A Most Peaceful Trip: My Time at Roji Tea Lounge

Good morning, friends!

On our last day of February, I’m so happy that I can finally talk about one of my favorite tea places to go, Roji Tea Lounge of Syracuse, NY.  A several years ago, around 2012 I believe, I was first introduced to this cozy and inviting tea place from a friend of mine. They always talked about how cool and cozy it was, and how great the tea was prepared there. As a person who loves going to new places, especially around tea, I couldn’t wait to go! Ever since then, any chance I get to go to what I consider my personal retreat and haven, I’m there faster than a first steep of an Oolong tea (okay, maybe not that fast, but you get the idea.)

Recently, I decided to meet up with a few friends after work to get some tea. I have always had, and continue to have, such wonderful experiences here. The staff is always so welcoming, and knowledgeable about their teas. This time, I was having a tough time of what tea to choose, since my go-to is always their hazelnut black dessert tea, but this time I wanted to try either the Da Hong Pao Oolong or the Jin Jun Mei tea since they both sounded so good! I decided to ask one of the people working which one they preferred of the two, and they told me that they love Oolong teas, and that if I really like a bold tea with a smooth finish, that I would enjoy the Da Hong Pao a lot. I decided to try that one based off their recommendation, and I can honestly say, I really loved it. The tea was exactly as they said it would be. The warmth and toasty taste of that tea was so uplifting and soothing. I really enjoyed it, and would definitely recommend it to anyone who is a fan of Hōjicha , Mates, and Pu-erhs because of the toasty flavor. Also, this was my first time having Oolong prepared in a Gaiwan, and I have to say, this was a really interesting and enjoyable first experience! From the set up below, I didn’t drink my tea straight out of the Gaiwan, and instead held back the top of the saucer to pour the tea into a glass vessel. After a few tries, and a few messes later, I found a way to pour it without spilling so much tea everywhere.

IMG_5400(Here is a picture I took of my Gaiwan tea set up on the 23rd of February, 2018)

img_5403.jpeg( A close up of the Da Hong Pao Oolong that I tried for the first time on the 23rd of February, 2018)

When it comes to expenses, I find their teas to be reasonably priced. If you are sitting in, you get a whole pot of tea with a large metal thermos of fresh, hot water for anywhere between $4-9 (depending on what tea you choose.) They also sell their tea packaged so that you can enjoy it from your own home! (I ended up buying the Da Hong Pao and the hazelnut tea before I left.)

Other than tea, their food choices are also delicious. I usually order what’s called “That Coconut Thing”-a dessert that has tapioca balls, fresh coconut cream and your choice of dairy ice cream or soy with whipped cream (or soy cream) on top, garnished with coconut shavings. This time, I wanted to try something more savory, and because I hadn’t tried their rice balls yet, I thought that would go nicely with my toasty tea. I have to say, they paired wonderfully together.

img_5406-e1519785662872.jpeg(Picture I took of the Onigiri I had with my tea on the 23rd of February)

The atmosphere contained a great playlist of chill beats and was overall tranquil ( I recognized the Temples song that was playing, since it was off of one of my favorite albums by them called “Sun Structures.”) When you first walk in, there’s a couch/seating area set up, and when you turn to your right, there’s a Japanese styled sitting room complete with a few tables and some homemade zubatons (Japanese floor cushions that you sit on) that were comfy and really cute! Another thing about Roji that I love is how much everyone around you is having a great time-whether they’re quietly studying, or conversing within a group of friends, I have yet to see anything but pure happiness and bliss.

On that note, from my overall experience with this tea lounge, I highly recommend them, and hope that you, my friends, get to go and enjoy your time (and tea) there.

Below, I have a link to their website which tells what Roji is all; check them out:

http://rojitealounge.com/

Until next time,

Sincerely,

Bee

 

Week Ahead

Good morning, Friends!

