Friday, November 19, 2010

A Healthy Cup of Tea

My life has been a whirlwind lately, from cohorting with some internationally renowned local chefs, to getting a rush of much welcomed and appreciated press, to taking on celebrity clients. I'm in awe, and extremely grateful for all my opportunities and the places my job takes me. What a life!

While my job is often mind-blowing, there are those mundane times when I'm driving around town through traffic in search of items for my next event. If you value organic whole food items of high quality, it takes some work to source things sometimes.

In my pursuit of all things related to tea today, I had an amazingly wonderful and extremely random adventure.

Here I was, driving down industrialized Nimitz, daydreaming about tea, tea pots, and the Vegan High Tea event coming up on the 28th. The universe speaks in mysterious ways sometimes, and as I was daydreaming, I looked up and saw a white van drive by. I happened to notice that it said something about the Hawaiian Islands Tea Company, and there was a phone number. Hmmm.... That was some kind of serendipity impossible to ignore. I took action and called the number before the van disappeared from sight, only to leave a message.

About one hour later, a man named Dave called me back and said I should stop by for some samples. I was escorted to the back by Mr. Dave Plaskett, who turned out to be the Director of Tea for the Hawaii Coffee Company.

photo from

His office was simply breathtaking, with rare dried teas from every possible corner of the earth. His walls were decorated by photos of people who work with tea throughout the world, posters of tropical fruits, samples of tea bags hanging from a poster board, and what appeared to be an apothecary of various concoctions he is working on for their line of teas. I was so incredibly impressed.

We sat and talked for about 15 minutes about macrobiotics, an idea he has for his next business, the origin of genmaicha, one of his philosophies about business that seemed very timely to me, and where I could potentially get the tea that I needed. In the meantime, he loaned me All In This Tea, a documentary about a man obsessed with finding the world's rarest teas. He was an absolutely cool and fascinating guy who transformed my day from the ordinary to the extraordinary! Thanks Dave.

I'll be seeing some of you at the tea party on the 28th!

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