Sunday, April 6, 2014

Tea Time


One of the things I love about Sedona is the plethora of local businesses that dot the city. Very few places as populated as this have only a handful of national chains. Some would find it annoying that they can't go out to eat at Olive Garden, or have to drive 15 miles to the nearest Wal-Mart, but for me, I lovingly embrace the uniqueness of the businesses in the town I call home.

Almost a year ago, a new shop opened up on hwy 179. It's perched up on the second floor of a shopping plaza just around the corner from Tlaquepaque. Green letter proclaim what's inside, "Trailhead Teas". It sounds appropriate. In Sedona, there are over 80 trails to hike, many of which originate right in the town itself.

Every day that I take Carrick to preschool, I drive right by Trailhead Teas, and think, "Today is the day I go in there and check it out." And everyday, I end up not going in there. So with mom in town, I knew I would most definitely make it into Trailhead Tea...finally!

My mom is a tea connoisseur. She collects loose leaf teas. From herbal blends, to bold and black teas, she has them all. She saves the slim glass jars that green olives come in, and rinses them out. She makes her own labels, and uses them to store her mammoth collection of loose leaf teas. She has entire cabinet in her kitchen devoted just to teas. When she makes a pot of tea, she replaces that flavor in the back of her cabinet and moves the next one up. That way she is always sampling "new teas". I knew with mom in town, there was no way I was going to miss my chance to go tea shopping with her.

We walked in from the blustering wind last Wednesday into the quietness of Trailhead Teas. The entire back wall was lined with glass jars filled with a few inches of blended tea. From one side of the store to the other, jars, jars, jars. They had pearls of jasmine tea, $20 an oz, they had fruit blends, $5 an oz., something in every price range and every flavor profile you could imagine. They blend every tea right there in the store. They order the ingredients and they do the rest. On the packages of each kind of tea (located below the sample jars,) were pictures of places in Sedona, taken by the two owners and their employee.) This is homemade, local business from top to bottom.

After smelling almost all the teas, there had to be at least 100, I had to go back and re-smell the ones I liked. After that, there were a few more comparative sniffs before deciding on one. I wanted to buy something, whether or not I really needed a pouch of tea, I just wanted to vote for this business with my Fun Dollars. I finally rested my decision with "Blue Moon Blueberry". It's an herbal fruit blend that I can share with the kids. On that cold day, as the wind howled outside on the second day in April, I felt like the weather shifted from warm to cold, just so I could enjoy my hot afternoon tea that much more. Mom sipped her "Family Blend", which was one of my final contenders, and we relaxed until it was time to pick up Carrick from school.

Blue Moon Blueberry Tea at Trailhead Teas- $8.00

Balance this pay cycle- $40.00

Happy Spending!

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