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Chillin' Out and Warmin' Up at the Chado Tea Room

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Brisk weather seems to beg for warm soothing beverages, the company of good friends, and tasty treats. This is why we recently culled together all three of those components at Pasadena's cozy Chado Tea Room for an afternoon of eats and drinks. Before we began our tea adventure, we'd done a little bit of online digging. We found ourselves on, a site that, well, obviously, maps out tea houses in the U.S. We realized that while we talk about teatime an awful lot, we don't actually have it; our last local tea outing must have been years ago at the Rose Tree Cottage, although we've happily sipped a cuppa or two at the famed Empress Hotel in Victoria among other spots. But, oh, dear! The TeaMappers loathe the Rose Tree, and we had to factor in economy, so we opted for Chado.

Chado is located on Raymond, a comfortable distance from the melee of Old Town's Colorado Boulevard, in an inviting storefront. The atmosphere is not exactly Victorian Dollhouse quaint, mind you, but more practical and relaxed. You'll find no doilies, rose patterned china, or floppy hatted matrons here. Our motley crew settled at a table near the window, and soon were being helped by our highly knowledgeable waitperson, who was elemental in assisting us with choosing the exact tea we were craved out of their staggering selection--over 300 types of tea to pick from! Their afternoon tea is actually served all day, and costs a more than reasonable $15 per person. The service includes a full pot of your tea of choice, four quartered sandwiches, a scone with cream, fruit, slice of cake, and a cookie. The sandwiches are far heartier and less pretentious than the expected British high-tea finger variety (and, okay, we were disappointed that we weren't going to get those tiny wedges of cucumber on soft white bread sandwiches) but were tasty nonetheless. The scone, which we eagerly slathered in that indulgent cream, was delicious, and filled us up so that the cake and cookie could only be tasted. The drawback to Chado's tea is that there's no real choice in terms of flavors or fillings, save for when it comes to the tea. But at $15, there's no need to complain. We were chilled out and warmed up--mission more than accomplished.

Chado Tea Room
79 North Raymond, Pasadena (626)431-2832 and
8422 1/2 West 3rd Street, Los Angeles (800)442-4019