When Dani said she was going to an afternoon tea event on Saturday November 11th, 2023 with Barb, I thought to myself: how will I fare without my afternoon tea fix? I started brainstorming some ideas. Maybe I could sneak into the afternoon tea event undercover? I did not want to intervene with Dani’s plan though. How about my own afternoon tea at home? I usually handle the scones and some of the treats, and don’t have much experience in the production of savory foods. I would be without my Doughn, which would not be right. So, I decided to take this opportunity to explore another favorite of ours: local coffee shops. I browsed a few options along the main street of Vienna, VA near the location I would drop Dani off. It was difficult to choose, but I settled on Caffe Amouri.
Finding a table (for one)
The coffee shop had a unique setting, for right when you walk in, you see a large coffee roaster machine next to the counter where I could place my order. Across the cashier counter was a small corner of typical coffee kitchen utensils as well as packages of coffee beans. Looking past the cashier counter, I could spot a shelf with a few board games available for customers to use. I wanted to browse the selection, but could not due to the amount of folks entering in line to order and taking up precious table space.
I arrived at around 12:30PM on a Saturday, and all indoor and outdoor seating was taken up. The cafe provided a few tables in the front near the window, and a long table against the wall with multiple high top seating. There was an additional section of seating in a room which previously looked like a second store that was converted into an extension to the cafe. I felt reassured that I would find my table for one.
Finding a treat
I browsed the menu, and pretty quickly was drawn to the pumpkin pie latte. Seeing the latte name spelled out in large writing on the chalkboard behind the counter, I was immediately brought back to the pumpkin pie latte I had at Caffe Amadeus in Pennsylvania. It was quite delicious, and I have been asking Dani when we could go back for another. I was set on the pumpkin pie latte from Caffe Amouri, hoping it would recreate sweet memories from Caffe Amadeus, and now an accompanying treat needed to be selected.
Several treats sat behind glass, including blueberry muffins, regular or chocolate croissants, cinnamon, chocolate chip or blueberry scones, and more. I was overwhelmed by the options, but settled on a chocolate chip scone. I could not go wrong with a chocolate chip scone. I also wanted something a little more substantial to hold me over to dinner, so I decided on a spinach and parmesan croissant. The cashier asked if I would like both items warmed up, for which I was pleased to agree to.
I lucked out, with one of the smaller tables becoming free as I was waiting for my order. I made my way over to the table to claim it, and noticed the album artwork in resin on the table. I had not noticed the matching decorations that littered the walls before. Several album covers were prominently displayed all around the seating area and behind the roaster. Even though I am not much of a music or album collector like some, I appreciated how the album cover art was used as wall art for the coffee shop.
Not too much longer and my order was ready. As I picked up my medium pumpkin pie latte, it had a subtle pumpkin scent, and a nice latte art heart (try saying that one three times, real fast). At first sip it did taste like pumpkin, although, I was not swept away as I was when I was at Caffe Amadeus. That pumpkin pie latte had the perfect balance of coffee, pumpkin, and sweetness level. I enjoyed it nonetheless.
The chocolate chip scone was delicious. The very first scone I had ever baked was chocolate chip in my middle school home economics class. Lastly, the spinach and parmesan croissant had fallen victim to the cheese causing the bottom of the croissant to become soggy. The taste was just okay, it could have done with more spinach, but that’s just my preference. The phrase “soggy bottom” rang in my head thanks to the Great British Bake Off show. I could definitely see the judges pointing that out with this bake.
After enjoying the chocolate chip scone, I entertained the thought of baking some at home. The only catch is I love a scone with an accompanying preserve or spread, and with a chocolate scone I would prefer to eat it plain. As for the addition of savory fillings to a croissant, I would like to attempt something similar in my next croissant bake. I am hesitant about using cheese as a croissant filling, as it may turn out with a soggy bottom, but I still would like to take on the challenge.
Finding Pokemon (and my Doughn)
I wrapped up with eating my scone, croissant, and latte. I deposited my dishes in a bin as instructed by the signs and headed out. Now, I originally planned to walk around to catch Pokemon, although I did not feel comfortable with that because of the multiple signs posted stating the parking was ONLY for this small shopping center. In fear of losing my car to a tow truck, I decided to hop into my car and drive to the mall. The public parking garage there would be a safe place for my car to park, and a large indoor area to walk around. After about an hour of catching Pokemon, I got a call that Dani had finished her tea event, and was ready to leave. I was only 0.3 miles away from her, and decided to walk to her to pick her up and walk back to the car, sharing the details of my day.