following is a very partial group of excerpts of
some of the print media coverage featuring Elixir Tonics & Teas.
#28: Elixir Tonic's Virtual Buddha!"
— InStyle's 50 Must-Haves!
Angeles Times Magazine Supplement March 4, 2001
Departments: >Passing Through
Full page, great photos, terrific copy. page 7.
Having a Chi crisis? In a Yin slump? Elixir Tonics & Teas in West Hollywood, a Zen-correct boutique, offers everything to ease the body, mind and spirit! Co-owner Jeff Stein stocks the place with specialty teas, aromatherapy products and books to promote a physically and spiritually sound lifestyle. Plus, the master herbalist on staff can spot-check health deficiencies and recommend an herbal supplement to cure what ails. We stopped by to catalog the customers. — Kastle Waserman.
Following the intro are photos of four Elixir customers in serene settings with bullet point style responses to repeating questions such as, "Today's cure?" Answers include "I'm having a drink for clarity. It's called Mind Over Muddle", and "I'm having a 'Yin From the Cold' tonic because I got a cold yesterday", and "I like to get the Lemon Flower Green Tea."
Guides Gallimard France "Los Angeles Travel Guide " -- Spring 2001
Acheter - Elixir Tonics & Teas Thé infusions Elixir est une oasis de tranquillité. Ses cofondatueurs, Jeffrey Stein et Edgar Veytia, se sont voués à la sauvegarde de votre bien-être, et comptent parmi leurs clients Sharon Ston et Marisa Tomei. Leurs thés et leurs potions exclusives, spécialement concoctés par les herboristes maison, n' utilisent que des ingrédients de premier choix. Testez l'Echinacea Royale pour chasser le rhume et le Lover's Rose ranimer vos appétits.
Los Angeles Times Metro Section February 26, 2001
Word on the Street: Mark Your Calendar The is sponsoring a special poetry reading, book signing evening at Elixir Tonics & Teas in West Hollywood. The evening features the Pulitzer Prize winning poet, Caroline Kizer, who rarely speaks in public, will read some of her newer works to those fortunate enough to get in. It's expected to be an intimate, special experience given that it is taking place in Elixir's incredible botanical garden. The event takes place on March 16th from 7:00 until 9:00pm. Arrive early....
Hollywood ReporterMay 23-25, 1997,
"Right Now", published every other Friday, Edited by George Christy
Monkey to Go
written by Brendon Fraser, actor
I came upon Elixir as if by providence. During our hiatus one rainy December day while shooting "George of the Jungle, " I wandered, sopping-wet, along Melrose Avenue, pressing my nose against cafes and store windows, each with a cheerful and seasonally decorated "Closed for the Holidays" sign. Still dizzy from jungle-vine swinging, this card-carrying pre-grunge Seattle boy desperately needed shelter and a cup of comfort. None to be had. Until I spied a mirage in bright orange lettering: the word "Elixir" on a banner planted before an inviting site. A word that held significance as I knew it to mean a fragrant liquid used as medicine or flavoring and a remedy believed to cure all ills. No longer fearful that my electric lamp tan would rust, I entered the threshold as if by a tractor beam.
No vision; rather an oasis. I was greeted by Elixir owner Jeff Stein and affable staffers who sit at the teas & tonics bar where Mixologist Master Barry Oberman concocted a "Mighty Joe Yang," whose properties of revitalizing men's - umm! - vitality seemed like just the ticket. It went down so easily, I had another. Stifling the socially ungraceful urge to thump my chest and climb the rafters, I then explored Elixir, which is well-appointed, and I discovered myriad delights from dozens of varieties of precious fragrant herbs, teas, oils, candles and books. A friendly herbalist is on hand; even a computer waits patiently in the corner for your query, not far from the entrance to an outdoor secret garden complete with a tranquillity fountain, where savoring a pot of exceptional brew makes one of life's simple refreshments divine.
I took a box of Golden Monkey tea to go.
Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood.
Telephone (310) 657-9300.
InStyle Magazine -- December, 2000
"Holiday Gift Baskets"
Article included copy and a great gift basket photo. InStyle shows what's hot in Hollywood and what kinds of holiday gifts the stars themselves, give and receive. Elixir put together a gift basket for InStyle featuring some of Elixir's most popular products including a 12 oz Virtual Buddha, one of Elixir's Tonic beverage concentrates and two tins of Elixir's line of whole-leaf pure varietal teas. [NOTE: The response was significant]
Magazine (Germany) -- December, 2000
"Holiday Gift Baskets"
Article included copy and a photo. Elle's annual special holiday issue featured hot items from America. Elixir's renown is played up in this issue and offers European readers a special presentation of an Elixir gift basket.