This coming week I have a special treat in mind to share with you all. I wont give too much away, but it’s going to be about a favorite place of mine that I like to go and unwind at, that I hope, you will too.

Enjoy your Sundays, all!

Sincerely,

Bee

Week of Reflection

Good morning, Friends!

This has been such an eventful week for myself. Between my first tea and book review, to the discovery of a really wonderful author, I’d say it’s been a great success.

While looking back on my tea/book review, there’s a lot I liked about how I went about executing my thoughts on the matter, but I have a few ideas in mind as to what I’d like to do differently in the future. For starters, since I was trying so hard not to spoil the story for those of you whom have never read an Agatha Christie novel, or just this book in general, I feel that I could have at least delivered a little more creative thought about lines that I took note that I really liked. There was a lot of times throughout the book, where Poirot’s wittiness really got a giggle out of me as well as inspired me and so, I took note but could not for the life of me figure out at the time how to place it in the context of the review I was writing. Also, to be fair, I did read the book in an entire day-actually the day before- which really limited my energies to such details. In the future, I have a better outline/plan for such book reviews to give you, dear friends, a more thoughtful approach to what I enjoyed. This isn’t a bad reflection to have, quite honestly. As you know, I am very big on improving myself in any way that I can-especially with my writing. Something positive I noticed when doing that particular review was what it felt like to be in the moment of writing – that feeling of total focus and devotion to my words flowing from the blooming creativity of my mind. Having that in mind, pun intended, holding onto that feeling and knowing full well what helps for me to get my writing spark, I feel will help me grow as a writer too.

After I had finished my review of Murder on the Orient Express I couldn’t wait to tell my mother about what a wonderful and inspiring book that I had just read. In her casual, nonchalant way, she tells me a story of her own. Growing up, her mother (my wonderful grandmother) always had a love of  books and was particularly partial to mystery novels. Every summer, when there wasn’t a lot to do, she would let my mother read books out of her own personal collection. My grandmother had, at the time, all of Agatha Christie’s books because she was a huge fan of her and let my mother read the Murder on the Orient Express. Though she hasn’t read it since, my mother has enjoyed her works, and was delighted to hear of me picking up one and enjoying it as she had. Another interesting note on this story, around the time that my mother was getting into Agatha Christie, my grandmother and her were both excitedly discussing what the newest show they had heard of called “Murder, She Wrote” was going to be like-and if the main character was going to be based off Agatha Christie herself! I think that part was my favorite to hear, since all three of us are huge fans of that show. Maybe, I’ll do some reviews of my favorite episodes in the future. We’ll have to wait and see.

In closing, my final thoughts on Agatha Christie are pretty sound-I’m truly inspired by how she can not only tie a story together, but how she makes that story flow so smoothly really has me in awe. I think if I should ever write a story someday, that it be a mystery for everyone to enjoy. On that note, I will see you all tomorrow for what the week ahead holds.

Sincerely,

Bee

Murder on the Orient Express: Tea & Book Review

Orient Express Tea and Book Review(Photograph taken by me on 2/20/2018)

Good morning my friends, and welcome to my first tea and book review!

I prepared a cup of this beautifully aromatic tea first thing on Tuesday, the 20th of February-which was a rather gloomy, cold, and rainy winter morning. What better time than to warm oneself than with a cup of tea.

The tea that I chose to pair up perfectly with this book is Harney & Sons Murder on the Orient Express Tea

Steeping: 5 minutes at 208°F (98°C)
Aroma: light smokiness with a faint, yet creamy, citrus tone
Flavor: bold with a balance of floral and citrus
Liquor: dark amber color

I chose to steep this tea at the recommended time ( normally I prepare my black teas/blends at most 4 minutes) to see what the flavor might be like, since I am not opposed to trying new ways of brewing, let alone new teas. I also decided on an average high temperature since this tea is predominantly a black tea blend, and I feel that for me, this temperature is hot enough to get the full flavor of the tea to blossom. This blend of black teas, Oolong, jasmine and bergamot has been quiet a delightful ride. The strength of the black tea is what my taste buds pick up on first, followed by a smooth, creamy finish of a well balanced floral and citrus tone that leaves such a calming effect.  Between the delightful and calming moodiness of the weather, this tea really warmed me up to the setting for the story.

