Is there any tea on this spaceship?
Updated: Feb 17
In Tampa, there's a lovely tea shop called Kaleisia.
Kaleisia is a special place. When I first started frequenting, it was situated in a tiny retail space, no bigger than my living room and dining room. Now, it's the size of a restaurant.
The first thing you might notice upon entering Kaleisia is the tea wall - a series of shelves with little canisters. The labels, with their tempting names, compel you to pick them up and inspect a bit closer.
Each canister is a different tea, tea mix, herbal or fruit infusion, lovingly positioned for guests to open and inhale the sweet aromas.
The tea quality is impeccable.
But what really makes Kaleisia special is the community they create.
I don't know for sure if the owners, Kim and Lan, set out to make a place where people would feel at home, where people would want to return over and over, where one might forget it's Tuesday and then be very sad to arrive to realize they wouldn't be getting tea from Kaleisia on a Tuesday...
But that's what they did.
One time, I was there knitting with some friends. Our beautiful friend, Mary, was also working in the shop that afternoon. She walked past after delivering an order. She beamed her radiant smile at us from across the room as she headed back to the kitchen and...
... ran smack into a table.
Anyhow, things are a bit different now, due to the pandemic. If you're in Tampa you can still support them by ordering to-go from their website.
And now that I live in the great white north, I can just daydream about it and order loose leaf tea online.
I didn't always love tea this much; Kaleisia taught me.
Just one pointer when home brewing - remember that the water can be boiling for black tea, but should be cooler for green tea, white tea, rooibos and herbals... otherwise you're likely to 'cook' it and it will not give you the heavenly experience you could otherwise be enjoying.