We had the good fortune of connecting with Nathan Epstein and Wendy Chen and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Nathan and Wendy, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
Part of our mission is to seek out women entrepreneurs in the tea industry, from farmers and producers to tea masters and distributors. We have identified a number of women-owned tea companies around the globe and are proud to carry their products and introduce them to our customers. Our brick-and-mortar shop offers a space for community gatherings and activism, as well as a safe space for anyone to de-stress with a cup of tea.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
As passionate tea enthusiasts, we have long been aware of how few spaces in LA provide a true tea experience. We were looking for a way to be of service, to provide a place of refuge from the noise and share the simple joy of tea. We knew we would need to open our own physical space to realize our dream. After years of putting it on the back burner, we arrived at a point in our lives where we had the opportunity to commit to the idea full time. Recognizing it was now or never, we took the plunge! Tea is so much more than a beverage. Taking the time to measure out the leaves, brew the pot, and notice how the experience of the tea changes with each cup is an endless and renewable source of happiness. When someone says “I’ve never had tea like this”, that’s our measure of success. Introducing more people to tea culture is our ultimate metric and why we started this adventure.
One of the services we offer at the shop is a Chinese tea service called ‘gong fu cha’. Although ‘gong fu’ or ‘kung fu’ is often associated with martial arts, its literal meaning is ‘skill’. The concept of gong fu is that anything can be a craft, anything can be a skillful or artistic expression. We express our creativity by practicing the skillful brewing of tea.
Our customers know our brand is associated with high grade teas. There are a million teas out there, but we only carry a small selection of teas that we enjoy drinking ourselves. We don’t carry products just to fill in a gap or fill out a line. In addition, we source unique and hard-to-find teas and tea ware. Our deep knowledge of tea and traditions from around the world give our customers the comfort of knowing they’re getting the real deal.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
We have had many guides on our tea journey, from Wendy’s mother who worked in the tea industry, to the Buddhist monk who taught us the traditional Chinese tea service. But one particular person we want to shout out is Eva Lee of Tea Hawaii Company. She has spent years working to make American grown tea a reality and she has been an inspiration for us. We are proud to carry her tea in our shop, so our customers can taste the unique terroir of Hawaii grown tea.

Website: https://www.callistoteahouse.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/callistoteahouse

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/callistoteahouse

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/callisto-tea-house-pasadena

Image Credits
Saon Kashem

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