Since this story is taking place during the winter time, I found it very easy for me to relate and feel what was going on, as well as have a more clear visual of the setting that the story is taking place in. I find it’s easier for myself to be more immersed into a book when I’m reading it within the season the story is taking place. I soon found myself more distracted by the main character, Monsieur Hercule Poirot, a rather quirky and intuitive Belgian detective. From beginning to end, I enjoyed sitting back and getting to know how this character thinks and investigates the crime that takes place on his journey back to England (Christie, 15); Poirot has before him the Millionaire Samuel Edward Ratchett who ends up dead in his own compartment of the train; stabbed at least a dozen times with his door locked from the inside. (Christie, Back Cover description.) Some of the main points that I personally loved about this book was not only Christie’s attention to detail, but how well organized and fluid the story progressed. The book is segmented into three parts. This first part goes over the facts as they appear. The second part’s focus is the collection of evidence of all the passengers on the train. The third and final part is where Poirot takes all the evidence collected and comes to a conclusion of whom the murder could be. Without giving too much away, I will try to be vague, only because, I don’t want to spoil this book for those who have yet to read it. I can honestly say, that even when I set the book down to take a break, I could pick it up with everything still fresh in my mind, and still be so immersed with the plot as it thickened. As this is my first Agatha Christie book, as well as my first introduction into Poirot, I can without a doubt say, overall, I’m hooked, and can’t wait to read more of her work, especially with Poirot. I love how dramatic his monologue could be, especially when asked where he “belonged” as a detective, “I belong to the world, Madame” was his response. (Christie, 124.)   As for whom committed the murder, well, you’ll just have to find out for yourself, with the friendly help of Hercule Poirot.

In regards to Agatha Christie, to my new found Queen of Mystery, I tip my cup of tea to and rejoice in your artistry of literature.

Thank you for stopping by to read my first tea and book review. Your time and care are much appreciated. May your tea always be warm, and your books wholesome.

Until next time, Sincerely,

Bee

 

 

If you would like to know more about Agatha Christie, a great place to start is the hyperlink I’ve made with her name.

If you are interested in the tea, there’s a hyperlink in the name at the top of the page, and I will place one here as well: Harney & Sons Murder on the Orient Express Tea

To purchase the book, here’s a link to Amazon.

For those whom love books as much as I do, support your local independent book sellers as well as your local libraries!

Works Cited

Christie, Agatha. Murder on the Orient Express. 2011. HarperCollins Publishers. 1934.

A Cozy Sunday

Good Morning, Friends.

I hope that you’re enjoying your Sunday, no matter where you are, I firmly believe that every one should have at least one day a week that is a day of relaxation, respite, and peace. For me, that’s what Sunday is all about-getting cozy, taking a step back, and planning out what’s ahead for the coming week. This Sunday’s post is going to be short, since I wanted to use it to highlight only a few things with the week coming up.

On Wednesday, I have something special in mind to talk about: it’ll be a caboose full of mystery, as well as tea. I’ve been looking forward to sharing just what this, since it was what I meant for last Wednesday, but due to a late tea shipment, I had to hold off until this week.

Enjoy your week, my friends, I will see you again on Wednesday!

Sincerely,

Bee

A Week of Reflection-First Saturday Post

Hello and Good Morning Friends,

I hope you all had a nice week, especially with the holiday in the middle of it. There’s quite a bit I have to reflect on from this week, mainly a lot of what I’ve thought about between posts, and so, I’d like to do some sharing here.

