For the past two Holiday seasons, my shopping sprees for Friends and Family have always amounted to about 22 dollars. Last year, I scavenged offices and work places for extra burnable CDs laying around, and then invested $10 on iTunes for cool, cheeky, probably-wished-it-came-out-of-Portland music; A crap ton of Bon Iver, a Bjork single from 1994, and Beyonce. From there, I picked out playlists for all my family members (a lot of the music being regurgitated in every CD), and came up with the same benign, B.S. reasoning to every playlist. It’s nearly been an entire year, and nobody’s ever mentioned how suitable they thought Robyn was for a C.D. themed to ‘let loose; find love’.
Safe to say, I hate the expectation of having to give somebody something. I know I’m not obligated to. It’s a fused complication. On one end, I just really wanna show people all the cool sh*t I’m listening/eating/drinking in New York City. On the other, I suppose I just hate entering somebody’s house with nothing to contribute. I figure if they’re gonna embrace me with open arms, the least I can do is sneak my body free a second or two earlier and present a box of Macaroons or Organic Root Vitamins. Truth is, it’s all just been a bit harder nowadays with planning a hiking expedition to Iceland. Money’s tight enough as it is, I just wanna be sure I have enough almonds to keep me company when I’m there hiking.
Safe to say though, the stress of the Holidays bring me down a bit.
But then came DavidsTea, on Bleeker Street between Jones and Cornelia in the West Village. It smells like Santa’s workshop if it was tripping off pure happiness; Baby Showers and Chocolate Covered Potato Chips in the same room, that sort of thing. Upon entering the store your nostrils are bombarded by the scent of warm apple, cinnamon, and an entire nut factory. Crisp chrome and ceramic furnishing bring out the trademark teal hue that seems to be painted and written everywhere. Behind the counter, five tea brewers greet us warmly and happily as another sneaks in between the rows of purchasable kettles, cups, and mugs; offering us piping hot samples of their latest, freshest brew. For us, it was the ‘Forever Nuts’: apple, cinnamon, and some beetroot that had turned the tea pink.
We’d just come from a really heavy meal, and were looking to come to Dave’s for some caffeine before a night out on the town in the LES. When our tea brewer, Shanelle, asked us what we wanted and heard us out for a couple of minutes, she set out to the wall behind the counter and brought back six different cylinders containing all sorts of different tea. She really knew the product. She explained the color system of all the teas, each label being specifically colored to match the kind of tea and the amount of caffeine in each of them. She brought up a couple of the teas that were mixed with Maté. Others with Green tea. Some with Oolong. Some of the flavors surpassed genius while others surpassed what I thought was even feasible with tea (Namely, the Movie Night tea- smelled like the sweet and salty combo of popcorn and chocolate you’d get at the concession stand; apples and popped corn, among other things). There was also the Red Velvet, The Cookie Dough, And the Cocomint Cream. Shanelle was really demanding with knowing what I was feeling for the night, and finally reaffirmed me that the ‘Skinny’ oolong she was going to show me was the best option for a heavy meal accompanied with prospects of going out. She was right. It was beyond delicious and light and I could automatically feel my bowels tingle with excitement and my legs shake and anticipate the miles of walking set before them. We thanked her profusely for all of her help and she thanked us for coming in. We said it was our first time to the store, she demanded that the tea be on her so long as we took along with us a bunch of free samples. We agreed and set out into the New York Tundra.
It’s people like Shanelle that make places like DavidsTea work. It’s places like DavidsTea that make me happy to swipe my debit card when I should be saving up and eating Easy Mac while watching Lindsay Lohan portray Elizabeth Taylor.