Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sunday Salons

So the website is up but still needs some tweaking. Need to add the teapots & other products to buy.
Getting ready for a yardsale, had to make room for the stuff from the store to go in my house & then on to new adventures.
My latest idea is to do monthly (at first, then might increase in frequency) Sunday Afternoon Salons. There would always be free tea tastings and then demonstrations & information about green practices, products, and people in Los Angeles. There are so many people doing great things but only a handful of people know about them, so want to raise awareness & give out information to people that want to learn how to incorporate green practices in their life easily & have fun doing it too. Doesn't help that they get some free organic tea in the mix. Details will be coming soon.
check out the website.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Jin Patisserie Tea Review

Another in my series reviewing tea service in Los Angeles.
Jin Patisserie in Venice on Abbot Kinney.
I had been here a couple of years ago, when they were carrying teas from Le Palais des Thes, a French company with a branch here in Beverly Hills. They have lovely teas, pricey, but very nice. Jin Patisserie is now carrying a new French tea line, The O Dor, don't know that name, but the menu says it is a newer company. The setting is great with a small enclosed courtyard around a central water feature. My friend & I had tea, plus a chocolate that they had samples of at the register, don't miss out on the samples! It was a passion fruit chocolate. Incredible intense flavor in such a compact package, really lovely. My friend had a blend with roses & I had a Lotus green tea. I am not remembering all the information on the teas & didn't take good notes, so thought I would just get it off the website, but no such luck. Another pet peeve, websites with music, please stop, plus the pretty site was hard to navigate & get info. Next step was to phone, but must have called at the wrong time, no answer. This is from memory so if I get some details wrong oops.
Things they did right:
-Lovely, peaceful setting, that isn't overly fussy.
-Tea is brought to you already steeped with the leaves removed, so no over steeping at the table.
-White porcelain cup & teapot. White color is the best to show off the color of the tea liquor.
-Perfectly steeped tea, they do know what they are doing.
-Pour the first cup for you, a nice touch.
Things that bugged me:
-Were there any organic options?
-Tea is brought with tumbled raw sugar lumps, and pretty big in size too. So if you wanted sweetener you would get lots.
-They remove the tea leaves. Which as I said above is good, but what if you want a re-steep? You have to buy a second pot, which I'm fine with the paying for more tea, but what if you get an Oolong? The 2nd steep is usually better than the first because the tea has a chance to open up. It just seems a disservice to tea in general not to let people see & smell the leaves & get to experience re-steeping of a good tea.
Liked the white cup, but not crazy about the handle on the tea cup, I kept trying to cup it like a Japanese style cup. This is my preference & I know many people like handles especially for black tea. Style points for the pot & cup being simple not flowery.
On a personal note, I think I picked the wrong tea for me. The Lotus tea I had was interesting & I had never had that particular tea before, so I got it to expand my taste palette, but liked it, wasn't in love with it. That is not part of the review but my own take on the tea.
In general, Jin Patisserie has good tea & even better chocolates & desserts.
Still in search of a perfect tea in Los Angeles, besides the ones I make at home.
4 out of 5 leaves