Magazine (Who - Australia) -- December, 2000
"See and be Seen"
Heath Ledger and Heather Graham, photographed together leaving Elixir in front of the big Elixir sign with an Elixir shopping bag in hand. Reportage includes copy about what the cozy couple ate and which tonics they drank in the botanical garden.
InStyle "Weddings" Magazine -- February, 2001
"A Special Issue for the Bride" Aisle Style Section "A Tisket, a Tasket, a Gift in a Basket" [includes a photo of an Elixir gift basket filled with Elixir products]
The good thing about registries: Your guests know exactly what to buy you. The bad thing: Unwrapping the gifts has as much suspense as a rerun of Survivor. Perhaps for that reason, some stars, including Courteney Cox Arquette, are opting for the unexpected by sending customized gift baskets as wedding presents... "Newlyweds Raquel Welch and RIchard Palmer got an Elixir basket of teas, massage oil and incense from Montel Williams ($280; 310-657-9310). NOTE: Due to the great response to Elixir's gift basket in the January issue of InStyle (on newstands in time for Christmas), the magazine turned to Elixir for a story on celebrity wedding gifts. Montel Williams, highly rated talk-show host, is a long time customer of Elixirs and has sent Elixir gift baskets to many friends and associates
InStyle Magazine Madonna on the cover -- January, 2002
"What's Hot Now: 50 Must -Haves For The New Year" "The Hot List - 50 Ways to rev up for New Year, —the gotta-have, gotta-see clubs, drinks, clothes, gizmos & more..." pp. 138 Number 28: DAS BUDDHA Get with it with the sensuous with Elixir Tonics Virtual Buddha (12-serving bottle, $21; 877-435-4947), a peach-flavored blend of Chinese herbs like reishi mushroom and red ginseng reputed to enhance balance and creativity.
Magazine -- January, 2001
Bold Magazine is a very edgy Gen Y magazine in Los Angeles. A story on the hot places along Melrose features a half-page photo of Elixir store.
InStyle Magazine December, 2000
"Gifts by Mail" Holiday Special Story
A 4-page story with lush photos and descriptions of unique gift baskets from special retailers from around the country. Elixir's gift basket photo is featured prominently with the following copy: "Tea to Happiness – Renée Zellweger and Brendan Fraser refresh at Elixir, the West Hollywood teahouse. The World of Tea basket holds a teapot, cups, two exotic teas, plus goodies like a tea scented candle. Delivery time: three days, $140 (shipping $10) 877-435-4947 or elixir.net
[FOLLOW-UP] Following the release of this issue, Elixir received a signficant number of orders for variations of the "World of Tea" gift baskets from numerous individuals as well as such organizations as Canali Press, Universal Music Group, CAA, ICM, etc. Ms. Paltrow herself had over two dozen gift baskets sent to her Christmas list, and Selma Hyak spent a couple of days at Elixir putting together quite a few gift baskets for friends on her list.
Reporter -- December, 2000
Need to energize your body and mind all at once? Stop by Elixir Tonics & Teas, where regulars such as Gwyneth Paltrow indulge in all-natural energy and health drinks at the herbal "bar" while also loading up on candles, bath products and books on spirituality and philosophy. You can also consult an on-site herbalist for the treatment of such rampant Hollywood conditions as stress.
Out Magazine (London) April 26-May 3 2000
100 Best Bars -- London's finest drinking dens, best boozers and stylish sips So far ahead of the game they no longer sell juices, except the sacred wheat grass, but a range of Chinese Herbal Tonics. The Next Big Thing? Farmacia, 169 Drury Lane, WC2 (020 7404 8808)
Standard (London) Tuesday, 2 May 2000
3 columns, including photo of two Elixir Tonics
Elixir... at £21 a bottle The six elixirs, which are said to energise, balance or stimulate the mind, body and spirit, are based on glycerine and flavoured with fruit concentrates. They are also said to contain the highest concentration of herbal extracts of any other herbal drink on the market. Brimming with antioxidants and phytochemicals, they are said to stimulate health. The drinks contain recognisable herbs like kava kava (an effective relaxant), guarana, ginseng and ginkgo to stimulate. There are also less familiar ingredients such as the Chinese herbs he sou wu and dragon bone — which according to the bottle, is suitable for vegetarians (it is a mineral). Drinks are available by the glass at Farmacia for £3. Thera are six core drinks and 11 additional shots of tinctures. Medical herbalists will advise you on the mixtures. Farmacia 020 7831 0830
Express Magazine (London) 30 July - 5 August 2000
Article includes photo of Elixir Tonic bottle High Drinks Now that Sea Breezes are hopelessly last-millenium, celebrities have adopted a new tipple. All the right people are drinking Chinese Herbal Tonics. Based on the principles of ancient Chinese herbalism, Elixir Tonics are said to improve mental clarity, hormone balance and overall energy. Choose from Virtual Buddha, (Courtney Love's creativity booster). Power Plant (Naomi Campbell's energy giver) or Kava Pacifica (Gwyneth Paltrow's stress buster). Price £21 a bottle (15 servings). For mail order call 020 7404 8808. Or pop into Farmacia, 169 Drury Lane, London for a £3 shot.
