Adam Greenberg refers to himself as “the world's pickiest eater,” which may explain Bagels 'n Grinds’ distinctive take on the celebrated baked good. Greenberg’s self-professed culinary perfectionism led him to create a secret 10-step bagel recipe that involves a colossal water-purification system, visible to patrons through a glass wall. With scientific precision and occasional mad-scientist cackles, the newly opened shop's staffers create 16 types of bagels that manage the tricky balance of crisp surfaces and soft insides.
Patrons can smear their bagels with low-fat, housemade cream cheeses infused with ingredients such as strawberries or lox, or opt for one of the café’s other creations, such as Bagnini sandwiches topped with piles of meat or marinated portobello mushrooms. Water from the café's purification system also goes into free-trade organic coffees and three different iced-coffee brews. Custom salads incorporate gourmet ingredients such as hormone-free chicken, candied walnuts, or toasted-parmesan crisps, while six distinctive soups are served in cups or bagel bowls. Non-edible amenities inside the new shop include free Internet access, a semi-private conference area, an 18-foot coffee bar, outdoor patio, and flat-screen TVs.
To say Capital Teas’ founders, Manelle and Peter Martino, know tea might be a bit of an understatement. Fifth-generation tea merchant Manelle’s great-great-grandfather, Francis Van Reyk, was a Dutch tea planter who immigrated in the 1870s to present-day Sri Lanka, where he planted and managed the Diyagama Tea Estate, from which the Martinos now source their Great Grandfather’s tea. Manelle’s family has been in the tea trade ever since, a tradition she has carried to her own specialty tea business, which has boutique locations throughout the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland area. Additionally, Peter has become a popular speaker at World Tea Expos, where he frequently educates and inspires the tea world.
In addition to tea from Sri Lanka, Capital Teas carries more than 200 loose teas and herbal infusions from 18 countries including India, China, Japan, Malawi, and Kenya. A sniffing wall dispenses wafts of black, oolong, and green teas, and knowledgeable employees drift around the store’s tasting stations to explain each flavor’s nuances.
Capital Teas also pairs customers with accompaniments such as teapots, infusers, treats, and artisanal honey. In-store patrons may sample free tea samples—which are brewed fresh daily—while online purchasers receive a free sample with every order.
Your visit to Glow begins with a deep-conditioning treatment, which soothes frazzled and frayed strands and repairs damage and follicular deterioration. Glow's expert stylists will finish taming tresses with a boosting blow dry. After your hair therapy, choose the pampering of your choice from Glow's diverse skin, nail, body, and hair services. Get life's stresses kneaded out with a 30-minute deep-tissue massage ($65), or opt for a pore-minimizing facial ($75) in preparation for unexpected appearances on JumboTrons. Soak in the soothing aroma of the French countryside of your teen years with a lavender pedicure ($65), which scrubs scruffy soles and treats them with a calming mask and massage, or add a paraffin treatment ($15) to a classic manicure ($24) and impress the prime minister with your velvety-soft handshake.
Caffé Pronto is a wholesale roaster that stocks a variety of coffees, including all-natural decafs from more than 15 countries worldwide and a number of fair-trade, organic, bird-friendly, and Rainforest Alliance blends. Order a bag of beans online or slowly sip a cup of individually brewed coffee inside one of their brick-and-mortar cafés while snacking on a gourmet menu of paninis, breakfast sandwiches, pastries, parfaits, and desserts. A cup of coffee in the morning can mean the difference between hitting the ground running and hitting the snooze button relentlessly. Give your alarm clock time to let its bruises heal with today’s Groupon.
Though people no longer have to cross continental boundaries to sample exotic flavors, the average spice rack still tends to lack diversity. At the Spice & Tea Exchange of Annapolis, a staff of flavor-seeking specialists stocks gourmet seasonings and spices, cooking herbs, sugars, and sea salts to expand their customers' cooking horizons. In addition to fresh herbs and flavorings, the team designs signature seasoning powders that infuse dishes with medleys of chili, savory hints of cheese, or the essence of smoke. They also carry an assortment of gourmet teas, which are good to keep around the house in case a local king decides to stop by.
Collecting thousands of years of tradition under one roof isn't easy, but Ten Ren Tea Time's purveyors have been working on perfecting the ancient art of tea since 1953. Originating in Taiwan, the operation eventually expanded to more than 100 locations across the globe, spreading the gospel of fine teas and their near-endless varieties. While walking among the shelves and displays, visitors can explore varieties of green, white, and herbal teas, as well as tea pot and tea sets, mesh balls, canisters, and little dumbbells for strengthening pinky fingers.