Inspiration. Tea and Travel

We already know coffee houses are the usual destination for tete a tetes, business deals or just hanging out. The welcoming atmosphere, free Wifi and delicious beverages are a plus, although we oftentimes lament the calories consumed. Many of us make the coffee house part of our daily routine. This routine may add up to more dollars than we care to think about, but a treat adds nicely to our day.sampleday

Tea is touted for its’ health benefits, but coffee drinkers may not know how to start a tea habit. They may begin with the bottled teas from the local gas station which are tasty, but may contain large amounts of sugar or preservatives. At a standard restaurant, when tea is ordered, it may be a black tea bag or an herbal infusion. (Herbal “tea” is not tea)  Thus, it may seem more desirable to keep drinking coffee or soda. Granted, coffee also has its’ health benefits, but most people do not care to consume such large quantities of caffeine throughout the day. Yes. there is decaf, but it never tastes as good!

The other day, I met with  friends to discuss some ideas at Tea Source.  Not only did we enjoy our wonderful green tea in a pleasant atmosphere, we became inspired. I won’t speak for the others, but I will share my  personal experience. Upon entering, I was struck by the tantalizing aromas. It no longer seemed like Minnesota, but a more exotic locale with the lighting, set up and bulk teas. There are dozens of types and flavors to choose from, all served authentically in Chinese pots. There was a dispenser with a tea sample to try and one can also request a taste of other teas before buying. 4315-Minnesota NIce-lg

It was refreshing to sit with friends after a long week of work and rejuvenate with a delicious beverage containing just enough caffeine to get my brain working again. The employees had a vast knowledge of all the different teas and it was pleasant to see them enjoying their job. A happy vibe was present. I noted with interest a poster explaining that Bill Waddington, owner of the three Tea Source locations, travels the world to hand select the teas sold in his stores! How many owners do that?   I don’t know about you, but I only hear of “middlemen” in business. This is mind blowing to me and inspiring!

Now, back to the conversation with my friends. We  were discussing the importance of following our passions in life and how to tie them in to a business or career we can thoroughly enjoy, authenticity and being true to ourselves. Obviously Bill Waddington followed his passions of tea and travel.  turning it into an amazing business. The three of us that were enjoying our tea have combined passions of helping others, creativity, the arts and travel. If one man took his love for tea and travel, turning it into a money making venture, three people can do the same by following their dreams to fruition! 20523423-travel-bags-with-earth-and-airplanes

I invite you to visit the Tea Source website, where you can educate yourself on tea. Then, visit one of the shops to enjoy the atmosphere, tea and a freshly made pastry,  or order online to create your own tea haven. Tea Source also offers a variety of classes, such as “Baking with Tea.”  You are also invited to contact me about how you can incorporate more fun, freedom and fulfillment into your life,  or to share what inspires you.

Finding Sunshine on a Cloudy Day

sunshine-natureNot long ago, a small deli opened up nearby next to an auto repair shop. Each time I drove by, I looked at it with intrigue, wondering if there was food to appeal to my vegetarian lifestyle. An online search did not bring up a menu. but a job posting looking for experienced bakers in a multicultural restaurant.  Needing some cheer on a bleary, cold Minnesota “spring” afternoon., I decided to stop in.

I was warmly greeted by Liman and asked if I liked tea. I expressed my appreciation for good tea & he offered my a very generous sample of Somali tea and explained how in every Somali home, guests are offered this tea, usually taken with milk. It was deliciously spiced and sweet, Although I am not a sweet tea fan, this was so good, that I had to purchase more.  Upon inquiring of vegetarian dishes, he asked me to wait because he had something special for me to try. My wait was pleasant, as there was another customer to visit with. Liman than brought out a generous sample of Foo, a spiced vegetable and bean stew, The other customer told me it was usually served over rice. It was fabulous!18476lrg

Liman explained he needed more staff and was in the back baking muffins and cooking more food. I find it impressive that the goods are baked right there and  enjoyed a very good chocolate chip cookie. There is an impressive array of food listed on the  menu board, including:  gyros, pasta, pancakes, traditional Somali food, unique smoothies (one is avocado) and pizza. Desserts included cheesecake, cookies and pastries.

My sunshine was found at the Sunshine Bakery, Coffee & Deli, located at:  3654 Stinson Blvd. NE, Minneapolis 55418. Their phone number is:  612-886-1244 and fax is:  612-886-1563.  Currently. hours are 7am to 7pm. Liman hopes to expand the hours as the business grows. Whether it is cloudy or sunny out, we all could use a little extra sunshine!