Angeles Magazine August 2000
3 page spread, all photos shot at Elixir
Well-Being -- Herbal Healing In a city where the concept of well-being has become slightly skewed—"Wrinkles cause stress, so Botox injections are healthly"—it's comforting to know there are places where the old rules still apply. Where wanna-be moms can boost their chances of getting pregnant the archaic way (by having sex!), where you don't need a sandblasting machine or Jedi laser to improve your skin tone, where you can discover the slim-down secret that doesn't involve having one single liquified fat cell sucked out of your anesthetized flesh.
Welcome to the herbal emporium, the new-fashioned fix that's actually older than dirt. Or at least Joan Rivers. "It surprises me when people are skeptical about the value of herbal health care," says Jeff Stein, co-owner of Elixir Tonics & Teas in West Hollywood, the hip herborium known to attract a gorgeous array of alterna-junkies, including Gwyneth, Winona and Hilary. "All you're dealing with is the concept that plant life is advantageous to animal life. It's been going on for millions of years. It's called nature."
Herbal medicine is an application of the ancient Eastern philosophy of holistic health, an integrative system based on the premise that the body as a fully functioning unit is more than the sum of its parts. Rather than treat somatic troubles symptomatically (although there's something to be said for popping a Percocet when the NASDAQ crashes), the holistic healer attempts to prevent imbalances before they occur. "Every time you get sick, a footprint of the illness remains," says Stein. "That adds up to a lot of permanent damage. The notion is to stay healthy and prevent this from occuring in the first place." ....
.... "The most common complaints we get are about energy and stress," acknowledges Stein. "And since stress depletes energy, very often they're related. L.A. is filled with career-driven, high-performance people who are moving faster and doing more than ever before."
To the rescue: Elixir's Depth Recharger and Kava Pacifica for a charge of nutrients that tastes like a smoothie with a fraction of the caloric punch—about 120 and 90 calories, respectively, compared with a potentially scale-tippng 400.
Angeles Magazine August 2000
The Guide - L.A.'s Top Ten List -- The Coolest Things to Do In August
Coffeehouses & Teahouses
Elixir - Sip your teas and tonics in a Japanese garden far from the madding crowd. 8612 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, 310-657-9300
(U.K.) LA Story August 2000
-- City of Angels, silicone and the stars, Los Angeles
– hotter and hipper than New York – is the US destination not to miss. "Visit... Elixir Tonics & Teas, whose fruity infusion and feng shui-inspired garden oasis often soothe Courteney Cox Arquette and Drew Barrymore."
(U.K.) August 2000
The New Tonic
We've done the juice bar thing, now it's time for Chinese Tonics. London's New Age chemist Farmacia now features a Elixir's Tonic Bar like the one on Melrose Avneue in LA, where celebrity health nuts flock in search of everything from improved memory to opening the heart chakra. Based on ancient Chinese recipes, the tonics deliver off-the-scale doses of super-foods, combined in a fruity concentrate that tastes like Ribena. Could Elixir Tonics be the hottest thing since wheatgrass? It sure as hell tastes better.....
Mirror Magazine -- London, England
Headline: "You want... you need... you must have.... Want a week that's jam-packed with fun things to do? Just read on..."
"Nearly the weekend again... hallelujah. Perk yourself up LA style with the vitamin cocktail all the Hollywood celebs (Winona Ryder, Courtney Love) are guzzling. Elixir Tonics £21, are concentrated vitamin drinks with hip names like Virtual Buddha and Power Plant. Just a dash in a glass with some Evian and you're ready for your close up. Oh and the bottle lasts ages, so it's not too pricey. Call... "
Angeles Magazine September 2000
West End of Melrose What's Hot in Los Angeles.
The west end of Melrose Avenue has become a kind of cultural hot spot. Notably, Elixir stands out as one of the key draws to the area. Article includes copy and a close-up photo of the tea bows on Elixir's tea table.
Magazine, September 2000
The Body section, 1/4 page with large photo.
"Escape hectic schedules and rush-hour traffic to find serenity within the city at Elixir. A tonic and tea house, Elixir has something to cure what ails you. Books and body products promoting good health nestle on the shelves. Licensed acupuncturists provide free consultations and herbal remedies that satisfy clients from all over the world." -- "Teas and tonics sold are based on Chinese herbal cures and are combined with fruit juice for a delicious belnd. Served hot, cold or sparkling, the tonics come in six different bases. The Virtual Buddha, a mood-elation tonic, is most popular and comes from a 200 year-old recipe."
