China’s CNTV assigned a reporter to visit Los Angeles last week to describe the tea industry in America.
The serious video report, hilariously but aptly titled Pimp My Tea, includes an interview with International Tea Importer (ITI, Inc.) and Chado Tea Room Founder Devan Shah, a visit to the American Tea Room in Beverly Hills and conversations with tea drinkers.
In America “the tea is infused with all sorts of interesting flavors” explains the reporter as the camera pans pouches labeled Macaroon (cacao bits, rooibos, coconut, licorice) and Toasted Fig (pu-erh, figs, dandelion roots, coconut flakes and fennel) or Brioche, advertised as “aromatic as a French patisserie” with almonds, cinnamon and safflower blossoms.
To a purist, concoctions like Chamomile Lemon and Dry Desert lime seem quite ordinary beside Carrot Curry and Beef Cabbage, Spinach Chive and Broccoli Cilantro “tea.” The blends described above no doubt appear to the Chinese exactly like the garish, gaudy and extravagant embellishments gangbangers use to transform 1970s caddies, a vintage Ford Fairlane or Lincoln Continental into pimpmobiles.
The Chinese treasure several blends such as Jasmine green tea but for the most part consumers there seem content with tea processed much as it was a 1000 years ago. In America the blends featured in most shops were developed within a few months of launch. They appear and disappear with the season.
Source: CNTV Culture Express