CBTL answers tea questions

A graphic I created to enter a CBTL gift card contest. Yep, those are my family's hands. @2010 ANVidean

A graphic I created to enter a CBTL gift card contest a couple of years ago.   Yep, those are my family’s hands. @2010 ANVidean

My favorite tea organization, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, held a live tea chat with their international tea expert David DeCandia today (Jan. 30, 2013). The convo took place in honor of National Hot Tea Month. [Who knew that was going on?]

Even though you didn’t catch it live, the questions and answers are still worth checking out.

Coffee CommuniTea: Pegasus Coffee House, Bainbridge Island, WA

Today’s Cup o’ Tea
Pegasus Coffee House

A favorite of Jackie Nagel, owner of
business coaching/consulting firm Synnovatia, San Pedro, CA,
who recommended this choice spot.

……………………

Perks (what I really like!)
“The beautiful, nurturing environment and the incredibly good-tasting coffee.”

Photo complements of the Pegasus Coffee House Web site.

Share a cuppa (the stories)
“My first experience with Pegasus Coffee House was when I was still living in Washington State. I arrived early for the ferry to take me to downtown Seattle. With the little bit of extra time I had, I discovered this incredible coffee house shrouded in [Virginia Creeper, which looks a whole lot like] English Ivy.”

History: The Pegasus opened its doors on May 1, 1980. It’s Web site description says it’s “friendly, lively, casual and a bit funky and bohemian.

“The building was formerly home to Anderson Hardware store and its trademark bricks were salvaged from the Port Blakely Mill incinerator.

“Some use it as an office, some as a living room, but it’s always been a hub for information and the arts. The walls play host to local artists works and there’s live coffee house music every week.”

What’s Brewing (coffee, tea, food)
“Love, Love, Love their coffee! Although we moved from the area in 2001, we still order their coffee online. There’s no bitter aftertaste like some of the better-known coffee brews/beans.”

They also offer tasty treats like:

  • Greens and soup
  • Sandwiches
  • Dinner, with available beer, wine and cocktails
  • Desserts

The Grind (what I would change)
“Wish they were local!”

Percolation Factor (the activity/environment/energy/service)
“The people always remember my name when I call in to place my order. It’s nice to be remembered.”

Per the Web site, Pegasus also offers:

  • Free wi-fi
  • Music on Friday and Saturday nights, with a distinct preference for folk and country flavors
  • A 20-person private event room available for parties, or business meetings
  • An outdoor terrace
  • A “Fresh Connections” blog

The Grounds (location)
131 Parfitt Way S.W.
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
206-842-6725

Tea Times (hours)
M–Th.,  Su.: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
F.–Sa.: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Yelp rating: 3.5 stars (49 reviews)

……………………

I love connecting people and ideas, so I’ve been creating small villages my entire life. Really, what better places can writers and musicians find to create “village” than independent coffee/tea shops? I wrote most of my Rhythms & Muse novel and Delfaerune Rhapsody series-in-progress in coffee/tea venues, so it seemed natural to create this blog. Whether you came here to find a new favorite hangout, or suggest a spot not yet not posted, may you find Coffee CommuniTea exactly to your taste!

Coffee CommuniTea: Pink Spot Coffee and Ice Cream, Phoenix, AZ

Today’s Cup o’ Tea
Pink Spot Coffee and Ice Cream

Watch, in the coming months, for a new patio renovation to allow more outdoor seating at Pink Spot.
©2012 ANVidean

Perks (what I really like!)

  • Uh … coffee, tea AND ice cream! What’s not to love?
  • Fresh food, made to order, and inexpensive.
  • The “chill” environment
  • Free wi-fi
  • The staff provides input on everything they do, from ice cream flavors to sandwich types.

Share a cuppa (the stories)
When the space next to their healthy, organic Zpizza location opened up four years ago, former attorney Julie Kossak and hi-tech sales exec Mark Wheeler got excited to bring something unique to the downtown Phoenix Willo District where they live and work. The husband and wife team considering what type of place was missing in the neighborhood and decided it was ice cream. Oh, and what goes great with ice cream all day long? Coffee! And, what do people need with their coffee? Yummy food!