Magazine, October 2000
Star Wares Section, 1/4 page with photo. page 22.
"TO A TEA"
"When stars want to relax they reach for the herb—herbal tea that is. Any ol' tea set won't do, however—that's where Elixir Tonics & Teas, a spot favored by Cameron Diaz and Brendan Fraser, come in—they have the swankiest teapots this side of England. (877-4-elixir)"
Calendar Weekend, Los Angeles Times February 19, 1998
By S. Irene Virbila,
Times Restaurant Critic
The other day, feeling out of sorts, I wandered into Elixir, a gracious Melrose Avenue tea shop. Here, teas are sold from Chinese red lacquer containers. May come from single estates, especially the green teas, such as Zhehiang Private Estate Green or Dragon's Peak, and are available in limited quantities. These latter can cost up to $7.50 an ounce, but an ounce will brew eight or nine pots of tea. Herbal teas are the firm's own blend.
Shelves hold a collecton of diminutive Japanese iron tea kettles and Xi Ching teapots in fanciful shapes. In one corner is a bar with a handful of stools where you can sip herbal tonics proposed for a variety of minor ailments, including melancholy. Elixir's remedy is called Blues Buster. Ah, but here's a honover reprieve (the Morning After), and a woman's sensuality tonic dubbed Chi Devil.
A glass cake stand displays tall paper-wrapped banana-nut muffins, crumbly cranberry and blueberry scones or muffins—and cookies (another well-known remedy against the aforesaid melancholy).
But outside, through the French doors, is a broad porch shaded by split bamboo, with a garden beyond. And this contemplative space is Elixir's real treasure. The Japanese board game Go is set up on a bamboo tray. Wicker chairs and wooden tea tables are set in discreet groupings. Tea is served on ebony-stained trays, and you can choose from more than 20 varieties. No tea bags here; the loose leaves are brewed in an ample terra-cotta pot.
Sipping a cup of fragrant Jasmine Golden Water Turtle or a bracing Pu-erh Tuocha and watching the breeze ruffle the bamboo, I begin to unwind. On the sound system, Sting sings a lilting Irish ballad. Lulled by the sound of the fountain, I'm far away from the Melrose Avenue where high-riding 4-wheel-drives honk and jockey for pavement space.
As for that Blues Buster tonic, frankly I don' t need one. Twenty minutes in Elixir's garden has worked wonders.
Clear sinuses, hangover relief and a new, improved sex drive seem al lot to ask of a cup of tea. But that's what the herbalists offer at Elixir, the supergroovy tonic-and-tea-house tucked away on L.A.'s Melrose Avenue. Step into a world of zen calm framed by walls painted the color of bamboo. Antique Chinese tea tables display 24 varieties of exotic teas, each endowed with a distinctive power.
Stars like Cameron Diaz and Meg Ryan have been in to hunt for hidden treasures like Yixing and Tetsubin tepots, but the main draw is sipping the therapeutic tonics and teas -- guaranteed low-calorie! -- while Billie Holiday or Ella Fitzgerald plays in the background. If Winona Ryder is feeling flu-ish, she swigs Yin form the Cold, an herbal tonic described on the menu as a cure-all for the "tickly, prickly throat." Jada Pinkett Smith favored the Slow Burn, an energy stabilizer for days when you're plagued by either an excess or a deficit of energy. Julia Roberts special-ordered the Ginseng Extreme (Elixir co-owner Jeffrey Stein calls it the Rolls Royce of ginseng -- it's the holistic version of a Jolt Cola).
Whatever your particular state of mind, soul and body, Elixir has a potion for you. Ginseng Sport includes and extract of cordyceps mushroom, which prompted such an amazing performance from a Chinese athletic team that they were suspected of using steroids. To maintain a postworkout high, try the Kava Calm, a hot new tonic which produces a mild feeling of euphoria and a tranquilizing effect. Tonics and teatime tchotchkes aren't the sole basis of Elixir's appeal: There's an Asian garden, where a fountain's trickle creates a soothing backdrop for writing in your journal or challenging Randy Quaid, a regular, to a game of chess.
