Atlas Tea + Apothecary / The Sipping Room HNL
Aloha guests! Welcome to our site. We look forward to being your host as we embark on this journey & travel the world through our collection of fine teas and culinary spices from across the globe, in addition to small bites offerings through our subscriptions & traveling tea party series. We are pleased to offer Hawai'i grown organic teas and wellness products that are mindfully curated with reverence to the practice of la’au lapa’au (spiritually based Hawaiian herbal medicine) in addition to a global selection of wildcrafted herbal infusions made by the finest practitioners in our apothecary collection. The Sipping Room HNL's Traveling Tea Party series bring you curated experiences in an inspired setting. Let the healing restore and refine us. Tune in regularly as we grow our site & enjoy the ride.
The adventure began when my four siblings and I were children in Manila. Travels with our Mom & Dad during those early years, dressed in matching, tailored outfits, helped us to embody a well rounded feel for the world we were about to see. The dream seeds that were scattered in those formative years, were sown in favorable conditions, and their example set the tone for our lives to be abundant in so many priceless ways. One of the things I learned to develop was how to recall a feeling, travel by focusing on images in the mind’s eye and communicate it. Learning to use this skill has been one of the most instrumental for my career, not only as a creative, but also in food & beverage.
Music + food have always had a very symbiotic relationship in my book, and I am fortunate to have had many life altering experiences through both. Growing up in Los Angeles exposed us to many flavors and cultures, while my time as a performing arts student in New York allowed me some cherished opportunities to fall in love with the experience of service, in solitude, while savoring every detail, loving the rawness of inspiration just bursting from every corner and then capturing it in my journal. The city is alive, and I ate my way around Manhattan like a beast. I found my favorite spots, and explored the many ways people told their stories through food, expression, their life... I rose everyday, with the attitude of a student, hungry to learn, experience life and create more inspiration; I looked forward to the process each day as I was learning life mastery. My favorite date to a restaurant or cafe was a composition book, and many volumes tell so many of those adventures as they were unraveling through food, music, art and people watching. Through a daily practice, where I wrote several times a day, I realized an important internal dialogue was taking place; although, I also have some fond memories, sprawled out on my mother's couch, reading a book, sipping on green tea and wishing the days would stretch more often.
As the great American dancer/choreographer Twyla Tharp wrote in her autobiographical book, The Creative Habit, hailing a cab began her daily practice on the way to the dance studio. Bundling up and sipping on chrysanthemum tea & honey every morning, on my 20-minute walk to class, in 30 degree weather, began my own creative ritual.
After 18+ years in the US, I returned to my birthplace in the Philippines, and reconnected with the sense of home I had been missing. It was on that journey home with my family, that realized how much I wanted to study roots culture. I was inspired by the idea of peacemaking and understanding people, and found myself the most engaged whenever I was fortunate enough to experience it over food. Before receiving a degree in anthropology, with a minor in dance, I took a creative approach to learning when I started my own jewelry business, Anthropology Projects, at age 23. In addition to custom designing, the venture produced two collections: Halo-Halo, a collection of lariats + rings featuring vintage beads on fishing line, and Dim-Sum, a collection of necklaces and hand accessories using red Chinese cord. I began collecting beads from all over the world, and telling culturally relevant stories through wearable art. But music is breath, and all things return to it; and I admit that my journey through food would not be as fascinating, if music did not feed that fire, and vice versa.
Over the years, while living in Hawai'i, working in the food & beverage industry allowed me to support a creative life, where I could produce or write music until sunrise, and wake up late, in time for a bustling evening service. So the journey continues, and the story is uncovered over a cup of tea. Through tea and reflection, we give ourselves the greatest gift of peace, and Divine things can unfold. I raise my cup to you, in hopes that you may find comfort, inspiration & a feeling of wellness here. Mabuhay!