Finding myself walking down Eighth Avenue on a hot, hot summer day, I see the good people of Serengeti Teas & Spices (@BassaBoyTea, 2292 Frederick Douglass Blvd., 212-866-7100, sampling their wares—iced! Yes please!

The initially reserved server had a small collection of Serengeti teas, vibrant with color. After telling us of the three flavors—hibiscus berry fruit tea, jasmine lemongrass green tea and ginger turmeric rooibos tea—he offered samples. Each was better and more dynamic than the last, laced with agave syrup and citrus.

He took us from mild to strong, beginning with fruity hibiscus (sorrel) berry, and then to fragrant jasmine lemongrass, ending with the bold ginger turmeric. He then took me over the edge, blending the first and last, calling it a “Serengeti Sunrise” and telling me these iced teas are sold premade inside. Sold!

On leaving after purchasing the jasmine lemongrass and ginger turmeric teas, I thanked the sidewalk sampler for hooking me up on a hot day and for getting his job done well. He was attending to the next wave of thirsty inquisitive samplers.

Customer engagement and service is essential in Harlem’s changing community. Proprietors should find any opportunity to invite consumers to experience their product, service or establishment. There are more riches than we know right here in Harlem. Explore.