If I may, I am quite proud of myself for coming up with a set schedule for my blog, and so far, sticking to it. I think it’ll not only work perfect for me to keep in a constant flow of writing, but I think it will also help to keep this dream of mine alive by being more organized about it. I always have something on my mind, especially ideas for posts that I have, so I’m glad that I found a way to narrow down my ideas to set days so that I’m not so overwhelmed to write/come up with material to “be entertaining.” The whole point of my blog, is for me to convey my happiness in what I find that brings peace to me: that peace is tea and books. That being said, I wish the tea that I had ordered came in before Valentine’s Day so that I could have had the time to review and talk about it, but that’s okay. If it’s here before this coming Wednesday, I’ll be able to do so, if not, I have a few other teas in mind.

If there’s something I have learned from this week, it’s always have a back up plan waiting and on the ready. I have a whole cupboard full of tea that I can’t wait to talk about, so I think what I will more than likely do is spend this weekend organizing what ones I want to do and when I’d like to do them. I’m truly excited to be able to put to paper so many of the teas I’ve purchased.

Another note of learning that I wanted to talk about really quick, is themes. I honestly love celebrating holidays (even the silly internet ones like, for example, National Pizza Day) and I would love to start making posts about my thoughts on them, what teas I’m drinking that go with it, maybe some treats and books to go with it as well, just to make it more fun than it already is. Since I didn’t receive my tea order in time, which actually had a Valentine’s themed tea in it, there is always next year, as well as time to do a late post about it. Speaking of holidays, I actually like celebrating a lot of pagan ones, and would love to incorporate my adventures through the lovely world of witchcraft on here and how it’s been a really positive impact on my life.

Speaking of positive influences, other than writing up my blog, I’ve gotten back into keeping a diary again! It’s been very helpful to write out a lot of my thoughts and my to day life. I feel very grounded from it, and it’s nice to be able to look back and see what was going on in my mind that day, and reflect on it.

The main reason I wanted to make a reflection post every week is, there is always something that I have on my mind and I feel that it’s good to take the time and think back on what I can do different, to improve or keeping moving forward with something. I am very big on embracing change-in all aspects of my life. I am an ever-ready and growing person, and I am willing to accept that I make mistakes and take risks to improve on my development. Yes, I wish I was better at this, and could be more detail oriented with my thoughts and feelings, and I will be, with the more time, love and care I put into my work. I know I can do; just one day at a time-baby steps. As someone who loves to learn and grow, I am always open to feedback and would be more than happy to hear from you guys and what you’re reflecting on as well.

Thank you to all of you whom have taken the time to watch me start on my adventure in blogging, and whom enjoy it. I appreciate it. Tomorrow starts a new week, and that means, a new post.

Sincerely,

Bee

My First Wednesday Post

Hello again Friends! Happy Valentine’s Day!

Thank you for tuning in for my first Wednesday post! I know on Sunday I talked a little bit about how I will be scheduling my posts to specific days, and what I would post on said days. I did indeed, now that I look back, leave it very open-ended. As this is my first Wednesday post, I think I will go into the details of what I’d like to do for future posts, specifically for this day.

As a tea enthusiast and book lover, I would love to share what I’m drinking and reading (both my main inspirations for this very blog!) on this day. I have so many teas, ranging for single origin to fan-made blends, and I have so many books to pair up, and cozy up, with them. I have a great one lined up at the station for next week, so please, stay tuned to what I have in store.

Mainly, what I want Wednesdays to also include is not just a tea(s) and/book, but all aspects culturally of tea and books(literature). I would like discuss my thoughts, findings, and stories behind the different artists, musicians, writers, etc that I come across who also love tea and books, and the work that they produce. To be more specific, I’m talking about comics, manga, poetry, short stories, music, TV, anime, movies, fashion, etc. that are about tea and/or books. I do own some tea books that I look forward to reviewing and sharing with you all, so stay tuned for that as well.

I hope you all have a lovely Valentine’s Day, I’ll see you at the end of the week.

Sincerely,

Bee