Edgar Veytia
Edgar Veytia




Cities - West Hollywood
Elixir Tea Shop
By Jason Nuckolls, Socal.com
Jun 9, 2003, 12:32 PST
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Second to water, tea is the most consumed drink in the world.   But at the trendy west end of Melrose, consider water the loser.   Perfect only for fountains, it doesn’t stand a chance against the worldly, smart collection of teas at Elixir, Los Angeles’ finest venue for good health, good respite, and tasty splashes against the tongue.

Edgar Veytia, co-founder of Elixir, knowledgably chats about his store’s bounty of all things botanical.


“We’re an alternative lifestyle store,” he explained, “and we carry the things that we like.”


This means that only the best stuff makes it to the shelves and staff members know of what they speak.  They’re a tea-drinking, tonic-tasting, good-looking bunch who luckily all work at a lifestyle store that accommodates the lifestyle they lead:  healthy and relaxed.  Both adjectives are probably on Veytia’s business card, as he exudes the exact qualities his store so effortlessly delivers.


“Everything you find in the store tells part of the Elixir story,” he told me.


Elixir’s effectiveness as a lifestyle store rests primarily in the variety of ways in which the store is indeed life-affirming.  Teas and tonics are just the beginning, I realized.  Therapeutic massage, cookware, soaps, opera singers, and cowboy poetry all figure into the Elixir mix.


Let me elaborate: 

A botanical garden sits behind the main shop, complete with pebbled walks, well-kept benches, and a small fountain that sounds so calm and subtle it seems to melt instead of splash.  In the summer, this area hosts a variety of evening talent shows from different poetry readings to low key opera performances (if there is such a thing).   And behind the garden?  The sort of hut you’d find only on Melrose:  seemingly a simple cottage but actually a reflexology center.  Reflexology, a fusion of simple massage, acupressure, and tea-drinking bliss, can have incredible effects.  The result is so profound that Veytia recommends not driving immediately afterward.


“We have everything to create an experience,” he concluded.


But the heart of the store is its teas and tea-products.  They usually have between 30 to 40 teas on hand and a myriad of tonics made from “herbs classified as super-nutrients.”  Also, the teas don’t come in the Janet Lee-style names like Country Cinnamon or Morning Lemon.  These are teas for those unafraid of a higher level of imagery.  For example, I recommend the Snow Dragon tea.  It’s almost always available and is a good place to start for tea-drinking novices, which you will be when confronted with the floor-to-ceiling tea shelves in Elixir.  What an opportunity to drink in a new lifestyle and rub out an old one.


Visit Elixir at 8612 Melrose or

Call them at 310-657-9310 or

Visit their website:  http://www.elixirtonics.com


And remember, tea-drinkers are just happier people.

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