Chado Tea Room and Jasmine Marteani – How to Justify Drinking a Cocktail Every Day

jasmine tea martini, jasmine tea from chado tea room, los angeles, ca
Much to dismay, I have realized that all of these “specialty vodkas” that are either flavored or infused with fruit do not have the same health effects as eating a piece of fruit.

They do not. Much to my dismay, friends, much. I was mistaken. Marketing misled me.

Because really now, is it not natural to think that Absolut Ruby Red on the rocks would be as full of vitamin C as a grapefruit? Would not it seem logical that Stoli Blueberi would have the highest concentration of antioxidants than any other vodka, unless there were something like Belvedere Blackberi, which there isn’t?

That’ll teach me to read a nutrition label (on a vodka bottle)!

Cocktails, of course, can be mixed with vitalicious fruit juices, but given that I am basically a gay man trapped inside a pseudo-small Asian girl’s body, I don’t do fruity sweetness. What is a recovering soberholic to do about getting all those important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants without having to resort to popping a rainbow assortment of pills?

The Marteani, for which, everyone should commentslap me for such grossly neologistical obscenity, is the new “healthy” object of my drinking desire.

Research has shown that drinking certain teas is beneficial to both bodily and mental health. In particular, green tea has a high nutrient and antioxidant content, not only for the actual makeup, but also because the nutrients that are naturally there are better preserved during the tea-making process. While other tea leaves are fermented, green tea leaves are toasted (fermenting causes nutrient loss). Green tea has vitamin C and surprisingly, fluoride. Isn’t that nice? Even though your teeth might be a shameful shade of graybrown, it will be from tea stains, not tooth decay rotting your teeth into a fetid, blackened mess of pulpy, bacteria-softened enamel.

By the way, these and other health and medical statements as they appear on The Delicious Life have not been approved by the FDA. In fact, unless my referrer stats are grossly inaccurate, the FDA has never even visited my little blog, so don’t go doing something stupid based on my statements, like overdosing on green tea and then suing me for blogging malpractice so you can pay for tea-hab. I’m not a doctor. I just play one on my blog.

I had heard much about Chado Tea Room, but never had any real reason to visit it. My tea drinking desires are rather plebeian, relegated to the last resort when coffee, soda, energy drinks, and every other injectable form of caffeine are not available, or illness. The function of 24 flimsy bags of generic “tea” off the grocery store shelf is far more appropriate for me than the fashion of driving all the way to a trendy neighborhood which already requires a level 10 effort from me for a restaurant motivation. However, with a cocktail as an incentive, as well as a willing driver, we made the sojourn to Chado and picked up Jasmine pearls, a type of green tea rolled with jasmine flower buds.

chado tea room, los angeles, ca - canopy
“the way of tea”
chado tea room, los angeles, ca - storefront
not a samurai castle

For some reason, likely that “cha” is the Japanese word for tea, I expected to be greeted by softly giggling geishas inside an ancient samurai castle. The vibe of the tiny storefront is quiet and slightly dark, to be sure, but Chado inside is just a narrow space lined on one side with shelves that could topple over at any moment under the weight of a garage sale’s worth of global tea trinkets and on the opposite side, a floor-to-ceiling matrix of dark canisters, identical to one another save for the name of the tea scratched onto an ivory label. There was absolutely nothing Japanese-like about the dozen ladies in the adjoining parlor, who were seated around a large dining table who were drinking tea in a setup that was more Shakespeare than Shogun. Except that they were giggling over the tiny cakes like a troupe of Hello Kitties hopped up on the allegedly lower levels of caffeine in tea under coffee.

We whispered to the young man behind the counter what we wanted, not because jasmine pearls were a secret, but because I was afraid to disturb the relative quiet of the room. He responded equally softly by shuffling across the matrix, carefully ascending a small step-ladder, pulling down a canister, and measuring out the jasmine pearls into a windowed paper bag. A handful of jasmine pearls was close to $12. If not for the environment I would have shrieked “Are you fucking crazy?!” out loud. Hey, I’m a lady; I left out the f word. Okay, and I didn’t really scream it out loud.

chado tea room, los angeles, ca - bag of jasmine pearl tea
bag worth its weight in gold
chado tea room, los angeles, ca - jasmine tea pearls
pearls as valuable as mikimoto

The Jasmine Marteanis were delicious, partially for the Chopin vodka we used, and of course, for the tea flavor that wasn’t tainted with too much sugar. Now if we make marteanis with English Breakfast tea, does this mean I can drink it with my breakfast scone?