The name originated with their daughter’s love of the color, and represented the fun, happy ambiance they hoped to create. Vîola! Pink Spot was born.

My ALWAYS authors tribe met at Pink Spot this month for a lively discussion about Deep Point of View: Eduardo Cervino, Raleigh Pinsky, Andrea Beaulieu, Erana Leiken, Ann Videan, and Kris Tualla.
(Thanks to our attentive barista for taking the photo.)

What’s Brewing (coffee, tea, food)

  • Ice cream and frozen yogurt
    – Hand made from Karen Kreamery especially for Pink Spot, the gourmet, super premium (16% butterfat) ice cream includes 16 standards like chocolate, mint chip and coffee. But you can also go adventurous with a few unique rotating flavors like pear and Gorgonzola, or lavender.
  • Tea, and coffee roasted locally and specifically for Pink Spot by Coffee Roasters of Arizona
  • Breakfast and brunch available all day long
    – Made-to-order egg sandwiches, breakfast burritos, and fresh baked goods
    – Greek yogurt and granola parfaits
    – Vegetarian breakfast/lunch offerings and five delicious made-to-order
    – Now, don’t forget the special pizza next door, either.

The Grind (what I would change)
I have one tiny issue with the noise level if you’re planning to have a meeting or serious conversation there. But, overall, the location is delightful.

It’s definitely a comfy, party environment.
©2012 ANVidean

Percolation Factor (the activity/environment/energy/service)
Great place for:

  • Meetings
  • Tutoring
  • Parties (especially build-your-own sundae types of gatherings)
  • Showers

The Grounds (location)
49 W. Thomas Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85013
602.265.3889

Tea Times (hours)
M–F: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Sa.–Su.: 8 a.m.to 10 p.m.

Yelp rating: 4 stars (77 reviews)

……………………

I love connecting people and ideas, so I’ve been creating small villages my entire life. Really, what better places can writers and musicians find to create “village” than independent coffee/tea shops? I wrote most of my Rhythms & Muse novel and Delfaerune Rhapsody series-in-progress in coffee/tea venues, so it seemed natural to create this blog. Whether you came here to find a new favorite hangout, or suggest a spot not yet not posted, may you find Coffee CommuniTea exactly to your taste!

Coffee CommuniTea: Calypsos Coffee, Coeur d’Alene, ID

The comfy Calypsos Coffee: site of my book signing in Cd'A, ID. @2011 ANVidean

Today’s Cup o’ Tea
Calypsos Coffee & Creamer
y

Perks (what I really like!)

  • Owner Maria was very accommodating and helpful for my book/music CD signing
  • Fun, eclectic décor including local artists’ artwork
  • Nooks and crannies with various seating types to accommodate groups and quiet conversations
  • A raised platform for performances
  • Free Wi-Fi

Share a cuppa (the stories)
Owners:
Local natives the Jenicek family started the business with a desire to involve themselves with the downtown business district, and to work with people who share their love of coffee. I’d say they’ve succeeded!

What’s Brewing (coffee, tea, food)

  • Coffee roasted on site (wholesale and retail)
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner and catering
  • Ice cream (Yum!)
  • Baked goods

The Grind (what I would change)
Not a thing. This is a very fun, comfortable hangout.

Percolation Factor (the activity/environment/energy/service)

  • People coming in off Cd’A Lake, the City Beach and downtown shopping for a cool drink and some delicious food.
  • Live music and open mic nights.
  • Behind doors smart room for meeting rental.

The Grounds (location)
Downtown, one block from the Cd’A Resort and the City Beach.
116 E. Lakeside Ave.
Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814
208.665.0591
Email Maria-Cristina or Todd

Tea Times (hours)
Open:
M.–Th. 7 a.m.–8:30 p.m.
F. 7 a.m.–9 p.m.
Sa. 8 a.m.–9 p.m.
Su. 8 a.m.–4 p.m.

Yelp rating: 4.5 stars

……………………

I love connecting people and ideas, so I’ve been creating small villages my entire life. Really, what better places can writers and musicians find to create “village” than independent coffee/tea shops? I wrote most of my Rhythms & Muse novel in coffee/tea venues, so it seemed natural to create this blog. Whether you came here to find a new favorite hangout, or suggest a spot not yet not posted, may you find Coffee CommuniTea exactly to your taste!

