Chado has an amazing variety of teas, and I this was the first tea shop I went to when I arrived in LA and was ready to explore finer quality teas. I’ve been to a couple of their shops, and the counter people are helpful and knowledgeable. When I mentioned my black tea phobia, I was given a sample of the yunnan gold black tea that opened my eyes to the possibilities. I got a 10 year old loose puerh that was another wonderful revelation.
I have taken friends there to enjoy tea, and it’s been a lot of fun. And they were happy with the teas they bought too.
But while most of what I’ve bought from them has been quite good, getting to them & parking is not as easy as my usual chinatown shops, and while they have several of almost any class of tea you can imagine (herbals, darjeelings, chinese, taiwanes, rooibos, and more) their selection is perhaps broader than deep (except maybe the single-estate indian/sri lankan/african black teas), and I mostly go the the chinatown stores these days.
But as I am now getting curious about the white, oolong and green teas from India and Sri Lanka, I feel another trip to Chado coming on.
This is an amazing place to buy tea and teawares. There are great glass jars full of teas, dozens or hundreds of them, mysterious piles of puerhs, and a vastness of inexpensive gaiwans, cups, teapots of many shapes and sizes—many unglazed ‘yixings’, tetsubins, glass and porcelain pots, and an amazing array of kamjove devices. Why is it 4 instead of 5 stars? The lack of meaningful English labels for the puerh, the minimal labels for some of the other teas, and those very large glass jars that, though attractive—seductive, even—are not the best way to preserve delicate teas, these have slowed my working my way through their offerings.
Still, it’s my number 1 tea shop for the variety and quality of the offerings—white teas, green teas, green oolongs, darker roast oolongs, and puerhs. I still enjoy the first shu puerh I bought from them very much—a beeng that is now nearly gone. But I am reluctant to explore the higher priced beengs without more information.
Unfortunately, this shop is closed. I visited twice, took a tasting class, bought some Dan Congs and loved them, and enjoyed talking to Imen. She gave me a tip that led me to another site that eventually led here.
Her selection of Dan Cong (both ‘commercial’ and ‘single bush’) is superb, and the one or two non-dan cong teas I bought from there have also been excellent, but the Dan Congs are the point.
Per her blog,she is working to reopen in a new location, and the online store is open and functioning.
Here’s hoping the new location is closer to me, say, in Hollywood!