Sunday, January 25, 2009

Musings on Life Downtown

Crazy stuff.
The bunny guy. The older gentleman who wearing a suit, pushes a baby stroller with a live rabbit in it, around the city. I love this guy!
The (ex-pimp?) preacher who wears matching suits and hats, I've seen purple & white. The hat is trimmed with fur & usually has a rhinestone cross on it & also he has a flashing colored light cross on his breast pocket. Makes you know there is a god.
The slow waking guy, who shuffles by everyday, except one day he was moving at a normal pace? Hmm.
The woman (?) in a spacesuit looking outfit with so much make-up on it was practically dripping off her face. She left & the smell of Brut stayed for about 45 minutes.
The lady who stole our trashcan from the bathroom. She came in with lots of big bags (I suspect full of stuff from other places) ordered a tea & used the restroom. Then left with her tea & our trashcan! We know who you are lady & are keeping an eye out for you.
The adults who think it is okay to take the rocks out of the planter, why? I am crazy too, because if I see it, I run after them & ask for it back. They always say sorry! Sorry that I saw you, or sorry for taking something that doesn't belong to you? (I usually look the other way when it's a kid, but come on people, you're an adult, what do you need a rock for? It's mulch for the plant, not a free sample)
The guy who took the time to pour out the wax from the outdoor votive candles, so he could stuff the glasses in his pockets. I chased him down & got them back, with an "Oh sorry" from him.
The guy dressed like the Lakers Jesus, walking down the street. In white robes with a purple sash & gold crown of thorns. I think he was a true Lakers fan!
Of course these are the exceptions to the generally lovely & nice people we have everyday, but they sure are fun stories to tell.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Parking at siptea

So lots of people ask me about parking. Well the bad news is there is no real free parking. The 9th & Broadway building is surrounded by parking lots, and there are meters on 9th. Sadly most of the meters end at 3pm (some end at 4pm), but they are free after 7pm. The meters are also $3.00/hour. I don't many people who keep a sack of change in their cars, so that is another drag. Don't forget to read the signs on the meters, the tow trucks come out at 3pm & it's expensive to get your car back - $250 or so. I now owe a friend big time who came down & ended up getting towed, luckily she got the car off the truck, but not before having to fork over, on the spot, 250 buck. Liz you get free tea for life for that one! So sorry!
The lots vary from $5 to $10 per day. The cheapest lot is south of 9th on Broadway. On the west side of the street, right after the Tacos Mexico stand. (Which I recommend if you want meat. Of course come here first for your Jamica - Hibiscus tea. So you can have some organic tea with your Taco.)
Basically if you are coming for more than an hour it is cheapest to go to a lot. We looked into validating, but it is too expensive at this point, still going to try to work a deal.
Here is the scoop for free (not guaranteed) parking. On Sunday the lot behind the Eastern Building is usually unattended, ignore the "no free parking anytime" signs. Also meters are free on Sunday. Broadway's loading zone, right in front of the building is free (?) after 7pm, at least according to the signs.
There is also a bus stop right in front of our door. So have an adventure and use public transport!
Hope to see you soon.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


So we had positive feedback from our Obama promotion, it's still going on for a few more hours.
It has been an emotional day. I don't know if it's the heat or the events in Washington, but I am hopeful and feel I need to get things rolling her at siptea, got to start moving the economy.

Monday, January 19, 2009


Everytime I spell inauguration, I always think it looks wrong. I know it's not, but it's still a weird word.
Tomorrow is the big day for the USA & I am really glad & a slight bit worried some crazy white guy is going to try to disrupt the events. (Keep knocking on wood)
So in honor of our 44th president taking office we are offering a 44 cent discount on any purchase at siptea.
Tomorrow is going to be a great day!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