Weekday mornings, the garden's sundeck is host to yoga or other Eastern arts classes; on weekends it's tarot-card readings. Don't forget to order an Mind Over Muddle, a drink to help you collect your thoughts before you return to the real world. And to think tonic was something you used to mix with gin. (Prices range from $2 for a pot of tea up to $7.50 for a tonic; formulas from $9 for a single-herb extract to $125 for the Ginseng Extreme.) 8612 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood; 310-657-9300 -- Honor Prouty
Photo: view of the tea table and tonic bar
scene + heard Page
elixir tonics & teas
where: Elixir Tonics & Teas, 8612 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA; 310-657-9300; mail order; 888-486-6427
what: A tea salon and retail shop with soothing California-Asian design accents. Includes a tonic and tea bar, an outdoor patio and herb garden.
why: To escape to a calm, relaxing environment. Consult with a staff herbalist to choose your potion (ranging from Slow Burn, a pick-me-up tonic, to Shanghai Spice, an herbal tea). Then, just sit back and sip your troubles away.
what they order: Hunky Brendan Fraser downs the Mighty Joe Yang (a virility tonic for men, $5.50). Fitness guru Kathy Smith opens her heart chakra with Virtual Buddha ($4). Martha Stewart opts for Chi Devil (a sensuality tonic for women only, ($5.50). For a light nibble, try a blackcurrant scone ($2) to go with your drink.
when to go: On Saturday, after working out at the gym, go to recover from Friday night's activities.
Metropolitan Home JULY-AUG 1997,
Photo: Close up of Tea container shelves and bowls on tea table
Los Angeles: In the heart of the city's design district is a new kind of oasis, Elixir Tonics & Teas. The store-a cross between a New Age apothecary, a teahouse and a decorative-accessories boutique-offers everything from exotic teas to herbal stress-reduction formulas; items from the home range from Japanese cast-iron teapots to vintage Chinese posters and hatboxes; 8612 Melrose Ave., 888/486-6427.
BUZZ Magazine Feb 1997,
Tea and Aroma Therapy
"This is the Starbucks of the next millenium," says Jeff Stein, referring to Elixir, an oasis of calm in the heart of hippest Melrose. (So far, though, there's just one.) Capitalizing on the craze for lotions, potions, herbs, and oils, Stein (of Camp Beverly Hills fame) and partner Edgar Veytia may have created a whole new retailing genre-a cross between a teahouse, a New Age apothecary, and a decorative-accessories boutique. Walk in frazzled, leave blissed-you'll hardly know you've shopped.
The Magazine of Smart Health and Fitness August 1997,
Photo: Tea table and Tonic Bar
Caption: Belly up to the tonic bar
Walking Shorts: The Healthy Life
If you're the type who heads straight to the coffee shop for a quick pick-me-up, it may be time to expand your horizons. The latest beverage trend to drift over from the West Coast is herbal tonic bars. Fast becoming a popular alternative to coffee bars, tonic bars are places where you drink up peace of mind, instead of getting more frazzled on caffeine.
"People need balance in their lives, and that is what we try to provide in our store with our products," says Edgar Veytia, co-founder of Los Angeles based Elixir Tonics & Teas' Tonic Bar.
tonics to boost energy, battle colds, and even relieve hangovers. That's more
than a cup of coffee will ever do!
- Athene Tina Adoniou
Seventeen Magazine July 1997,
Photo: view of the tea table and tonic bar
Secrets of the Hollywood Healthy
No, juice bars aren't being, uh, squeezed out, but in Hollywood they are facing some tasty competition from Elixir Tonics & Teas. This New Agey, alcohol-free bar on Melrose Avenue was founded on the centuries-old belief that herbs have medicinal properties. They trendy joint offers good-for-you mugloads of herbal beverages made with ginger root, ginseng, kola nut and cramp bark, nature's help for ailments ranging from the common cold to PMS. Brendan Fraser stops in for an herbal tonic called Mighty Joe Yang, which, according to the menu, promises to revitalize and renew the spirit. Martha Stewart goes for the Chi Devil tonic, a women's-only version of Brendan's drink that is said to enhance sensuality. Ooh, la la! Tracy Chapman warms up her vocal cords and cleanses her system with Zhejiang Mao Feng green tea. Given the tea-titillated response from Hollywood's hippest, Elixir Tonics & Teas will soon be brewing all over the country-watch for one rooted near you. Or call 8884-TONICS
New Times Los Angeles April 24-30, 1997,
The OTHER SIDE of Melrose
Photo: Tea table long shot with Jamie Chang
Far from the post-atomic crush on its Easter end, there is quiet sanctuary between La Cienega and Robertson. One need only venture West to find tranquility amidst shops, galleries and restaurants of another world.
