Monday, November 30, 2009

Things I love - Tea By the Sea...

I've really gotten into tea and serving tea in the last few years and I have a great resource for buying it. It's a wonderful shop in Ventura County called "Tea By the Sea" and it's run by the very knowledgeable and generous Cindy Yoshitomi.

teapot and tea infused chocolate from Tea By the Sea; vintage teacups from my personal collection

A few years ago, my dear Wise Woman told me about her friend Cindy and the tea shop she runs so, on one of our visits to Ventura, my dear boyfriend and I went looking for the little shop. It's located in a building now called The Bell Arts Factory, which used to be a mattress company, but the building has been renovated into an arts complex and Cindy's shop is tucked into a hidden corner of the building. (I love that it's part of an arts complex!!)

She has many wonderful herb teas stored in glass jars and they look so beautiful. Each jar is labeled with the type of tea contained within and there are so many variations! Luckily, Cindy loves to share her extensive knowledge of the various teas and their healing properties and often will prepare some teas we may not have tasted before so we can gain an appreciation for them. This is how my boyfriend and I grew to love rooibos* teas.

One of the treats that I discovered were the tea infused chocolates she sells in her shop. A few years back, I gave some of these tasty delights to a few friends for Christmas, along with some vintage teacups and a few bags of tea that I thought each friend would like - they loved it!

mmmm, these tea infused chocolates are so yummy! the orange blossom is my favorite

On a recent trip to her shop, she told me that she had received a huge order for 35 pounds of tea and was puzzled by the amount of tea being ordered at one time. It turns out that it was an artist ordering tea for dyeing fabrics!! Cindy offers many herbal teas that can in fact be used for fabric dye, so if you're looking for a resource to by herbs for home dyeing, you may just want to check out her website and see all the offerings she has available, for craft or drinking. She has organic teas and tries to work with Fair Trade tea dealers as often as possible.

I love that she believes:

"...having TEA enhances the cre.a.tiv.i.tea of people
who desire to make the world a better place to live"

With someone like Cindy who believes that tea and 'cre.a.tiv.i.tea' can make the world a better place, it's no wonder I love tea over coffee!

* - better known as 'bush tea' if you ever watched or read "The Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency"!


humel said...

Oh, fab :-) There's a spicy tea that I love drinking at Christmas-time, must remember to stock up!

chrissy said...

i have long had an addiction to buying single, lonely teacups and saucers at antique and 2nd hand stores. and i don't even drink tea! i just love their charm and especially how artistic they all look together all mix-matchy and stuff. fun post. cre.a.tiv.i.TEA! how clever!
happy monday dear!
p.s. sounds like you have the best boyfriend on the planet!

anna said...

I love those books!!!

The Creative Beast said...

Mel: the spicy tea sounds yummy! maybe you can let me know what that tea is sometime??

Chrissy: i'm glad i'm not the only one who likes vintage teacups and saucers! and yes, my boyfriend is quite a sweetie =-)

The Creative Beast said...

hi Anna!
the book selection at Tea by the Sea is great - i got my copy of "Tea at the Savoy" on one of my visits to her shop and it's got great recipes for finger sandwiches and scones...YUM!!