Well we do differ in how we like to get our stuff....but we seem to like the same results...I love a farmer's market. I do agree with the selection of matchas not being great, however I agrree it is a small select group of drinkers that are looking for this one type of tea. And if you know what you want and have a good depth of knowledge than on line is a great way to go. As for being horrified about your method of making matcha I am not. It sounds intruiging....kind of like a hybrid smoothie - hot tea. You may be on to something. I will try that this morning. I am not such a matcha fan - a bit bitter and way too caffeinated for me. I prefer to bake with matcha - I love the radioactive green color it makes the inside of a nice cake look! For me a nice mellow Gyorkuro or Silver Needles is just swell. And you know Matcha is great in a real smoothie....It blends well with bananas and soy....a real nice pick me up in the summer.
Hey moto You know your stuff.....as for Le Palais des Thés...I was just in yesterday...they have about 12 Chinese Green (try Ancient Snow Sprout....subtle dut divine) and about 18 Chinese Black (Qimen Imperial is my current favorite) as well as a few rare White teas and several Taiwanese and Chinese Oolongs....your point about basic is on the mark. For me however I just discovered an amazing Gyokuro (rare Japanese shade grown tea) that is out of this world...costly but worth it...especially on a cold morning like this when I can savor three cups from just one teaspoon. Glad to see there are so many knowledgable tea people on this site...most people think good tea is a favorite blend that might be cloying sweet. I am sure as more people are exposed to finer quality tea they will understand your comparison to fine wine. Enjoy your visit to L.A.
Actually I think the tea at Le Palais des Thés is better. And as for bringing your dog...you can bring your dog in the store???? Or are you talking about keeping him outside? I think that is a health code violation as they serve food and in LA County you are not allowed to bring pets in anyplace you serve food...I love my dog, but I cannot bring him into a restaurant...wonder why that is so? In NY and Paris you can...but then those cities are not paragons of cleanliness.
Hey Omotosando, It is so much better to go into a store and look at your tea and discuss it with the people there than to buy on-line, especially if you are buying a particular tea for the first time. For one thing you can talk to the people in the store and you can smell and see the tea and compare it to various other teas in the same family. As for matcha that might be true as it comes in little canisters...but do you buy your fruits and vegetables on line?
Hands down Le Palais des Thés has the finest teas in Los Angeles along with the best selection. I don't know what you consider $$$$ but you get what you pay for. As this is a site for foodies I am sure we can all appreciate the finer tastes of great products....why would there be a market for fine wines??? There are over 2000 types of tea - and from what I gather Le Palais has about 250, many are less than $10 - and you get 30 cups of tea for the price of two cups of starbucks! The great thing about that shop is they are willing to educate the neophyte and afficiando alike. As for the Tea Garden - talk about expensive - they sell the same Grand Jasmin for $10 unit that Le Palais sells for about $3 (although you do have to buy 1/4 lb).
why not try going into a nice tea shop such as Chado or Le Palais des Thés and explore the range of Assams? Both shops (West Hollywood for Chado - Beverly Hills for Le Palais des Thés) have an amazing range.
Thanks Pei....I was tempted to try Lupicia, but the name is a real turn-off (sounds like a skin disease). I am a die-hard Le Palais des Thés fan - they have the finest assortment of teas, the nicest looking store and the most knowledgable staff.
While they do have some rare and expensive teas the majority are $10 - $15 for a 1/4 lb. Be sure to try Immortal Green and Thé du Hammam- these are by far the fruitiest and most delightful teas I have ever tasted. Plus they have a great assortment of gift sets and wonderful cast iron teapots. I can do all my holiday (well most if not all) shopping at this great emporium.
As for the comments about caffeine free teas - those are really not teas - they are herbal infusions and you are better of looking for them at an herbalist or Whole Foods. Would you go to a wine shop and look for grape juice? The really good tea shops cater to tea afficianados and provide superb tea that you cannot find at your supermarket or Trader Joe's.