Wilmington, got a unique treat with a new kind of business to the area, Hojas Premium Tea House opened up late last year bringing a different twist to one of my favorite industrial cities.
I had read about the tea house in a recent Los Angeles Times article and was pleasantly surprised a place like this would come to the area. I have featured Wilmington many times on the rawness of what the city displays today but despite what people think of Wilmington, the city has a very rich history. Behind all the smoke from the refineries and car repair shops Wilmington has been a productive port community since the early 1900's.
I had planned on checking out the tea house one day but hadn't done so. A few weeks ago I ended up stopping there on my way to the Banning Park Residence Museum. As I was driving down Pacific Coast Highway I spotted the tea house and a banner reading "Art Exhibit Today". I was thinking " that's dope" I can pass by the tea house then make my way to the museum since I still had time before the next tour. I found parking and made my way in. It was very charming and nicely decorated. There was photography on the walls and cool furniture. There was various shelves aligned with tea accessories, and lots of different bags of loose leaf tea for every kind of taste.
Personally I do drink tea but I usually get typical store bought teas like Tazo or different kinds of bagged organic teas from like Whole Foods or Trader Joes. My mom would always buys loose leaf manzanilla (Chamomile) tea or some weird teas for remedios like the "Dona Remedios" line of teas. She usually just boils water in a pot along with the tea leaves. Me on the other hand do it the easy way and boil water in a cup microwave stilo lol.
While inside I met the owners Nacho and his wife Alma they where both very nice and welcoming. That day they where busy preparing the shop for a photography and a fashion show thrown by a local artist. Nacho mentioned wanting their tea shop available for art shows poetry readings, study sessions etc. I though that was really cool to have a spot available like that in Wilmington without it being some gentrified hipsterville.
Owner Nacho serving up customers
Since I had arrived before the start of the show I decided to come back after the museum tour. I ended up getting a cup of fresh green tea to go. I really liked it, it definitely tasted different then the bagged tea I usually buy. The leaves where kept in my cup so the flavor was strong and good till the last sip.
When I came back to the tea house a crowd had already gatherd inside. There was a guy singing and strumming on a guitar in the corner of the room giving the place a peaceful vibe. They had laid out hors d'oeuvres and pastries for everyone to enjoy as well . My homie Carlos showed up a bit later, he had been to the tea house before so he knew a little on what is good. Nacho recommended a red tea named Zhen Hong Gong Fu with a touch of vanilla coconut cream. It was smooth with just the right sweetness.
Nacho and Alma where definitely knowledgeable when it comes to tea. It made me want to know more about the special qualities of tea.
After enjoying great tea and a fashion/art show, I was very pleased with the place and will be coming back. They got a great menu with lots of different teas for all kinds of benefits. On the plus side I felt very comfortable there and not awkward, I guess we all have misconceptions on how a tea house would be.
I need to get my self a real tea pot and strainer it is definitely worth it for potency and flavor. If ever in Wilmington don't forget to stop by Hojas Premium Tea House and support good health as well as cool gente. The prices are very reasonable too so it won't shrink the pocket.
Bags of different loose leaf tea
click on menu's for larger view
Hojas Premium Tea House
405 W Pacific Coast Hwy
Wilmington, CA 90744
Mon-Wed 10:00 a.m.- 8:00p.m.
Thursday 9:00 a.m.- 7:00 p.m.
Saturday 10:00 a.m - 8:00 p.m.
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