notes about tea & more

Okay my crock-pot love is waning because the breakfast casserole was crappy. It was overcooked, and just not good. Made more bread pudding & that was excellent again!
So I took some photos and have some information to give out about tea in general & our tea in particular.
Did a little photo shoot of tea bags, one regular and two specialty tea bags. So first off let me say if you are using a regular tea bag, open one up and see what is inside. It is probably dust and small pieces of tea, called fannings. It will make a strong cup of tea with flavor, but will not take a second steeping to save it's life. The tea in the tea bag looked similar to ground pepper when we opened the bag up. If you are spending 25 cents for a tea bag and a dollar for a pot of specialty tea it seems that the tea bag is cheaper. You need to factor in the steeps you get, if you get 4 steeps out of the specialty tea, you have the same price value. You also get 4 steeps that especially with oolongs or pearls, can actually change and get better with multiple steeps. They say the 2nd steep on an oolong is always better, because the first steep only partly opens up the leaf.
The specialty tea bags are better, you can re-steep, but some of the twisted types of teas, like ooloongs just don't have enough room in the bag to open up fully. That is one of the reasons I don't like teabags or balls. The best way to get the most out of your tea is to put it in a pot loose to interact fully with the water. Then you can re-steep the tea as many times as you like, basically till you get something that doesn't satisfy you, then you start fresh with new tea leaves.
Okay I am new to this & don't know how to easily change the order of the photos, so they should be looked at from the bottom up.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


I know this is stupid, but I think I'm in love with my crock-pot. Since we can't really cook here, we've become creative in ways to get things done. Actually have to credit my friends Amy & Susan for the idea, they use one at home. So we made bread pudding yesterday in it, excellent! Used some leftover organic baguette, almonds, currants, apricots & of course eggs, milk, cinnamon & some cardamom pods. I had some for breakfast this morning with cream drizzled over it, yum.
So back to the crock-pot, it has a timer so when I leave tonight I have it set to make a breakfast casserole to be done for Sunday when we open. Pretty cool, gotta love technology & the human ability to adapt. Hope this works, we will see tomorrow.
2009 seems to be looking better for siptea already, still some bumps, but the word is getting out & we are getting more new faces. Always nice to meet our neighbors & people who work in the area. Also nice to get cooking again.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


I usually don't make resolutions or even really enjoy New Year's Eve. I like New Year's Day.
This year I didn't do my New Year's Day Party, with Collards & Hoppin' John, mainly, because just didn't have the funds. I would like to think everyone will get money & luck even if they don't come to my house & eat on New Year's Day.
So the world seems to be in even more screwed up than ever, yet I am somehow hopeful. I think our economy will bounce back & maybe it will make people more decerning consumers. I never liked the blind consumerism that has been overtaking the US, and even though I started a business, I am trying to follow the tenant of natural capitalism, not consumerism. Maybe this is just to large a subject to get into...
Lets just say I resolve to have hope for the coming year.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Resolutions for 2009

To blog more.
To promote siptea more.
So here I go with doing both in one fell swoop.
Things that I need to write about are tea, weight loss & new hours.
We have genmaicha now, that great japanese green tea with toasted rice. Reminds me of childhood & having puffed rice for cereal.
We got another mention in the world tea news! Will post the link.
On a personal note, not that any of this isn't personal, but I have lost 2 dress sizes in 3 months of working at siptea. The only thing that has changed is eating organic and drinking lots of tea daily. No change in exercise, or types of food, still eating bread, but it's organic. I think it's the tea, of course!
We surveyed our customers, at least the one's on the email list & found out that people think we should have more breakfasty stuff & be open earlier. So starting Tuesday the 6th, we will open at 8:30am.
We have two breakfast panini's & french toast w/organic maple syrup. Can't really do anything else with the lack of a kitchen. Will experiment with some pastries/muffins but they will have to be purchased somewhere else & brought in, due to no cooking on site.
To clear up any confusion the issue is ventilation & there is no possible way to correct the problem in the space we have. There is a possibility of sharing a vent hood in the next space over, but that all depends on who moves in next door. It is something we are actively working on, but would be months before that happens. Thanks for all your suggestions.
Here is to an awesome year for siptea, our country & the world!