Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Danielle Kurant Wishes Kalesia Tea Lounge a Happy 6th Birthday

About the time J-Fur and I relocated to Tampa a tea lounge was opening on East Fletcher Avenue. It would take her another year before she made her first trip there (and it would take me like three after that since I constantly balked at her suggestion that we go there saying "I hate tea"). As their name would imply, Kaleisia Tea Lounge is first and foremost about the tea. They offer over a hundred different loose leaf teas, many located on their "wall of tea" which allows the customer to smell, feel and see the different varieties before ordering. They also have a number of seasonal brews and specials that are constantly changing (I usually order from the seasonal menu because their fall selection is awesome). If you aren't a tea drinker, Kaleisia offers a number of other beverage options on their menu including smoothies, boba, Chai Lattes, Thai Tea and Vietnamese Coffee.

Another major aspect to the Kaleisia experience is the sense of community that the tea lounge has spent the last six years building. They provide a meeting place for artist's, knitters, crafters, musicians and students. They embrace the vegan and vegetarian lifestyle, taking place in the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale, as well as offering a modest menu that is all vegan. This is my major reason for going there and why, last Thursday, I went along with J-Fur to help celebrate their sixth birthday party.

The Asian Noodles and Tofu that I ate.

Elizabeth ordered the Pumpkin Coconut Soup that J-Fur swears by.

The free birthday cake that was part of the celebration.

My slice, just before I grabbed it and ate it.

To celebrate their birthday, Kaleisia had a lot of giveaways, a photo booth, specials on tea and free cake. They also had live music which I wasn't really paying attention to at first. I really like the idea of coffeehouse performances, it is a great venue to get people heard, but I am often left unsatisfied by their music (I guess that is why they are currently in the coffeehouse and not somewhere else). But Kaleisia would be different thanks to Danielle Kurant who started playing a mixture of singer-songwriter acoustic and keyboard laced electronic pop songs that blew my mind and changed everything I thought I knew about coffeehouse music.

Danielle is a classically trained musician who couldn't sleep one night because she had the lyrics "I'm headed to London; there's nothing for me here" running through her head. It is strangely reminiscent to these guys. After getting up and penning the song "London" she was able to fall asleep. That became the blueprint for her work and over forty songs later, led to her album Beginnings. The song that caught my attention, and which Danielle was nice enough to share, was "Rock Star."

Danielle Kurant-Rock Star

To check out Danielle's other stuff or to get to know more go to: Myspace, Facebook, iTunes, Twitter