the Big Vision Podcast in January 2007. Numi Tea is an environmentally and socially responsible tea company based in Oakland (but you can buy their tea nationally).

The hubs had a super yummy darjeeling tea. I had the Jasmine Lovers flowering tea. Mine was the prettiest. His was the tastiest. They serve the tea on little wooden boxes and do a whole ceremony as they prepare it. Our tea hostess also told us about Numi's newest product line of organic puerh tea, and gave us some free samples to take home.

Our last stop was the Imperial Tea Garden Court in Berkeley where we were able to have a tasty lunch with our tea. I tried their Rose Garden Dragon Well tea in a Gaiwan (covered cup). The hubs had an iced Morrocan Mint.

I had a bit of trouble figuring out how to drink the tea with the cover slightly ajar, but eventually got the hang of it. The best part was the tea's yummy rose fragrance.

Our two weekends of tea tasting adventures were fun, and got me excited to find other local tea houses locally, and when we travel.

The next time you want to take a staycation, why not pick a theme for your adventures like bakery sampling, or a bookstore tour, or picnics in public green spaces, or city landmark exploration?

Happy stacationing!

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