Thursday, March 7, 2013

Seventh Tea Bar = Seventh Heaven


People kept stopping by our table wanting to take pictures of the beautiful tea service that was laid out before us. Where were we? At the OC's seventh heaven of course, Seventh Tea Bar on 3313, Hyland Ave, Costa Mesa (in the OC Mart Mix), thanks to my good friend Linda.

Opened earlier this year, there are many reviews already of Seventh (Google can help you find them) but none of them capture the beauty and fun of this timeless experience. You need to stop by yourself. Then, you will understand why I equate a non-traditional tea service that blends elements of British high tea and Japanese tea ceremonies in a quintessentially American way with California charm, to seventh heaven; its a cool conductor of a state of great joy and satisfaction! In Islamic and kabbalist religions seventh heaven is also one of the concentric spheres, albeit the farthest, from where God lives (Free Dictionary, 2013). When I was growing up, my friends and I always said we were in the seventh heaven anytime we were very happy. Time at Seventh Tea Bar is most definitely time in the seventh heaven :).

Linda ordered us the tea service for two and our choices from then on were plentiful. First, we had to choose the kind of tea we wanted. We both decided to order Risheehat, a light-bodied yet bold and fruity, estate Darjeeling tea, from the organic Risheehat tea estate which lies on the beautiful misty mountainside of the Himalayas. [Watch this 4-minute fascinating video I found, by Niraj, founder of Happy Earth Tea, capturing a visit to Risheehat; you can see the plucking of the 2012 first flush autumn tea, the weighing, laying out, sorting, etc.] I'm not a real tea connoisseur and so I can't tell you whether it was first flush, second flush or even autumn flush, except that it was seventh heaven :).

For the sandwiches portion of the tea service, which Linda and I again chose together, we had the Gravlux Glory (citrus marinated yummy salmon with dill, crème fraiche sandwiches on a brioche), Salty Sweet (fresh ricotta with cranberries and pistachios). The tea service also comes with two kinds of freshly baked bread, sliced quartre-baguette, for which Linda chose the kalamata and olive tapenade while I picked the rosemary and orange marmalade. Two kinds of dessert accompanied our tea service, chocolate berries tart and snickers-type chocolate bar. 

It was heavenly to sit there in the warm So Cal sunshine with Linda (ok, ok, I can't take the sun and so I just gazed at it longingly from inside). The ambience is simply amazing with the yellow and black and white colors, the beautiful food, the highly polished stainless steel silver teapots with their thermometer display on top showing the water temperature, and the digital timers for our tea infusions.  We let time slip by as we enjoyed cup after cup of fabulous tea, just catching up with each other. As I sat there with Linda, enjoying her generosity and friendship, and God's precious gifts, my eyes fell idly on the timer and I had an epiphany about time, kairos, God's time, unlike chronos, our own human ideas of time.  I will share it fully in another post but very simply, in Heaven, there's only kairos and even here on earth, we have the choice to let kairos, God's time, rather than our own chronos dictate our happiness, our lives.  Thank you, Linda. Thank you, Seventh! I can't wait to take my other friends to Seventh Tea Bar and already have one date planned. See you at Seventh!     

References:

About Risheehat and Lizahil Tea Garden. From the Jayashree Tea Company which owns them. http://www.jayshreetea.com/teagardens/darjeeling/risheehat

Risheehat Tea Estate, a video. October 2012 (same as the video mentioned above except this is from Niraj's blog). http://suninmycup.com/2012/10/risheehat-tea-estate-a-video/

Seventh Tea Bar.  ttp://seventhteabar.com/

Story behind the name (why Seventh) can be read in Marian Bacol-Uba's review. http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2013/01/15/its-tea-time-at-seventh-tea-bar-in-costa-mesa/

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