The TeaBook’s world’s largest tea tasting event

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The TeaBook broke The Guinness World Record for the Largest Tea Tasting this past Sunday at the California Science Center to celebrate the worldwide premiere of The TeaBook and raise money for Miriam’s House, an LA charity providing housing for low-income mothers and children. The event took place over 3 hours from 6:30-9:30pm with hundreds of attendees present, celebrating and checking out all the exotic teas sponsored by a multitude of tea houses and companies. As it was a zero-waste event, attendees were welcome to bring their own mugs or purchase a collectible event special “Shakespearmint” glass mug for the tea tasting! Tickets were $20 for general admission and $25 for VIP admission—which included the collectible mug.

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Event activities included live music, costume contests, tea tastings, games, raffles, face painting, temporary tattoos, custom tea cup caricatures (for all you nerds out there!) by Chari Pere, free desserts, and food vendors and food trucks offering great choices for dinner!

THE TEABOOK

The TeaBook, the featured reason for this entire event, is a brilliant way for all you tea lovers to store and organize your teabags! No more mess in your cupboards! It will hold over 144 teabags, it’s super light (<2lbs when full), non-toxic and BPA-free, and environmentally friendly. Touted as “easy, elegant, and fun,” the only potential downside is if you’re more of a loose leaf tea lover than a tea bag person, as these are only designed for teabags. Those pearls won’t fit in these slots without being crushed, urk.

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As a great way to display and colorfully organize part of your tea collection, join the Kickstarter here to obtain your very own TeaBook! It’s available in 5 tea-themed colors: Brown, Tea Green, Chai, Cinnamon Red, Teal.

CHARI PERE

In collaboration with the TeaBook, renowned artist and cartoonist Chari Pere designed and created the bonuses that come along with the TeaBook!

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She was present at the launch event and offered attendees the opportunity to commission their own designs, or purchase one of the ingenious and gloriously pun-ny masterpieces she had available. Love the Spock one. Check out her website!

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TEA TASTING

Over 40 different teas were available for tea tasting!

Bird Pick Tea & Herb
Chrysanthemum Orangeade (Iced)
Thai Milk Tea (Iced)
A-li Shan Oolong (Hot)
Dragon’s Well Green Tea (Hot)
Premium-Special Grade Pu-Erh (Hot)
Supreme Queen of Pearl Jasmine Green (Hot)
Royal Phoenix Yellow Stone Oolong (Hot)

Admittedly, this was my favorite tea vendor of the night. With a variety of cold teas and hot teas, they hit on all my favorite types of tea. The Chrysanthemum Orangeade was definitely an interesting try; though I normally prefer less sweet teas, I love chrysanthemum and I love orange. Perfect match! The Thai Milk Tea was rather sweet but good for sweet tooths. The A-li Shan Oolong was a lighter oolong compared to the Royal Phoenix Oolong, mainly due to country and area of origin. The Royal Phoenix Oolong was rich and had a deeper taste of dry apricot. The Dragon’s Well Green Tea, interestingly enough, had a strong flavor that resembled matcha green tea, but without the dark color and powder. The Special Pu-Erh was a favorite of one of our hosts at the table and is a very unique and extremely rich with a taste of petrichor. My favorite at this table was a split between the Royal Phoenix Oolong and the light and sweet Queen of Pearl Jasmine Green.

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California Tea House
Pomegranate Peony
Marmalade Puerh
Tiramisu Rooibos

For an interesting, unique fruity or sweet taste, try this vendor’s Pomegranate Peony! All of their teas were strong and flavorful.

Tadin Organic
Stress Balance
Dandy Liver Detox
Chamomile
Pu-erh Slim chai
Hibiscus Cleanse
Immunity Now
Green Tea
Body Balance Detox

Tadin Organic specializes in organic detox teas, perfect for those who prefer to drink teas specifically for health boosts. The line for this vendor was extremely long, not unexpected for Los Angeles culture.

Sharp
Matcha
Matcha Latte

With a unique machine, Sharp is able to create matcha tea quick and easy!

Chado
Podrea
Caramel Popcorn
Birthday
White Champagne Raspberry
Risheehat DJ-1
Milk Oolong
Gyokuro
Silver Needle Jasmine
Keemun Mao Feng

Chado, one of the well-known tea houses in the Los Angeles area, was present with a variety of special teas for tasting! Alvaro Olguin, the manager of the Little Tokyo branch, was the host at this table, and very informatively explained each unique tea as asked. Though some of these are definitely interesting, I still have to say the Silver Needle Jasmine was my favorite of the night, and Mr. Olguin generously offered a mugful for the trip home. This particular Jasmine tea was exposed to Jasmine flowers over 20 times, resulting in its very fragrant and strongly soothing Jasmine taste. Definitely a good tea to try if you go to Chado!

