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.
The bakers at the sister-owned cheesecakery use fresh ingredients to create creamy, handmade confections. This Groupon is good for 12 two-inch microcakes, and you can mix and match among the original flavor, chocolate, strawberry, and cookies 'n' cream to assemble a delicious dozen. The bite-sized baked goods are perfectly portioned to prevent guilt-induced post-cheesecake regret, and as such make a fitting gift for calorie-counting suckers for sweet or someone who underwent a surgical procedure that replaced his or her human mouth with the mouth of a striped bass.
Coco Moka Café's cooks and baristas serve up New York-style Kosher Deli, Belgian drinking chocolate, and cups of Seattle's Best Coffee. Signature sandwiches and wraps enclose flavorful ingredients such as asiago cheese, Italian chicken breast, or white tuna fish salad. The café serves breakfast all day, and provides catering services for birthdays or sendoff parties for acquaintances who have recently purchased a seaworthy submarine.
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.
In the bright spaces of Jamba Juice, mixers sprinkle mountains of all-natural, low-fat frozen yogurt with choices from seven toppings, such as almond and coconut. Dubbed Whirl'ns, cups filled with swirling, rivulet-etched peaks of frozen yogurt fuse the nutrition of real fruit and natural ingredients with the beneficial circuit training of active yogurt cultures.