"store" news and stories
Tea Spot in NYC's Greenwich Village has a relaxed cozy environment that is perfect for escaping the infectious urban anxiety that often characterizes Manhattan. Tea Spot provides a fascinatingly aromatic treasure chest of teas from which to try. Since every tea has its own ritual, the staff is excellent at explaining how it should be drunk and how long the tea should remain in the pot. For example, with chamomile tea, they suggested leaving the tea in the pot for at least 7 minutes.
One of the most important ways to fully experince tea is to be sitting in the right atmosphere, one that is not overrun with people. One of the best parts about Tea Spot is that it's usually easy to find a seat. There are two floors. The bottom floor has few windows (it's mostly underground) but it's spacious and has several tables. Not only can you purchase tea to stay, but you can also buy it, along with tea pots and filters, to go and drink in the comfort of your home.
This past week, I tasted one of their many rooibos teas that seemed to soothe every neurotic bone in my body with its bright euphoric floral aroma and its sweet slightly nutty flavor. There is something wonderfully calming and meditative about the mere act of sipping tea. I poured just a dash of milk into my cup and was transfixed by the change in color from maroon to light red. For me, the experience of tasting tea seems to begin with a visual response. Then, my olfactory senses dominate my gastronomical perception; it's all about the aroma. And finally, the sensations on my taste buds allow me to become fully absorbed by the tea's unique flavor.
Makes sense - much of its items are pricey and elegant, and not appropriate for everyday use. But if nothing else, it's certainly fun to peruse the products and place them on your mental kitchen wish list.
From inside-out martini glasses to panda-shaped pink lunch bags, MOMA's got funky kitchenware covered. Check out some of the fanciful finds below.
MOMA's funkiest kitchen accessories(click thumbnails to view gallery)
I was just over at Crate&Barrel, swooning over all of the gorgeous new kitchen gadgets for spring. My new favorite? The oil and vinegar pump bottle, which allows you to pres a button and squeeze precise amounts of the mixture into a resevoir, where you can then pour it onto your salad, fish, bread...or directly into your mouth. (Wait. that would be gross. Scratch that).
Craving more fun, brightly-colored kitchen doodads? You know you are. Check out the marvelousness below.
Crate & Barrel Celebrates a Very Green Spring(click thumbnails to view gallery)
Colorado-based Wild Oats has 110 stores in 24 states and British Columbia and has not been doing as well as its rival. Whole Foods has twice the sales per square foot of retail space, though Wild Oats has smaller stores, and recently lost both their chief executive and chief financial officers.
Some stores will be closed and others will be relocated to fit in with existing Whole Foods stores, but Whole Foods feels that they can improve the Wild Oats stores on the whole and "put jet propulsion under [them]" to bring their sales up to Whole Foods levels. Whole Foods CEO John Mackey estimates that it could take two ears to fully integrate the Wild Oats stores
More than six months ago, Whole Foods decided to ban the sale of live lobsters and soft shelled crabs in their stores because they determined that the practice was inhumane. The sea creatures, in Whole Foods' study, were not "treated with respect and compassion" on their journey from sea to market and until that issue could be resolved, no lobsters were to be put into the sale tanks in the fish department.
Since the ban was enacted, the natural foods store has not found any companies that meet its standards for the human treatment of lobsters. Until now, that is. Whole Foods is opening their first market in Maine next week and the Portland store will be stocking live lobsters. They have contracted with the Little Bay Lobster Co., a New Hampshire-based company, which will keep lobsters in private compartments for transport after catching them to reduce their stress.
Stocking live lobsters doesn't mean that they will be selling live lobsters, though. In the stores, an employee will use a "110-volt shock [to kill them and] to spare them the agony of being boiled alive in a pot of water."
Maine's lobster fishermen aren't thrilled with this plan. First, they are offended that a company that so heavily promotes its support for local farmers and fishermen would choose an out-of-state company when there are so many local ones to choose from. Second, the fishermen say that "they tell us we're doing everything wrong, obviously it doesn't sit very well with us," noting that using "a lobster electric chair" to kill the lobster sounds like a gimmick that won't impress consumers. Especially not in a state that loves its lobsters.