Whole Life Magazine

December/January 2014

Issue link: https://digital.copcomm.com/i/426101

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Page 17 of 43

taste of health I n 760 CE, Chinese writer Lu Yu penned his definitive The Clas- sic of Tea, in which he declared tea the symbol of harmony and unity in the universe. Was he right? Los Angeles consumers have plenty of ways to find out. The tea secret is out of the bag. Steve Schwartz is a firm believer in the wellness properties of tea. "More than 80 percent of all pharmaceuticals are derived from plants. I believe nature gift- ed us with a full medicine cab- inet and the ability to access it through tea," says the founder of the Art of Tea emporium in Monterey Park (www.artoftea. com). Schwartz' tea romance be- gan at the Ayurvedic Institute in New Mexico, where he learned how to source and blend. Today his hand-blended, hand-packed Fair Trade tea customers include Whole Foods and Spago, and he's authored a book of tea cocktail recipes. "Tea is becom- ing this very hip type of experi- ence," he notes. "It allows you to experience a short ritual in the middle of the day, tap out of the chaos of the world and technology and into yourself on a deeper level. Selecting leaves, hearing the water boil—it's an eight-minute detox." City Tea Downtown on West 5th Street, Create Your Health Teas offers an interactive experience even before you taste the beverage. Owner Peter Bedard has a sniffing wall stocked with jars of teas and herbs that serve as natural healers. Among his most pop- ular sellers are Detox, Breathe Easy Blend and Happy Kidney/ Liver Blend. "People are rediscovering the healing properties of plants and herbs," notes Bedard. "We host free workshops Thursday evenings to tell people more about holistic health care and the place teas and herbs play in the process." Teas are also available online at www.createyourhealth.com. Also downtown, the coolly elegant Chado Tea Room— which has branches in Pasadena and Hollywood—serves up a wide range of black, white, green, Earl Grey, oolongs and chai along with contemporary nibbles in a formal but comfortable ambiance. Chado co-founder Devan Shah created the L.A. In- ternational Tea Festival in August 2011, now an annual event dedicated to introducing a wide variety of teas from around the globe. Recently honored with the Cha Jing Lifetime Achieve- ment Award at the 2014 World Tea Expo, Shah offers tea tast- ings along with tea history and properties. Chado's more than By Genie Davis The secret is out of the bag SPOT ON WITH A SPOT OF TEA SPOT ON WITH A SPOT OF TEA Chado tea tasting 18 wholelifetimesmagazine.com

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