Welcome to the second post in the Haunted Happenings series! If you’ve ever been to Salem during Halloween, you know that they host Haunted Happenings every year, but it can be pretty damn chaotic. As a local, I actually avoid Salem like the plague from about the last week of September until the first week of November. Anytime I’ve tried to go in during October, I spend an hour looking for parking before giving up and going home. And while I’m not here to giving you parking tips (there really aren’t any, there are no secret spots, but there are eight thousand lots), this three-week series will feature three of my favorite things:
places, food, and drink
This week, we’re actually only chatting about two spots, but I visit them so frequently, they kind of deserve their own separate post. As a reminder, I don’t drink alcohol, so these two spots are all about tea & coffee.
Jaho Coffee & Tea
Location: Pickering Wharf
If you follow me on Instagram (shameless plug for personal & books), you’ve definitely seen me post about being here. I do a lot of writing and reading in Jaho, and it’s a spot where I just like to chill and chat with friends. It’s also 100% featured heavily in one of my novels, the one that also just features everything in Salem because why the heck not.
I first discovered Jaho because someone told me about this insane drink: apple cider mixed with hot chai. Um, what? I’m definitely here for that. I tried it, I fell in love, and I went back for years only during the autumn & winter seeking what Jaho dubs chaider. They mostly do coffee, which I’m not into, but which my brother loves, so occasionally I’d pop in there with him. They have their own homemade soft serve ice cream, some alcohol, and a few café style foods, as well. And pastries! I almost forgot. There’s honestly lots to offer at Jaho, but because I’m a tea dragon, that’s what I’m after.
My two favorite chais are vanilla & maple soy. They’re foamy and so full of sugar and super delicious. I love to grab the vanilla first if I’m settling in to write for a couple hours, and the maple soy to round out the night as I’m finishing up. I do still go back for the chaider a lot, but usually that’s when I just want to sit and hang out. Also! Make sure to sprinkle some cinnamon on top of your chaider (or vanilla chai) because damn, what a game changer.
They’ve also got PSL now that it’s the season for it, and if you’re dining in, there’s likely to be some spooky foam art.
It’s a very hipster sort of place. The Jaho sign is neon, and there are lots of comfy couches to lounge in. The music isn’t overly loud, which I love, and the atmosphere is just relaxing and conducive to a good, chill time with friends.
Jolie Tea Co.
Location: Across from Hawthorne Hotel
I’m going to try not to let this run away from me, but I make no promises. In last week’s post, we chatted about my favorite place to go in Salem, Coven’s Cottage, but this week, we’re hitting my favorite just place ever in the history of all things good. Jolie is my spot. Does every single person that works there know who I am and that I don’t drink iced tea? Yes. Is it a little embarrassing? Not at all, I love them all dearly. It’s so amazing there that, when I came in around 3PM instead of my usual 1PM recently, one of the owners asked me if everything was okay because I was there later than usual. I told her that I’d a Day, and she said, “Take a deep breath. You’re here now. Everything is going to be okay. Let’s drink some tea.”
I ALMOST WEPT!
Much like Coven’s, I don’t want to spoil Jolie too much, but know this: there are walls of tea in giant glass containers that you can open and smell, everything is Parisian themed, it’s so dainty and delicate, the music is always the best ever, and the pastries. First of all, they source most of their pastries from Half Baked in Beverly, which I’ve never actually been to, but would obviously love it since I could devour every pastry offered at Jolie in one sitting if I really had to. Second, their macarons are based in France, and they’re my favorite of all that I’ve tried. My top three are lemon, rose, and Earl Grey.
If you’ve got time for high tea on a Saturday, definitely make a reservation ahead, especially during October, but you can also schedule patisserie tea any day, which is the same, but with only pastries and no sandwiches. They have macaron tastings, tea flights (how cute!), and vogue iced tea. If you’re not sure what you want, the staff at Jolie are some of my favorite humans on the planet, and they can definitely help you out. You can also get tea to go for home! I stock a few of their blends in my personal tea collection because they’re that good.
And while their tea menu is only a two-sided page, don’t let that fool you. There are 200+ blends hiding away at Jolie, and if you’re really jonesing for something special, they’ve got a binder of all their teas.
I think I’ve rambled long enough. Are you convinced yet?
And that’s Salem’s drink spots! There are others (Brew Box is the first one that comes to mind) that I’ve just not visited yet, but I’m sure they’ve lovely, as well. And if you’re scratching your head like, wait, where’s Gulu? Don’t worry, that’s next week! We’ll be chatting about all my favorite restaurants, and they span cultures and dietary needs and all sorts. It’s quite a list. Until then, I hope this list helped in your Salem adventures!