Now, if you cross the street and head west, you will come to another time zone of restfulness called, Elixir. If you have ever been to Kyoto, Japan, you will feel this quite familiar. The design of the shop is so reminiscent of that gem of a city, and the garden behind yet another reminder. I could sit there for hours, just watching and listening to the fountain. No wonder. Elixir is committed to the classic notion that every person deserves to feel healthy, vibrant, and alive. Now, have you come to the right spot? You bet. Elixir is a place to buy herbs, teas and other herbal tonics served up at Elixir's Tonic Bar. Yixing teapots from China and Tetsubin pots form Japan are among the unique and wonderful gift items to be found alongside the herbal selections. And here's the best part. There's a senior herbalist on staff at all times to educate, consult, listen and counsel. Just tell the herbalist what your needs are and he'll come up with the perfect remedy for you. He will become your partner, interpreting your body's energetics and helping you refine your personal path toward a lifetime of radiant health. Sip your drink on the deck overlooking the garden but take a good look around at all the displays. You'll be so glad you stopped in... it could literally change your life. They will be offering Yoga and Tai Chi classes in the garden.
LA WEEKLY 1997
Special Annual Health Supplement
Alternative Health Care
Once considered quackery by the Western medical profession, many of the techniques of alternative health care - which covers healing philosophies from the ancient Eastern practice of acupuncture to the modern bodywork of the Alexander Technique - have gained respect as effective means to healing. The National Institute of Health's Office of Alternative Medicine, established to identify and evaluate unconventional health-care practices that maintain or induce healing, has researched "a fair number" of alternative medical practices since its inception in 1992. In addition, many medical schools, including UCLA, Harvard and Columbia, have added training in alternative therapies, which some insurance companies, HMO's and other health plans are covering alternative treatments such as chiropractic and acupuncture. Many drugstores offer homeopathic and herbal remedies over the counter.
Elixir Tonics & Teas (8612 Melrose Ave., L.A.; 310-657-9310) purveys herbs and herbal formulas, tonics, teas and myriad other health-oriented products. Senior herbalists are available at all times for free consultations and recommendations on appropriate herbal solutions, while a reference library, complete with comprehensive reading materials and a computer database, allows consumers to learn more about their own health concerns and corresponding herbal remedies.
EARNSHAW'S June 1997,
Photo: view of tea table and tonic bar
Caption: Zen palace: Inside L.A.'s Elixir Tonics & Teas.
West Coast WATCH
When was the last time you wished for a magic potion to solve all of your troubles? They cant' remedy every ill, but the drinks at Elixir Tonics & Teas, L.A.'s newest beverage bar, are a safe alternative to over-the-counter medications for adults, children and pets. Based on centuries-old knowledge, herbalists at Elixir's Tonic Bar concoct drinks such as the Shirley Chinese Temple and Karate Kid Kicker to keep kids' bodies toned and their minds alert. The youngest holistic devotees can even join their parents for tea in the botanical garden behind the store. Elixir also offers aromatherapy products for children, plus a variety of books on children's health issues. Prices begin at $1.50 for children's tonics to $7.50 for the highest-priced adult tonic. Elixir is located at 8612 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, CA 90069; (310) 657-9300.
Daily Breeze Tuesday, April 22, 1997,
Victoria Thomas' Trends 411 column
Caffeine, smog, stress, pesky free radicals - these are the ingredients of daily life in Los Angeles.
If you're feeling less than primo - or even if you aren't - there is an energy restoring, vitality-enhancing tonic for you at Elixir, 8612 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, 657-9300 (across the street from The Bodhi Tree).
Everybody with a juicer seems to be offering herbals these days, from wheat grass shots (they taste better before you brush your teeth), to a hit of ginseng in your fresh-squeezed orange juice.
For a more comprehensive immersion into botanicals in the Chinese tradition, sit beside the gently flowing fountain, listen to the throaty squawks of the cockatoo and macaw next door, and sip a hot herbal tonic from Elixir's Tonic bar (the Taoist name meaning "empty cup").
The hot drinks are combinations of herbal extracts, have a dark, smoky, bark-like flavor, and serve a number of purposes: to improve mood (Blues Buster, $4.50), ease PMS (The Silk Thread) $4.50), boost a guy's guyitude (Mighty Joe Yang, $5.50) and so on. Cold drinks ($2.50) and herbals for kids ($1.50) are also on hand for less profound refreshment.
These tonics are a thoughtful alternative to your basic Starbuck's buzz.
Maybe herbs work. Maybe they don't. But just dawdling for awhile in Elixir's pristine space with its lofty angles, gleaming wood and exquisite orchid plants, is sure to center your Qi (or Chi, vital energy), balance Shen (mind-body connection), and prepare you to face the shadow world of Maya (illusion) that is Los Angeles.
WH Convention Bureau
West Hollywood Convention & Visitors' Bureau January/February 1997
Elixir - Fans of tonics and teas and aromatherapy products will love exploring this atmospheric store that opened in late December and features a botanical garden in its backyard. Among the offerings are books, soaps, herbs and a tonic bar that serves hot and cold herbal beverages, including ginger ale made from natural ginger. And, to explain it all, there are herbalists on staff daily.