Coffee CommuniTea: Rocket Bakery On First, Spokane, WA

Today’s Cup o’ Tea
Rocket Bakery On First

Rocket Bakery On First. Photo by Nathan on Urban Spoon

Perks (what I really like!)
• Great open-air space
• Free Wi-Fi
• Located in a charming old brick building in downtown Spokane, within walking distance of Riverfront Park (site of 1974 World’s Fair)

Share a cuppa (the stories)
• Locally owned bakery and coffeehouse with nine neighborhood locations in the Spokane area, since 1992.

What’s Brewing (coffee, tea, food)
• All baked goods made by scratch with only wholesome ingredients
• Wide selection of delicious food choices
• Good tea selection and specialty drinks

The Grind (what I would change)
• More accessible Wi-Fi (I couldn’t get on during my second visit, perhaps because of a an over-protective firewall?)

Percolation Factor (the activity/environment/energy/service)
• Lots of activity from loyal, local patrons.

The Grounds (location)
1325 W. 1st Ave.
Spokane, WA
509-747-1834

Tea Times (hours)
Open daily 6 a.m.-6 p.m.

Yelp rating:
4 stars

…………………

I love connecting people and ideas, so I’ve been creating small villages my entire life. Really, what better places can writers and musicians find to create “village” than independent coffee/tea shops? I wrote most of my Rhythms & Muse novel in coffee/tea venues, so it seemed natural to create this blog. Whether you came here to find a new favorite hangout, or suggest a spot not yet not posted, may you find Coffee CommuniTea exactly to your taste!

Coffee CommuniTea: The Grove, Chandler, AZ

I’m trying an abbreviated, more bulleted, style compared to previous entries.
What do you think? Easier to read? Do let me know.

…………………

Here I am with Coffee CommuniTea brainchild Cherie Scott making the most of a cloudy AZ summer's day out on the patio. ©2011 ANVidean (via timer)

Today’s Cup o’ Tea
The Grove Coffee, celebrating its one-year anniversary in August 2011.

Perks (what I really like!)

  • Lovely environment!
  • Exceptional general manager/barista: Lawrence Jarvey
  • Quiet and peaceful
  • Local art featured and creation encouraged
  • Pass-through fireplace from outside to inside
  • All proceeds go to local and global outreach programs
  • The philosophy of the Grove Bible Church is “Love God. Grow Together. Serve the World.” This is an embraceable concept!

Lawrence serves up a special brew for his friend and patron. ©2011 ANVidean

Share a cuppa (the stories)
General manager Lawrence is a former-golf-pro-turned-coffee-shop-general-manager/barista, and an injury-healing Truth seeker.

What’s Brewing (coffee, tea, food)

  • Fresh roasted coffee. (Until August 2011, Grove Coffee brewed Cartel Coffee, a Tempe roaster’s. Now Lawrence roasts coffee beans onsite.)
  • Smoothies
  • A few teas
  • A few pastries

Can't wait to visit when the fire's lit! ©2011 ANVidean

The Grind (what I would change)
Maybe more food options, but otherwise, not a thing. The calm, supportive energy in this place fully feeds the soul!

Percolation Factor (the activity/environment/energy/service)

  • Art classes
  • Music performances
  • Gorgeous patio (parents can sip a cuppa while  watching kiddos in the adjacent playground)

Art theme: Love (not pictured). Grow. Serve. ©2011 ANVidean

Just look at this comfy, functional setting! ©2011 ANVidean

The Grounds (location)
This beautiful destination sits next to a pistachio grove, the home of The Grove Bible Church:

2777 S. Gilbert Rd.
Chandler, AZ  85286
480.786.0108

Tea Times (hours)
Open:
M–F  6:30 a.m.–3 p.m.
S-S  8 a.m.–1 p.m.

Yelp rating:
5 stars!

…………………

I love connecting people and ideas, so I’ve been creating small villages my entire life. Really, what better places can writers and musicians find to create “village” than independent coffee/tea shops? I wrote most of my Rhythms & Muse novel in coffee/tea venues, so it seemed natural to create this blog. Whether you came here to find a new favorite hangout, or suggest a spot not yet not posted, may you find Coffee CommuniTea exactly to your taste!

