Making the Ordinary, Extraordinary
Old Town Alexandria`s Coffee, Tea, and Spice shop, at 215 S. Union Street. They have a Facebook page, a Yelp review, and an entry in tea map`s site. I love that this shop is always full of friendly people! I was being awkward and taking pictures of the shop, but the two clerks at the counter just smiled and nodded as I did my thing. I know it may have been explained by the huge order we made, but I think that it`s also because this is a place where you are encouraged to sit around and nurse a cup of tea, chatting and smiling. We actually did spend a few minutes chatting with the friendly clerks, who looked young enough to be working there for their college`s Spring Break. When we had made our purchases, we also talked to some fellow customers about the region and some memories they had. It really was a lovely interlude.
It`s a cheerful little shop. A lot of the stores around King street have been polished up for the tourists, with all sorts of fancy bits and gewgaws. This little shop feels cluttered and authentic, with floor to ceiling shelves on all walls, and the one wall covered in nothing but tea. If you walk a little further down, you will also see almost as many varieties of coffee.
My favorite teas have been the lavender and rooibos for quite a while, for the taste as well as the healing properties. The lavender is pure dried flowers, without any tea leaves at all, so it is technically a tisane. It`s absolutely caffeine free, as well! There were a few new varieties for today, though. I tried the lychee and coconut, and I thought they were great!
The coconut tea was very strongly coconutty, though the Frau thought it tasted more like coconut oil than meat to her. I thought it was great, personally.
The lychee tea was just what I like in the fruit! It was sweet and warming, and I think it would go over well with with kids. Especially those that don`t tend to like tea! If you like lychee and want to try some more, you can mosey on down to the Asian Bistro on Kingstreet and pick up a lychee bubble tea with some authentic Asian cuisine, ranging from Shanghai noodles and pho to pad prik khing.
That`s why we ordered the lychee and coconut tea for brewing in store, and bought about twenty 1/4 pound bags of tea besides.
This store has everything from tea pots that are an inch big to gallon sized pots, every size of tea cup and mug imaginable, cool little kitchen gadgets, every flavor of loose leaf tea imaginable, and specialty teas that are premixed medicinals- energy, sleep, running, etc.