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Waterfall Teas
Peach Blooming Tea
Lychee Blooming Tea
Guava Blooming Tea
Organic Masala Chai
2nd Flush Darjeeling
Organic White Peony
Organic Sencha Lemonade
Organic Bianca Chamomile
Passion Fruit Oolong
Instant Masala Chai
Instant Lemongrass Chai
Instant Ginger Chai
Instant Cardamom Chai

Though I was unable to try the teas from Waterfall Teas, there is quite a variety that I would have liked to experience, from the Peach Blooming Tea to the Organic Masala Chai. Here’s hoping they’ll return next year!

Boba Bear
Milk Tea w/ Boba
808 Green Tea w/ Boba (Pineapple + Strawberry + Mango)
Honey, Dew Me! Green Tea w/ Boba (Honeydew + Passion Fruit + Peach)

Who doesn’t love boba? Though you had to purchase the boba pearls if you had wanted any in your taste tester cup, they had interesting flavors available to try.

FOOD

Food vendors included Greenz on Wheelz, The Middle Eats (kosher), Ayur Ras, and Wiener Waffle.

Greenz on Wheelz has a delightful variety of salads and melts, The Middle Eats is ready for all your kosher needs, and Wiener Waffle took the creative route of combining corndogs with waffles for a fun way to savor these American staples.

Out of these vendors, I do have to give props to Ayur Ras for having the best food of the night.

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Ayur Ras is a unique catering and daily meal service company that uses Ayurveda to create holistic and healing meals meant to nourish and maintain the balance between mind, body, and spirit. They use fresh, organic ingredients and hand-ground spices and herbs, targeted to providing their customers with a balanced, nutritional and healthy diet.

Ayur Ras also offers vegan/vegetarian, gluten-free, low-carb, low-sodium, and other customized dietary options, perfect for anyone with any health conditions that require dietary restrictions, or if you just need a healthy option after sitting all day in an office. They are the perfect food service for anyone who follows natural and/or alternative medicine. Co-founder JJ Jauhar was present at the event and demonstrated a clear passion for his work and genuinely warm and welcoming customer service. My favorites were the Cauliflower florets and Spinach/onion & tofu sides.

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Co-founder JJ Jauhar

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Perhaps they’ll expand to an actual on-site restaurant or take-out in the future. Looking forward to it!

DESSERTS

As for free food, a free tea-themed dessert table with desserts hosted by Chef Stef Candy, included:

  • Orange Tea Infused Chocolate Brownies
  • Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies
  • Lemon Curd Cups Garnished with a Blueberry
  • Lavender White Chocolate Pudding Cups
  • Dark Chocolate Mini-Cupcakes with Matcha Frosting
  • Orange Cranberry Scones
  • Fruit Platters
  • A giant The TeaBook cake

These went quick! With the gigantic double-ended line as attendees rushed to the free food, the desserts all ran out by the time I got there. Unfortunately, I can’t speak for any of the desserts other than the TeaBook cake that came out at the end, which was a chocolate fondue vanilla and chocolate cake. I did like the spongy moist vanilla cake, which wasn’t too sweet nor dry.

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MUSIC AND ACTIVITIES

The organizers also invited a couple of bands to play music throughout the event. The music schedule was as follows, with various events like the costume contests and raffles taking place in-between. Danny Lobell, stand-up comedian, host at Hollywood Improv, and creator of the Modern Day Philosophers and Mostly Bull Market podcasts MC’ed the event.

Music Schedule:
6:30 PM – 7:00 PM – Compton Lion – Reggae
7:30 PM – 8:00 PM – Green Ashes Band – Irish Rock
8:15 PM – 8:45 PM –  Rajib Karmakar Band – Indian Classical
9:00 PM – 9:30 PM  – Organic String Quartet – Orchestral

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The costume contest itself was certainly an imaginative move. With three contest categories, attendees could participate by dressing as:

  1. Alice in Wonderland Character
  2. Afternoon Tea Dress
  3. Tea Themed (e.g. Tea Cup, Tea Kettle, Tea Bag, etc.)

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They brought a vendor to do temporary tattoos:

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And face painting!

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Not to mention a variety of other games including:

  • Tea Cup Toss
  • Tea Pong
  • Fastest Filler of The TeaBook
  • Tea Cup Stacking
  • Giant Card High Tea – Low Tea (similar to Card Sharks)

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Whether or not it was intentional, I thought it was a brilliant move to place these particular games next to the dessert line. I was definitely entertained as I waited for 30 minutes.

As this first year was a success, look forward to the organizers hopefully making this an annual event. See you next year!

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