Monday April 19, 2010 | 0 comments
If there ever was a beverage you would expect to find around every corner in the rolling-hills art community of Ojai, California, it would be tea. Yet after a quick walk down the main avenue and up and down a few of the side streets, you would be sadly disappointed.
The only “tea” house in town is a place called Vesta – after the Roman goddess of hearth and home. A placard in its front window touts its afternoon tea choices, presumably as a tribute to its predecessor, the Tottenham Court Tea Room. But a Tazo tea bag in lukewarm water and a stale scone do not a memorable experience make. And which restaurant transports its supplies for the evening through the middle of the dining room?! It’s a bit like featuring the puppeteer rather than the puppets.
Ojai is the home of Zhena’s Gypsy Tea Company, which offers a wide selection of organic loose-leaf teas for purchase online. Its main business, however, is its wholesale business, so why aren’t its teas found in Ojai’s restaurants? After all, Ojai’s biggest draws are its serene location in the “Valley of the Moon,” its galleries, its spas, and its boutique hotels and restaurants. Talk about the perfect demographic for high-quality tea!
Just a short jaunt outside of town is Meditation Mount, with its Asian-inspired retreat and lovely garden, which can’t help but elicit deep cleansing breaths and a feeling of calm and contentment. The view – even on a hazy day – is spectacular. As one sits and contemplates the universe, there is still the feeling that something is missing. Oh, yeah…tea!
So, you tea entrepreneurs out there, hop to and get the poor people of Ojai…and those visiting their fair town…a decent cup of tea.
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