Jasmine Marteanis for Two
Brew a cup jasmine tea extra, super dark, by tripling or quadrupling whatever the teamaster tells you to do to drink it. Let the brewed tea cool to room temperature.

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, pour 3
-4 ounces vodka
, 2 ounces of dark jasmine tea, and 1 Tbsp of sugar. Shake hard and long to help the sugar dissolve.

Strain into two chilled martini glasses. We garnished with a jasmine pearl, which unfurls its lacy leaves into the drink if you drink slowly enough. That didn’t happen for me, obviously. At least for the first two.

Chado Tea Room
8422 1/2 West 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90048
800.442.4019

www.chadotea.com

** a year ago today, i packed sex bomb heat for tom jones **
** two years ago today, guido taught me ispirazione **

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  • Tom O.

    Sarah, I’m not sure how much tea you bought but you probably can get jasmine pearls cheaper at “T” at the 3rd and Fairfax Farmer’s Market. I buy my tea there quite a bit and it’s a very nice booth. Make sure to get a glass of the Thai iced tea while you’re there (with boba if your so inclined.) I’ll miss it when I travel back home! Teavana in Sherman Oaks also has 2oz of it for $12 and it’s a nice tea shop to boot.

  • jenmoocat

    I, too, was dismayed to find the lack of vitamins in cocktails. Hey, doesn’t cranberry juice count? Not, I guess, when I ask the bartender to make my cosmos pale pink (just a pinch of cran) and the stuff is also some sort of cranberry juice cocktail that is 95% sugar syrup with coloring.

    Oh well.

    (are there trace minerals in Jameson’s?)

    A bartender friend has been experimenting with that new green tea liquor “Zen”. Other than mixing it with cream and vodka and making a “Green Tea Ice Cream” concoction, the stuff is pretty horrible…..

    Your Marteanis sound much better. I am going to experiment.

  • jenmoocat

    I, too, was dismayed to find the lack of vitamins in cocktails. Hey, doesn’t cranberry juice count? Not, I guess, when I ask the bartender to make my cosmos pale pink (just a pinch of cran) and the stuff is also some sort of cranberry juice cocktail that is 95% sugar syrup with coloring.

    Oh well.

    (are there trace minerals in Jameson’s?)

    A bartender friend has been experimenting with that new green tea liquor “Zen”. Other than mixing it with cream and vodka and making a “Green Tea Ice Cream” concoction, the stuff is pretty horrible…..

    Your Marteanis sound much better. I am going to experiment.

  • Sabrina

    i make my marteani’s by infusing the liquor with quality loose tea. 1-2 tbs of tea per 8 oz booze, steep, check after an hour (taste), steep up to 2 hours (black takes less time, herbal more).

    that way you have “room” for even more goodnessin your tea cocktail. fresh strawberry or pear juice? milk and and honey syrup with vanilla steeped congac?

  • H. C.

    Great drink recipe! Very timely too, since I had a Great Green Tea martini recently and looking to replicate it w/o having to buy (yet another) specially-flavored spirit.

    And going to Chado’s w/o having their afternoon tea? *gasp* There was a scone & some tea sandwiches with your name on it that are weeping right now. ;)

  • Hillary

    Haha, let’s face it. Justifying fruit flavored vodkas as servings of fruit was just another excuse to drink! Not that I wouldn’t do the same…

  • foodette

    Wow, I am so out of the loop – I didn’t even know that marteanis were all the rage! This should start popping up at sushi restaurants soon, and I am sure I will give them a try.

  • foodette

    Wow, I am so out of the loop – I didn’t even know that marteanis were all the rage! This should start popping up at sushi restaurants soon, and I am sure I will give them a try.

  • Anonymous

    Great post about teapots! Check it!

  • Dr.Gray

    I dont think vodka can really be defined as a serving for fruit. But doesnt mean it isnt better than the standard stuff. Have you heard about the green tea liquires do you think they have any benefits? At the end of the day though I think the drawbacks of drinking take away from any benefits.

  • Dr.Gray

    I dont think vodka can really be defined as a serving for fruit. But doesnt mean it isnt better than the standard stuff. Have you heard about the green tea liquires do you think they have any benefits? At the end of the day though I think the drawbacks of drinking take away from any benefits.

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