Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tea in a Genie Bottle

I always imagined that a genie lived in comfort with plush pillows, vibrant colors, ornate patterns, and warm lighting. My tea experience at SiTea was like having tea in the intimate and relaxing ambiance of a genie bottle. SiTea is a spice boutique and a vegetarian and vegan tea cafe in Takoma Park, a town on the border of the U.S. Capitol and the state of Maryland.

SiTea is a true tea lounge, a place where I wanted to spend hours just sipping my tea and indulging. SiTea smelled of exotic spiced tea and the décor was just as exotic. The ambiance is designed to whisk the customers away to a realm of imagination or maybe the days of ancient royalty in Eastern countries. Rich soothing colors of gold and eggplant adorned the walls. The lounge was filled with a pleasing plethora of colors in the carpets, tapestries, drapes and even in the large bouquet of roses that were peach, purple, yellow, red and white. There were intricately carved teak wood sofas, chairs and panels and alluring stone Hindu statutes. There were lavish ottomans and stuffed cushions with playful patterns and textures, including faux leopard skin. Music of beloved classic jazz legends Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong played softly in the background adding to the soothing mix of colors, smells, sounds and sensations.

And the tea service! Our tea was beautifully presented on a wooden tray in gorgeous cast iron tea kettles, each warmed by matching small cast iron burners containing tea light candles. Delicate small tea cups in shining white porcelain were arranged on the tea tray along with our food order of vegetable samosas (stuffed pastry snack from India) and a potato curry soup. I had the house recommended tea of the day, almond milk chai. The tea and food were delicious. While there was ample seating, there was a noticeable lack of tables and our order was served on an ottoman.

SiTea sells its own blend of dry loose leaf teas that its customers can take home. SiTea loose leaf blends to watch out for include “Sweet Georgia Brown,” which is peach-ginger black tea, and “Idris,” which is chocolate chai tea.  The cast iron kettles and burners are sold along with other tea accessories and seasonings inspired by Middle East and the Caribbean.

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Sara and Andrea

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