Like all Pasadena adventurers, I’ve spent my fair share of time in teashops. Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with Lan Ong, proprietor of Bird Pick Tea & Herb Shop, and have never felt more welcomed into the world of tea.
“I created Bird Pick as a tea oasis.” Lan explains over a steaming pot of Tikuanyin Oolong- her current favorite. An oasis is truly the only way to describe the surprisingly roomy shop. To your immediate left, you see a counter of prepared tea and snacks, to your right, tables filled with guests sipping drinks and enjoying the complimentary Wi-Fi, and straight ahead: The Tea Wall. The Tea Wall is a full sensory experience. All the blends sit in giant see-through containers so you can first take in the gorgeous display, pull them down and smell the leaves yourself, then even sample the ones you like.
What sets Bird Pick apart from other tea suppliers is that her business is a fresh one- meaning you won’t find any syrup behind the counters here. Their organic cane syrup is made in house, and their flavors like mint or lemon are squeezed, blended, and chopped fresh by hand. The constantly rotating stocks of teas are purchased directly from the growers in China, Japan, and Taiwan. Bird Pick also began as a family business, so some of their tea is harvested from their own tea farms.
If you’re a tea expert, you’ll appreciate the quality and variety of tea available, as well as the traditional tea ware. If you’re a novice, you’ll love the supremely knowledgeable staff who can find a perfect tea for anyone. “We help people appreciate tea as a beverage, but also as a lifestyle.” Says Lan as we finish off our second pot.
I fell down the rabbit hole into a world of emotive language, good smells, and unique blends, and then walked out with a chamomile-lavender-mint tea that has turned into my new favorite before-bed ritual.
Bird Pick is located at 10 S. De Lacey Ave. Click here to visit them on the web.
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