Don't wear your lacy picture hat, and don't even think about elegantly extending your pinkie as you hold a cup of tea at Café Livre.

“We want to make tea service more casual and fun, take it out of the parlor,” says Susan Park, director of operations at the cafe, which has just opened its Siptea and Algerian Coffee Garden. Hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Instead of cucumber sandwiches and scones with clotted cream, there are Algerian almond pastries, reflecting executive chef Farid Zadi's Algerian heritage. These include Algerian almond cigars, which are crisp rolled pastries filled with almond sugar, brushed with clarified butter, baked and arranged on a plate with citrus syrup.

There are almond cookies too, and almond baklava drizzled with chocolate and cookies made of stringy kadayif dough with almond sugar. No walnuts or pistachios — Algerians are almond fanatics.

Laura Stewart of siptea is providing floral and herbal tisanes, rooibus tea, white teas, smoked and steamed green teas and black teas.

The attitude may be casual, but the accoutrements are not. Tea comes in a glass pot set on heated soapstone, with a timer — the old fashioned hourglass type — so you can steep your tea properly. And you drink from one of a kind handmade porcelain cups.

The focus is to be on tea, Park says. No lattes and cappuccinos at present, just good French roast coffee, with plans for more coffee options in the future.

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tea at Cafe Livre; Credit: S. Park

tea at Cafe Livre; Credit: S. Park

LA Weekly