My Liquid Heaven: How to Brew the Perfect Cup of Tea


I know many people complain about the lack of seasons in LA, but as a native Angeleno, I’ll take clear skies and 80 degree temperatures over what our neighbors have been going through across the country any day. My thoughts are with you (as I nurse an iced latte in a sundress…on the beach). All jokes aside, it’s been an unusually warm winter here. Sure, LA might find itself with more sunshine than rain at this time of year in general – but it’s also typically much chillier than it has been.

It seems the weather gods got the memo and our version of “winter” is now upon us as of late.

As the temperature drops and I pull out leggings and scarves to cover up a bit more, what has to be one of the best parts about bundling up is switching that iced latte for a warm cup of tea. I discovered my all-time favorite tea at one of my favorite old LA spot, Jin Patisserie, years ago. It’s called Peche Mignon. It’s a Chinese green tea flavored with notes of vineyard peaches, passion fruit, melon, and wild strawberries. Add in a decadent raw sugar cube or two and I’m literally in liquid heaven.

What I’ve come to learn over the years is that it’s all about preparation, particularly when it comes to steeping times based on the type of tea you’re making. There’s nothing worse than a bitter cup of tea, and it took some trial and error before I learned what my taste buds liked. I was delighted to find this great video from Birchbox that succinctly explains how brew the perfect cup of tea with the hopes that if you struggle a bit, guidance is here.

Sadly, Jin Patisserie, the place I spent many afternoons with a cup of tea over good conversation with a girlfriend or alone with a book, closed its charming outdoor cafe last year. Fortunately, they still run their patisserie and boutique online, so a bag of my favorite tea is just a click away.

I hope you find your version of liquid heaven in a spot of tea. And hang in there, when we’re all melting 6 months from now in 105 degree weather, we’ll somehow miss these chillier days – if only for an LA moment.

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Farewell Abbot Kinney

1-2013-03-23_11-48-36_651There was always one unassuming oasis resting on the chaotic Abbot Kinney Boulevard that I found myself at many times over the years. It was Jin Patisserie – a small, charming pastry boutique with an outdoor garden cafe. I spent several afternoons with a small pot of my favorite green tea, their delicious quiche, and a surprise sweet treat; enjoying the tranquil setting alone with a book and a smile on my face. Other times, it was almost always the first place I thought of when a friend wanted to get together for lunch because I adored introducing people to its unique charisma. This past weekend, I paid one last visit for lunch with my boyfriend and a friend to say goodbye.


About three weeks ago, I learned from a L.A. Magazine article that due to the rising costs of leasing on the now extremely trendy Abbot Kinney Boulevard – Jin Patisserie would be forced to close – a pattern that is spreading up and down the short strip as I type this post. While Abbot Kinney has always been one of the more popular streets in L.A.; known for its one of a kind, vintage inspired merchandise; high quality ingredient dining options; fused together by a laid back beach-y vibe – it was also home to many small original ventures that can no longer afford to keep up with its growing popularity.


{my favorite tea – peche mignon.}


{ham & feta quiche lunch combo.}

The silver lining to Jin Patisserie’s farewell to Abbot Kinney is that you can still order your favorite pastries and loose leaf tea selections online from their production kitchen in Culver City. And while Kristy Choo, its beloved owner, says that she’s looking for a new space to relocate – I cannot help but think about how it wouldn’t be the same. Perhaps it’s because I associate happy memories of the patisserie and the boulevard interchangeably. Perhaps she’ll find a way to create an even better oasis at an even better location. The fact that she managed to keep a successful business up and running in the restaurant fickle city of Los Angeles for 10 years is a celebration in and of itself.

While I’m not bidding farewell to spending many upcoming warm L.A. Saturdays strolling the sidewalks of Abbot Kinney personally, I’m saying farewell to my favorite part of it.


{the day’s sweet treat – Macarons.}