Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Well done, Imen Shan, owner of Tea Habitat

Imen Shan is a friend in tea, and I've come to appreciate her very much. Her tea store, Tea Habitat, was featured in the L.A. Times food section with a positively incandescent review that must be the envy of every other restaurant in the Los Angeles area. I will give you an excerpt:

This is the next level of hard-core Chinese tea appreciation: dan cong oolong. You know how there's single-barrel bourbon and single-cask scotch? Well, this is single-tree tea. This means that every cup of dan cong you drink has been brewed from the leaves of one particular tea tree on the slopes of Phoenix Mountain in Guangdong. Each old dan cong tree is known, named, carefully tended and loved for its own peculiar character.

And America's only specialist in dan cong is right here in Southern California: Tea Habitat, a hidden jewel of high Chinese tea connoisseurship. It's in a Rancho Palos Verdes shopping mall, across from a T.J. Maxx.

And after that, "At Tea Habitat, Tea Connoisseurship Is Taken to the Extreme," starts to get enthusiastic.

Imen deserved every bit of this glowing review, and I wish her all the best.


Thi N said...

Hey! I read your blog!

I'm glad you thought it was enthusiastic. I was actually sitting there, the night before the article came out, drinking some of her dan cong and depressed because I thought I hadn't even come close to describing the intensity and wonder of the experience... I whined to my girlfriend that the article fell so far short of the tea.

She said: "Think of it this way. You've been writing about food for only a few years. That tree has had *400 years* to work on making tea that good."

Unknown said...


I felt the same way after my nearly *two-hour* interview with her, which can be found in the BlogTalkRadio button on the right of the blog. (Not that I'm asking you to spend that kind of time; I'm just letting you know it's there.)

Her dan cong teas are really transformative, and I'm absolutely delighted Imen was featured in the L.A. Times. I really hope this augurs great success for her.

Imen said...


Thanks for your support! It's my duty I promised myself, my tea master and the Dan Cong industry to do what I can to promote this wonderful tea to the rest of the world. The people nurture those tea trees in Chao Zhou deserves more credit than myself truly. I am nothing more than a messenger. :)


You have given my store a whole new life. I and many people of the Chao Zhou tea industry thank you for spreading its fabulosity!