LA Times 7/97
Los Angeles Times July 11, 1997
Front Page Photos: Herbalist consulting with two customers
Additional Photos: Interior detal, Owners, Jeff and Edgar at the tea table
Written by: George White
Merchants Are Ready to Meet Demand as Herb's Popularity Grows
Herbal Products' Popularity is on the Rise
The health-in-a bottle rage has long been identified with vitamins and other anodynes. Now, a boom in consumer interest in herbal products is pushing more of those over-the-counter remedies into the retail mainstream.
U.S. sales of natural products—a category that includes organic food and dietary suplements such as vitamins and processed herbal extracts—totaled $11.5 billion in 1996, a rise of 25%.
Herbal products accounted for much of that increase, said Heather Granato, managing editor of Natural Foods Merchandiser, a Boulder, Colo.-based industry trade magazine that provided the sales fitgures.
"Herbal products are selling faster than any item in the natural products category," Granato said. "Nearly 60 million Americans use herbs for everything from the flu to the discomforts of menopause."
Americans have long heard stories of cardiac benefits of garlic consumption and the energy-boosting qualities of ginseng. Now, manufacturers and retailers are sellling more herbs such as ginkgo that proponents believe may be aids to mental keenness. Some of the more popular preparations are drawn from plant echinacea, which is said to have qualities effective in fighting the common cold.
Drugstores and health-food supermarket chains such as Whole Foods Market and Wild Oats are among the retailers cashing in on the growing demand for herbs in powdered and pill form. Consumers are also buying herbal tonics because the liquid form is absorbed faster by the body, Granato said.
Elixir Tonics & Teas, a West Hollywood store with its own line of herbal goods, is one retailer well-positioned to meeti demand for the liquid products. Granato said.
As this retal sector becomes more competitive, niches will become increasingly important because independent operators will have to distinguish themselves from drugstore and health-food chains," she said. "The Elixir [store] operation is a pioneering specialist in tonics."
Elixir stocks 140 different herbal products, about half of which are in liquid tonic form. Elixir product prices average between $10 and $30. Eahc bottle contains a month's worth of herbal extract.
For some consumers, tonics are an appealing alternative to pills, powders and capsules because they can be mixed with juices or other drinks. Elixir also offers its own array of mixed herbal drinks at an in-store tonic bar: There's Mind Over Muddle, a ginkgo preparation, and Yin From the Cold, a nonalchohoic echinacea cocktail.
By law, manufacturers and retailers cannot make explicit health claims for herbal products, but they can allude to benefits.
For example, echinacea cannot be touted as a remedy or cure for the common cold, but retailers are allowed to note that certain research studies have shown that cold sufferers recover more quickly after consuming the herb.
The history of herbal treatment intriques Elixir co-owner Jeff Stein, who said: "Western medicine effectively deals with symptoms of illness, but Chinese herbal medicine is more oriented toward maintaining health. We started the business because the aging baby boom population is now much more interested in maintaining health and vitality."
Stein, an herb user for seven years, is an experienced Southland merchandiser who operated Camp Beverly Hills for 17 years before closing the retail operation in 1993.
He is now marketing and distributing products with the Elixir Tonic & Teas label to other retailers. Some of Elixir's tonic products will be available in 15 Nordstrom stores in September. Much of that tonic line is produced by a partner in China. In addition, Elixir's line of teas wil be available in more than 100 Nature Co. stores nation wide in August.
Elixir isn't the only business benefiting from growing consumer interest in herbal products. The Newsroom Cafe, a Los Angeles restaurant, has been offering herbal drinkis since its 1995 openning.
The restaurant and juice bar have been so successful that owner Mark Geller plans to open a Newsroom Cafe in San Francisco later this hear.
Geller also expects Elixir to expand.
"Elixir is a complete herbal source, and considering the demographics—the aging of America—their business will grow," he said.
Travel & Leisure
Travel & Leisure July 1997
T & L Reports
Photos: view of botanical garden; Elixir's Tonic Bar
Written by: Chris Rubin
Joe No More
Coffee came first; cigars followed. Then Los Angeles ushered in tea bars. Now, trend-seeker Jeff Stein, who previously peddled hip through his fashion label Camp Beverly Hills, is serving health-promoting herbs from around the globe at Elixir, a new West Hollywood tonic bar and teahouse. Inside the Chinese antiques-lande store or in the garden, relax with a glass of Mighty Joe Yang (for male virility) or Mind Over Muddle (the path to mental acuity).
