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A Chinese tea house has opened in the Brooklyn neighborhood, and Rita Leonard went -- ant tells about it

RITA A. LEONARD - Steve Odell, proprietor of the new Enthea Tea House in the Brooklyn neighborhood, stands in front of some of the 150 varieties of Chinese farm-direct teas he has brought back from his annual visits to China.   A unique Chinese-American tea emporium, "Enthea Tea House", has opened for business in the Brooklyn neighborhood at 3533 S.E. Milwaukie Avenue.

Owner Steve Odell tells THE BEE that has been selling tea and tea-ware from China for the last six years under the name "Rabbits Moon Tea", but the new storefront is his first "brick and mortar" site.

"My intent is to introduce Pacific Northwest neighbors to the historic tea culture of the Orient," he explains.

"Enthea" is a name created from Latin words that mean "goddess" and "inner illumination", he says. The 120-year old Victorian house in which he has opened his tea house has an oriental tea arch, two rooms on the main floor, a business suite upstairs for private events, and a back yard patio and tea garden. Customers remove their street shoes upon entering, and from that point become immersed in the traditions of a Chinese tea house.

Odell travels to China every spring, and has built family-style relations with the farmers there. He offers 150 varieties of farm-direct handmade teas, and hopes to present a non-alcoholic oriental tea culture experience to Pacific Northwest residents.

This new shop also displays artisan handmade tea ware from China, as well as pottery tea items and tea strainers created by Northwest artists. The tea house features antiques and oriental furnishings, and music from vinyl records to immerse clients in the calming sense of a Chinese tea house. You can also purchase ounces of tea from Odell's unusually wide and varied stock.

He points out that the new tea house offers a quiet, non-alcoholic meeting space for tea drinkers and their friends – and he is hoping that clients find "illumination within tea" as they immerse themselves in his special atmosphere.

Enthea Tea House is open Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays from noon until 8 p.m., and on Fridays and Saturdays from noon until 10 p.m., but it's closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Call 1-831/239-7900 – or check the website www.RabbitsMoonTea.com – for more information.


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