Tag Archives: tea

Rochambo Coffeehouse & Teahouse

Rochambo Coffeehouse & Teahouse

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This is one of my offices while we’re in Milwaukee for a couple of weeks.  Rochambo is a combo coffee shop/teahouse, and it’s delightfully funky.  Pastel colors, bright artwork, and the hum of conversation inspire my creativity. I love hearing the hipster baristas greet everyone like old friends when they come through the doors.  Most of the patrons are apparently regulars.  Always a good sign!  Wi-Fi, free with a purchase, is limited to two hours; buy another cappuccino (or Earl Grey), and you’ve got another two hours.  I don’t mind.  The coffee isn’t expensive, and I like supporting a small business, especially one that supports other local, small businesses.  Nice way to take the grind out of work!

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Local flavor

Local flavor

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Being a freelancer can be isolating.  Being a mobile freelancer, who’s generally never in one place more than a week, can become a sort of solitary confinement.  Getting out in the world helps a lot, so I frequently do my work over a cup of coffee (or tea) at a place with free Wi-Fi.  Starbucks and McDonald’s are always reliable options.  The hustle and bustle is energizing, and catching snippets of conversation makes you feel a bit like you’re in on the office gossip.  But their homogeny strips a town of its uniqueness.

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Our stays are so short that I don’t have much of an opportunity to get the flavor of the communities we’re in.  So I seek out local coffee shops as much as possible.  At these small businesses, it will likely be the owner that’s taking your order and handing over your latte.  Patronizing these kinds of places means my dollars are helping that community thrive while I’m getting my work done.  The other customers and their conversation, sometimes their accents, gives me a sense of the character of the area.

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Even the coffee selections are representative, like the Maple Latte at Black Cap Coffee in Stowe, Vermont.  The steamy drink is made with real Vermont maple syrup along with espresso and milk, and it’s delicious.  So is the broccoli and cheese quiche – with the most broccoli and the least cheese I’ve had yet – and the spicy black bean soup.  Working at Black Cap was one of my favorite parts of our visit to Vermont, and I’m looking forward to finding other local treasures like it as we continue on our motorhoming escapade.

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Holiday shopping and Thanksgiving dinner at the Cozy Tea Cart Cafe

Holiday shopping and Thanksgiving dinner at the Cozy Tea Cart Cafe

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It was wonderful for me to work at the Cozy Tea Cart Cafe while we were in Brookline for the week: the commute, the tea, the macaroons, the views.  It got even better when I realized that our last few days in the area corresponded with NH Open Doors, which happened to be taking place at The Cozy Tea Cart!

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NH Open Doors is a statewide shopping and touring event that, this year, took place on November 2nd and 3rd.  It’s all about enjoying the natural beauty of New Hampshire while shopping for items made in the state and sampling food from local restaurants and vendors.   The Cozy Tea Cart Cafe was one of this year’s participants.

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Along with a sample Thanksgiving dinner, the event at The Cozy Tea Cart included a meet-n-greet with New Hampshire artist Melanie Chouinard from The Silver Branch.  Melanie is a polymer clay fantasy sculptor, and her works are both breathtaking and adorable.   The tiny, sleeping babies adorned with faery wings are magical.  Her mushroom villages, with stone paths leading over the moss to petite front doors, are nestled in a variety of delicate teacups.  I bought a large one for just $32.   (I’m hoping a little museum putty will hold it tight as we motor down the road.)

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In addition to Melanie’s pieces, the store at The Cozy Tea Cart offered plenty of gift options for tea lovers: Victorian and Japanese-style tea sets, tea towels and cozies, magazines, notecards, dessert plates, loose-leaf tea, lemon curd and oat biscuits to create the perfect tea party, and more.  There was no excuse for leaving empty-handed!

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All that shopping and art appreciation builds an appetite.  The free Thanksgiving sampling dinner and tea pairing took care of it.

  • Our Sister’s Nuts provided the appetizer.
  • Chestnut soup was paired with Almond Snowflake Tea.  (I used it as gravy over my turkey. Delish!)
  • Herb-roasted turkey was paired with Ceylon Breakfast Tea.
  • Chilled pineapple cranberry relish was paired with Ginger Pear Spice Tea.  (That was the tea I drank when I was working.  Yummy!)
  • Brown butter and sage sweet potato ravioli was paired with Fireside Green Apple Tea. (Love the idea of serving ravioli at Thanksgiving!)
  • Roasted garlic mashed potatoes were paired with Iron Buddha Oolong.
  • Glazed maple vanilla carrots were paired with Hot Apple Cider Tea.
  • Dessert was gluten-free gingerbread with maple buttercream frosting paired with Vanilla Indulgence Herbal Rooibos.

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Candy Roux of Our Sister’s Nuts setting up her treats for NH Open Doors

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