ELLE September 1998
Photos: views of tea table and Elixir's Tonic Bar; detail of teacup
Written by: Judith Lewis
In 1875, Lydia E. Pinkham brewed an elixir for "Female complaints" and did robust business until a Prohibition-era journalist ran a test on its ingredients: Pinkham's "Vegetable Compound" was a whopping 40 proof. Never mind that it also contained age-old herbs such a s black cohosh root and fenugreek; the booze in Pinkham's solution helped plunge natural remedies into snake-oil infamy for decades. But not forever: By 1994 herbs had recovered so well that when the FDA tried to regulate supplements, consumers protested in the largest letter-writing campaign since the Vietnam War.
Jeff Stein took that entrepreneurial hint and teamed with Edgar Veytia to open one of the world's first "elixir bars," Elixir Tonics & teas, in trend-conscious West Hollywood. With a staff schooled in Chinese medicine, Elixir attracts local luminaries and families who partake of complex herbal potions with perky names: Blues Buster transports Saint-John's wort to the bloodstream via "envoy herbs." The Silk Thread stitches up the fraying edges of premenstrual stress. Elixir Tonics, consumed with a declaration, "Gan Bei", which roughly translates from Chinese as "Bottoms up," offers a shot at immortality—not bad for the price of a cocktail.
"Some are novel formulas," says herbalist Daniel Bagdadi of the compounds, which you order off a bamboo-bound menu and can consume in the garden aeire or by the bottle. Others have been handed down thorugh the millennia. Although alcohol still figures in the process of some preparations, Bagdadi says the liquids are of no higher proof than a ripe banana. For side effects of more Pinkham-like formulas, Elixir has the antidote: The Morning After clears the head that's Gan Bei'd a few too many margaritas.
West Hollywood Independant
West Hollywood Independent Wednesday, May 7, 1997
Photo: Jeff & Edgar at tea table
Caption: Elixir owners Edgar Veytia, left, and Jeffrey Stein have concoctions for almost everything, including how to market natural herbs for wide scale retail consumption.
If you get a chance to chat with the owners of West Hollywood's trend du jour, don't be surprised if you walk away feeling as though you just left an entrepreneur's expo. Even without Main Street dress ties or wing tips, Elixir owners Jeffrey Stein and Edgar Veytia know how to make a good impression. Stein - developer of the popular "Camp Beverly Hills" clothing line that once decorated the Southern California landscape - and Veytia, took a whole new approach when they opened their "neighborhood tonic and tea shop" in December.
Featuring their own line of natural herbal teas and tonics, as well as on-staff "licensed acupuncturists and herbalists," Elixir and its owners are pushing the medicinal use of herbs to a whole new level. Despite its innocuous appearance, Elixir is actually a serious organization driven by a mission to improve people's lives through the consumption of herbal-based products.
The Oriental-style venue - with its landscaped herb and bamboo laden garden - is located just around the corner form the Pacific Design Center ant 8612 Melrose Ave. While Stein and Veytia won't share details on construction costs, they say they received funding for their venture through a private placement. A private placement to open a neighborhood tea shop? Who ever heard of such a thing?
But then again, who ever heard of a neighborhood coffee or teashop distributing a full packet of information - describing, in detail, their products and services? Who ever heard of a neighborhood coffee or teashop have a modestly sized library on hand, explaining the medicinal value of its products? And how many such shops have a computer database offering information on more than 1,200 herbs, formulas and medical conditions?
"Most people walk in here and they're blown away," says Veytia. "This is the last thing they expect in West Hollywood."
Viewed as the most liberal and "open-minded" community in Los Angeles - demonstrated by the influx of immigrants and gays who together comprise two-thirds of the community - West Hollywood is actually the ideal location for such a venue. Furthermore, according to census data, its consumers are upscale and highly educated: 32 percent of city residents have at least and associate's or bachelor's degree as compared to the state average of 23.2 percent. Also, Elixir is shoehorned between two upscale interior design shops.
So, with a market mix of liberally minded yet highly educated consumers, how do Stein and Veytia plan to sell West Hollywood on the Elixir concept?
"I don't think there are any places like this," says Stein. "I think we have a unique situation here."
Indeed they do. If you're inclined to shell out $5.50 for a "Mighty Joe Yang" herbal tonic (a Men's Classic Virility Tonic"), Elixir just may be the perfect place for you. It's clean, well-appointed and staffed by employees eager to share the advanced herbal knowledge that spurred the development of 140 proprietary products, including more than two dozen varieties of tea.
Visitors can also indulge in a "tonic shot," though "body tonic shots" may not be allowed. And if you had one too many regular shots the night before, Elixir also serves "The Morning After" tonic.
"All products," says Stein, "are completely natural and animal free."
There are also products geared specifically for men, women and children, some of which reportedly address male prostrate problems, blood flow and mental agility and focus as well as sex drive.
just felt that the shift of America's concern with health care was changing.
I felt like America was shifting toward a natural type of health care,"
says Stein. "I think people are kind of Starbucksed out."