Today being a rather rainy day, I was in the mood for tea. Of course, there is rarely a time that I am not in the mood for tea, but I digress. I had read about Old Town Coffee, Tea, and Spice on Adagio's TeaMap.
I was in Alexandria anyway, so I popped down to the waterfront to see if I could find this tiny hole in the wall. When I walked in, my immediate response was to state that I had arrived in heaven. In front of me, I saw a wall with around 200 jars of loose leaf tea and surrounding me were teapots, tea accessories, and prepackaged tea of every possible description. Even teapot wind chimes. I spent a few minutes just wandering along the walls, exploring. Finally I settled down to looking at the tea selection, and the owner came over to chat. He was very friendly, and extremely knowledgeable about his wares. From a few sentences on my part, he was able to figure out my tastes quite accurately and pulled things down from the shelf to share with me. I never felt pressured at all, instead, I felt as if I were part of a club of tea drinkers. He showed me different things that he thought would interest me.
His prices were also quite reasonable. His tea is priced by the pound. If the cost of a pound is under $40, it is sold by the quarter pound, and if the price is over $40, you can purchase by the single ounce. The prices range from around $3.50 for a quarter pound of Sencha to far more expensive teas, such as Monkey-Picked Oolong. The selection was incredibly impressive. He offers quite a variety of single-estate teas as well as a few blends that he creates in store and of course, a variety of flavored teas including quite a selection of Earl Greys.
Unfortunately, I only had put a half-hour on the parking meter, and stayed for fifteen minutes past that before I rushed back to avoid a ticket. But I will certainly be visiting him again soon. I did make it out of there with a few goodies, but you'll have to check back to see what they are and what I have to say about them.
Extra bonus: Supporting local small businesses. Pick three local independent businesses that you would miss if you were gone, and stop in to pick something up to support them, as part of the 3/50 project.