Tea Garden & Herbal Emporium Unveils $300 Pot of Tea to LA’s Mover's and Shakers

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Like scotch and fine wine, this tea gets better as it ages -- both in taste and in value. Even at $300 a pot, the who's who of Hollywood are taking tea at this LA hotspot.

In a land where Bentleys, Rolexes and 10 karat diamonds are the norm, what’s $300.00 for a pot of tea? Nothing, according to the celebrity clientèle of Mark “Dr Tea” Ukra, proprietor of the Tea Garden & Herbal Emporium in West Hollywood, California. What is this tea that sends the who’s who of Hollywood flocking to the Tea Garden? It’s a rare 1952 Guang Yun Gon Bin tea from China. This tea, of the Pu-Erh (“poo-air”) variety, has been carefully stored and aged under very strict conditions for over 53 years. And, like that bottle of Bordeaux you have tucked away for a special occasion, Pu-Erh tea gets better with age -- both in taste and in value.

Unveiled in early June, the venerable tea was met with rave reviews and has become a much talked about item on the Tea Garden menu. Tea drinkers are plunking down $300 for a pot served at the Tea Garden and some are even forking up the $490 to bring an ounce of this rare tea home. Fortunately for those with tighter pocketbooks, Dr. Tea’s menu has something for every budget.

Mark “Dr. Tea” Ukra, alongside his wife Julie Jackson Ukra, pride themselves on the Tea Garden menu having the finest teas in the US. Ukra comments, “I’ve been a collector of things my whole life, watches, wines, cigars, scotches and such and my family has been in the tea business for many generations. We bought the Tea Garden because my passion for tea became too strong to keep to myself.”

Frequent Tea Garden visitor, four-time NBA champion and media star, John “Spider” Salley is a fan of the $300 Pu-Erh tea, adding “It takes me to the top. Tea is incredibly satisfying and really healthy. It’s great for my digestion and it’s helped me keep in shape.” Salley sits in the Tea Garden’s Zen Patio for hours on end and enjoys each and every one of the 20 steeps he gets from this high end tea.

About the Tea Garden & Herbal Emporium

The Tea Garden & Herbal Emporium was founded in 1988 to provide the world with the finest quality of Asian herbs, teas and tonics and is dedicated to the teachings of guidance towards the integration of the Body, Mind and Soul. Owner Mark “Dr Tea” Ukra travels the world including China, Taiwan, Japan and South Africa in search of the finest and most unusual teas to bring to his menu that can be found nowhere else.

Visitors to the Tea Garden and Herbal Emporium are met with myriad teas and tonics including anti-oxidant rich white tea, a special Oolong “Coffee Tea” for those weaning themselves off coffee and Dr Tea’s Queen Elizabeth Black Tea in honor of her royal highness. Herbal Tisanes round out the menu with the unusual and tasty Caramel Dream, Chocolate Bliss and Ginger Bread Rooibos among the favorites.


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Angee Jenkins
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