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Best Tea in Los Angeles

So I just finished reading the "Best Coffee in Los Angeles" thread and the mention of Peets made me curious. I don't drink coffee (got sick on it as a child) but as an avid tea drinker I have to say finding good tea is IMPOSSIBLE. I start just about every morning with a cuppa Irish Breakfast from Peets, but aside from that, I haven't really found a place (chain or no) that really knows how to serve a good cup (or pot) of tea. Any recommendations out there?

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  1. what part of town are you located in? I can offer several recommendations but I'm not sure how far you're willing to drive for a cuppa, or if you're going to be purchasing for at home consumption too.
    :)

    2 Replies
    1. re: peanut112

      I am in the Pasadena area, work in Downtown and travel all over heck and gone for work...so suggestions anywhere would be more than welcome. And home consumption is good, but I am not at home enough to really sit and enjoy a pot.

      1. re: magerber

        One good thing about Chado in Pasadena is their printed tea menu. Yes, they have a lot of the frou-frou blends, but they also have a plethora of other teas I'd never heard of. If you take the time to read through the tea menu, you learn a lot. (They let me keep mine, and I was able to expand my knowledge base) I then was able to get the kind of teas there that they don't often serve at the multiple wedding showers:-)

    2. Hmmm, so you may get to enjoy all LA has to offer.
      Tea Garden in Beverly Hills has a variety of the world's best loose leaf teas, but depending on what you want, you will pay through the nose for it. The owner is more than happy to sit and educate you if you have the time to sit down and chat.
      www.teagarden.com

      Elixer Tonics & Teas on Melrose is pretty good too, but that's more of a scene and more for frou-frou drinks.

      In Pasadena, there is the Bamboo Tea House at 700 E. Colorado which has around 100+ loose leaf teas for purchase, but you can't drink tea while there...at least not in a retail style setting.

      There's a lot of 'tea talk' recently in various publications like Food & Wine, so check those out because several LA places are mentioned, I just can't recall them off the top of my head.

      2 Replies
      1. re: peanut112

        Elixir is exactly the kind of place I don't want...this is the kind of "tea" store that isn't really tea-flavored tea as my mom likes to call it. I am looking for something that really is more like tea and less like weird herbal mixtures in hot water (not that there is anything wrong with that :-) )

        1. re: magerber

          i concur. It's very difficult to find a good pot of tea with a heated china cup and milk and sugar. paddington's is pretty good in that department. Urth cafe has a wonderful selection - my favorite is Monticello Afternoon Tea.

      2. Chado in Pasadena on Raymond is the best tea place around, both for loose tea and sit down. Tek is very knoweldgeable and friendly.

        1. Les Palais des Thes in Beverly Hills has the best selection of French teas for you to buy and take home. Jin Patisserie in Venice uses their teas in their chocolates. The shop has a small bar area where you can enjoy a cup of tea, but probably not the kind of place for hanging out in an extended period.

          For Chinese teas, Ten Ren runs several cafe-style shops under the name Tea Station or Cha For Tea. You should be able to find them in Alhambra and San Gabriel area.

          I don't like Chado tea room. Went there once, they made our tea too weak and watery.

          7 Replies
          1. re: WBGuy

            Ten Ren is my all-time favorite. My favorites include taro milk tea (they use fresh taro), apple green tea, and also the plum green tea. I always ask for my drinks with half the sugar, so it's not overly sweet.

            1. re: WBGuy

              I wasn't a big fan of Chado when I went there either. That is part of the reason I am asking here, because anywhere you read about tea Chado seems to be called out as the Mecca.

              1. re: magerber

                I will never go to Chado again.

                It's too hot for hot tea now anyway. For great iced tea, try Kelly's house iced tea at Kelly's Coffee Tea and Fudge at the mall in Arcadia(great sandwiches too!)

              2. re: WBGuy

                Oh, don't just try Jin Patisserie for the chocolates (they're not really chocolate as it was explained to me - they only look like chocolates, but they do have tea in them) go there for their Tea. It's has a nice garden. I had breakfast there once. I was the only customer there at the time. The trickling water was very inviting so I stuck around and leisurely enjoyed my tea and read my book for a spell. It's the kind of place you eat and drink in, not hang out in like say, Peete's or Starbucks. Things change over quickly on Abbott Kinney, but if this place is still there, and they were so good that I can't imagine they'd be gone, for tea lovers, this is a must. Fantastic Teas!! Amazing combinations - you gotta try this one.

                1. re: WBGuy

                  I posted earlier about finding a particular French The', and I hope you may know. A floral blend of violet & rose petals against black tea. Apparently Laduree' doesn't import, but would Palais have such a blend? JET

                  1. re: Jet

                    chado's has a rose tea that's very nice.

                  2. re: WBGuy

                    did you ask them to make it strong? did you ask the waiter to recommend a strong tea? did you let the waiter know you weren't satisfied? i was in chado recently with two friends. one friend ordered chai tea, not realizing it had milk, and when the waiter saw she wasn't drinking the tea, the waiter offered to get her something else. (she was too polite to complain.) she didn't like the next tea she ordered, so he offered to change it out for something else again. he ended up bringing her 3 different teas, and only charged her for one, even though he had made no mistake in processing the order. the waiters at chado's know the dozens of teas they serve and sell, and can recommend a tea for you. they use timers to steep the tea, and then remove the tea from the pot so it won't get "too strong". i tend to like my tea to get stronger, adding more water, so i've often asked them just to keep the tea in the pot. conversely you could ask them to steep it longer and make it stronger.

                  3. Scarlet Tea Room
                    18 W Green St, Pasadena, CA 91105
                    626 577-0051

                    tahitian blck tea is amazing!