Recently I sent some tea samples to one of my favorite restaurants here in Los Angeles. Cafe Gratitude is a vegan restaurant that originally started in the San Francisco Bay area about eight years ago. They only sprouted in Los Angeles two years ago and have been changing the eating habits of Hollywood in the most eloquent and playful way. Their tea selection is straight-forward with familiar favorites for everyone: jasmine green, earl grey, chai, peppermint, maté, and rooibos. They also have a few Chinese herbal selections that promote overall longevity, digestion, and better spleen function.
Initially, I had a vision as to where I wanted to take my humble one-man-enterprise, AKA Teaometry. The focus was to be on curating tea selections for restaurants with a gongfu appreciation. In this fully realized vision, there were puerhs and oolongs served gongfu-style that the patron could explore via clay pots, gaiwans, cups, and trays. Of course, that is (for now) somewhat of a utopian vision. After all, people need to operate restaurants and get tables turned around in due time.
Currently, I’m happy to announce that I do have a Wuyi Oolong at both locations in Los Angeles. On the menu, it’s known as “I AM ZEN,” since every menu item at Cafe Gratitude is an affirmation of a world of plenty. In time, I also aim to be supplying a loose-leaf organic puerh and perhaps even my canisters in their retail corners. The tea is not served in the gongfu style, but each pot is prepared with love and care and the patron can pour his / her tea at a leisurely pace, taking in wonderful organic + vegan food in a lively atmosphere.