At ZenTea, the staff is eager to share their knowledge, presenting their menu much like a serious café or craft-cocktail bar would. To that end, owner Connie Miller has collected more than 140 teas from around the world, and more than just water goes into brewing each pot. Her time spent studying tea in Sri Lanka allows her to steep each glass with knowledge, whether it's about the tea's creation process or the ways that climate and altitude can impact its flavor. Though guests can grab a hot tea by the cup or in pots for one, two, or three, the tea tastings are where the shop shines.
They start with mini tea flights, which feature three 9-ounce pots filled with your choice of tea, and weekly tastings cover a new variety each session, in which guest sip five or six teas complemented by a dessert. Servers also up the theatrics with their iced matcha lattes, which are blended from green-tea powder, organic milk, and agave sweetener. Servers then vigorously chill the concoctions in martini shakers with the expertise of Coyote Ugly stunt women. And the café counter serves light fare such as quiche, salads, soup, and baked goods to pair with brews.
Considering that ZenTea’s century-old building once housed Chamblee’s town hall, it’s not surprising that the shop has become something of a community hangout—patrons explore the distinctive nuances of each varietal in tasting classes and afternoon high teas. Further inspiring relaxation, instructors host on-site zen-inspired classes in meditation, reiki, yoga, and reflexology.
At any given time of the day, Japan House may be experiencing a tranquil stillness as students quietly cycle through poses, or combat as students kick, punch, and strike padded opponents. A cultural, fitness, and wellness center, Japan House offers yoga, qigong, and Tai Chi classes that provide a physical, mental, and spiritual workout that’s also low impact, quiet, and relaxing. On the other hand, Kempo karate and jujutsu give workouts an extra punch–literally. The classes teach students offensive and defensive striking methods and takedowns to use as self-defense against bullies, attackers, and low-flying pigeons. Aikido, a non-violent form of self-defense, teaches students to use the attacker’s own force to throw them off balance and prevent an attack.
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In 2011, four University of Florida graduates came upon a revolutionary idea for physical fitness: a mobile app. As such, PeerFit integrates Twitter, Facebook, and most other cybernetic interfaces to give its clients the ability to send themselves workout reminders via text, schedule gym sessions, and search for exercise classes by location. The social aspect of the program also lets fitness enthusiasts peruse class and instructor reviews—and write their own. This digital network keeps clients abreast of the goings on at their local gym, and can make them one of the first to know when a new gym starts offering their favorite class.