Place: Groundwork Coffee, 811 Traction Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Tea of Choice: Rooibos & Iced Chai Tea Latte
Giraffe Rating (out of 5 | for tea): 2.00
Featured above: The "Shreya" face.
This TEA-date has been a long time coming, both temporally and logistically. With finals, busy schedules and the ebb and flow of life, finding a time and place that worked for the both of us was almost near impossible. However, the stars aligned and the universe conspired in our favor. We found a date, decided on a time and meeting point. The day arrives, I turn up to Shreya's residence only to find that she's already on her way to the Arts District to meet me at Groundwork! As I said, this tea-date has been a struggle but alas, TEA finally transpired.
When I first met Shreya she was this ominous figure (President of Helenes), too scary to even fathom interacting with, and far too superior for a lowly rosebud such as myself. I mean her fellow housemates would refer to their living space as "the White House", talk about intimidating! However, Shreya is anything but, I would instead describe her as a delightful tiny human who lights up whenever you approach her. What I admire most about Shreya is her patience, and her willingness to fully devote herself to causes she has deemed worthy. If you were to look solely at her graduation stole you'd instantly be impressed by the number of accomplishments and accolades Shreya has managed to garner in her 4 short years at USC. But, if you pause and ask her the "why" behind the "what", you'll find out who the person is behind the talent - and that is what is most important.
As I sat for listening to Shreya on a Tuesday afternoon I couldn't help but get lost in her love for life specifically the small, seemingly inconsequential things. She finds passion in all she does and unashamedly takes hold of uncertainty, which the future holds. USC pumps us full of ideas and expectations of who and what you should be upon graduation, and what would scare most of us instead pushes Shreya. My one regret would be not seeking out more time with Shreya while she was at USC, I feel short-changed by only being able to spend a single afternoon with Shreya T. If you have the chance and your lives cross paths, find the time (as hard as it can be) to get to know Shreya, you will not be disappointed.
Groundwork Coffee in the Arts District is the perfect place to study, I'm still debating whether or not it was a good place to go to TEA. At times it would feel awkward talking, not for lack of things to say, but rather the people are hard at work or merely engrossed in a silent trance. I felt like I was yelling in a silent room, but if you can't converse in a coffee then where can you? This may be considered sacrilege however given the circumstances it is worth mentioning: Groundwork coffee is GOOD. I'm talking silky smooth goodness in a cup, their tea on the hand is decent. I don't know if I ordered the wrong thing, or let the tea steep for too long, but the resulting ruby-colored extract was not as savory as I'd hoped. I haven't written off Groundwork on the teafront. They have a large selection, all of which are organically-sourced, so I believe I just need to find the right tea that "speaks" to me.
Pros: Being located in the Arts District is always a pro. The murals, the vibes, the culture, all coalesce to form an unparalleled sensory experience. The coffee (period).
Cons: A little too quiet for a social scene. The coffee bar where you order is inconveniently placed and there's not much room to wait for your beverage to be ready.
Thank you for coming to tea with me, Shreya.
Until next time,