The tea bar is a community hub that has healthy tea and amazing desserts.
By Ariyana Griffin
Inglewood's very own Mingles Tea Bar is serving more than delicious tea. When asked how the tea bar evolved, owner Lara Curtis stated, “It started years ago. I used to have a business that catered to doing tea parties for adult women and young girls with my mother and my aunt. When we closed that, it became a desire to open another tea place."
When it was time to open Mingles as a place of its own, Curtis explained that it was a true "vision from God. He showed me what it would look like and directed me to the distributors that I would need for my teas.” She opened the tea bar on Crenshaw Boulevard and 84th Place, which is a couple of blocks north of Manchester Boulevard.
Most people drink coffee for the quick energy boost that caffeine provides, but they may not know that teas can offer the same energy boost without the negative effects.
"I started researching more on the health benefits of teas and different herbs that can go into teas,” Curtis said.
Mingles Tea Bar’s unique menu offers a breakdown of the different teas and their various health benefits. For example, black tea impacts high cholesterol, tooth decay, low-concentration levels, digestive problems, poor blood circulation, high blood pressure and asthma.
Although Mingles Tea Bar is best known for delicious teas, they have an amazing dessert menu as well. It is only right to grab some tea and something sweet. The menu has everything from empanadas filled with seasonal fruit to red velvet cake, to Mama’s Peach the “ BEST Peach Cobbler in Inglewood Baked to Perfection.”
The name Mingles fits perfectly with the aura of the tea bar. The soft, eclectic decor is a whole vibe. It definitely feels like a place to mingle with the community, friends, and loved ones to chat, eat, play board games, and sip tea.
“We are known for a place to mingle whether it’s to meet up with someone new, or to meet up with old friends,” Curtis said.
It's not uncommon for Curtis’ customers to run into an old friend while stopping by to grab a cup of Mingles’ tea.
Amid the pandemic, Mingles Tea Bar is thriving thanks to the community and her customers, who Curtis considers family.
“Our customers come to support us and make sure we stay in business,” she said.
If Curtis was able to ask one thing from the community she would ask that they continue to spread the word and tell people about Mingles Tea Bar. She explained that a lot of customers discover Mingles and easily fall in love with the aura of the tea bar.
There is a sitting room at Mingles filled with games, floor seats as well as chairs, plants, and soft music which makes for the perfect recipe to wind down and relax. Due to the pandemic, indoor seating is no longer permitted, though there are chairs outside where patrons can sit and enjoy their drink.
Prior to the pandemic, Mingles had a plethora of community get-together nights such as open mic for poetry on Wednesdays, open mic for comedy on Fridays, a Sunday Brunch on the 4th Sunday, and Taco Tuesdays (which will have karaoke after the pandemic is over). A personal favorite is Savory Saturday waffle bar. Customers are able to enjoy the “softest, fluffiest, tastiest waffles in Inglewood” topped with fruit and turkey sausage.
As a place for the community, people have rented the venue for everything from book readings, bridal showers, to repasts.
Mingles Tea Bar is located at 8443 Crenshaw Boulevard. Contact them at (424) 704-2777. Visit their website at www.minglesteabar.com, and follow them on Facebook and Instagram. They are open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.