Coffee CommuniTea: Enchanted Grounds, Highlands Ranch, CO

Today’s Cup o’ Tea
Enchanted Grounds Coffeehouse and Gameporium

Ah, the treasures we found inside... ©2011 ANVidean

Perks (what I really like!)
While in Colorado recently, I visited Enchanted Grounds with my brother Paul and his son Blake. I’d describe this charming spot as the ultimate in nerdy coolness. I mean really, a coffee shop and a gaming store all rolled into one? And I thought Souvia was heaven.

Perhaps it appealed to me so much because I’m a closet gamer. I love board games and cards, video games and, especially, role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons. My family played D&D every week for years, starting with a group at Borders Books, and then moving to our living room. Our fabulous friend and Game Master Joanne kept the play creative, and rewarded smart and nonviolent decisions. It taught my kids a lot of great lessons about preparation, teamwork, strategic thinking and problem solving. Ah, but I digress…

Blake loves Batman, and I'm partial to Superman (mostly because of Smallville). ©2011 Paul Narcisian

We’d dropped into Enchanted Grounds for a short afternoon of quiet gaming and something refreshing to sip. When we first walked up to the counter, Paul says Dan to the barista, “Hey, great shirt!” He points out that Dan’s T-shirt image sported Blake’s favorite superhero, Batman.

Blake's scrumptious Batman shake. ©2011 ANVidean

We didn’t think much of it as we found a table and laid out our Harry Potter Lego game. But, when I went to pick up my delicious peppermint tea, I discovered a Batman symbol outlined in chocolate syrup on top of the boys’ chocolate milkshake. Blake loved the sweet surprise! (Not to mention sucking the creamy treat down to half full in about 15 seconds flat, at which point his Dad snagged the other half.)

My nephew Blake and brother Paul set up our game while waiting for tea and a milkshake. ©2011 ANVidean

I thoroughly enjoyed our time at Enchanted Grounds. The atmosphere feels energized, but calm. The food and drinks taste delicious. A well-stocked and roomy game-display area allowed for easy browsing. I can easily imagine playing D&D there, as the gaming tables are spacious and pretty comfortable. I especially like the broad variety of people the place attracted: not only gamer types rolling d20s (20-sided die) and pondering miniatures on maps, but families holding quiet conversations, and professionals working away on laptops.

All I want to know is why can’t Enchanted Ground be in my neighborhood? (I guess it’s so I have another great excuse to visit my lucky brother now… Yeah, that’s it.)

Barista Dan and owner Jeff Kokx. ©2011 ANVidean

Share a cuppa (the stories)
Owner: Jeff Kokx
Do you just love how that last name is spelled?

What’s Brewing (coffee, tea, food)

  • Specialty coffee and gourmet espresso
  • A good selection of teas
  • Fruit smoothies, and ice cream shakes (best in town!)
  • Sandwiches and burritos
  • Pastries and desserts
  • Even drink catering (an entire coffee and espresso bar set-up for your private party or office function)

The Grind (what I would change)
It’s Enchanted Grounds. What more is there to say?

Percolation Factor (the activity/environment/energy/service)

  • Online community:
    Podcasts

    Blog posts
  • Games, toys, puzzles and collectible card games (CCGs)
  • Plenty of seating inside and out
  • Game, club, and/or other events almost every day
  • Free WiFi and lots of power outlets
  • Beautiful decor and friendly staff (Dan was thoughtful, helpful…a real charmer!)

The Grounds (location)
8800 S. Colorado Blvd., Unit A
Highlands Ranch, CO 80126
303.470.1010

Tea Times (hours)
Open:
M–Th 6 a.m.–10 p.m.
F 6 a.m.–12 a.m.
Sa 7 a.m.–12 a.m.
Su 7 a.m.–8 p.m.

Yelp rating:  4 Stars

……………………

I love connecting people and ideas, so I’ve been creating small villages my entire life. Really, what better places can writers and musicians find to create “village” than independent coffee/tea shops? I wrote most of my Rhythms & Muse novel in coffee/tea venues, so it seemed natural to create this blog. Whether you came here to find a new favorite hangout, or suggest a spot not yet not posted, may you find Coffee CommuniTea exactly to your taste!