That Barista Thing is a celebration of Barista Culture proudly supported by BLENZ COFFEE. Held in the stunning Library Square Promenade, find many activities for the whole family to participate in, including: Latte Art Etching Workshop; Craft Tables; Free Beverages; Tea Leaf Reading with Urban Clairvoyant Maxine Friend; Live Artists at Work; Authentic Japanese & Chinese Tea Ceremonies; and lots lots more…
The signature event on the main stage is The 3rd Vancouver International Latte Art Competition & Etching Competition, awarding the highest cash prize to the winning Barista than any other latte art competition worldwide. This is a free event which is open to the public and we invite everyone to come. Why not spend the day with us in honour of the Barista, one of the most important people in our lives – especially first thing in the morning ; ) !!!
I caught up with Urban Clairvoyant Maxine Friend at David’s Tea shop in Kitsilano on the weekend, which proved to be an enlightening lesson on our amazing connection with tea. Store manager Stephanie Beaudoin kindly took the time to educate us about tea and how it heals the mind and body, while Maxine did a tea reading for both Stephanie and I and taught us how tea can be a great medium for reading energy.
Maxine is a clairvoyant based in Kitsilano, and works with clients by channeling, reading a person’s energy through images in her mind. Besides general readings, reiki healing and food sensitivity testing, she also offers tea leaf readings. Tea leaf readings is the service that generates the most curiousity in her clients. Tea leaf reading dates back hundreds of years, mainly to the eastern areas like Turkey, the Middle East and Asia. Similar to Turkish coffee readings, tea leaf readings are done with loose tea in a person’s cup and swirled around once the liquid has been drunk. The patterns left by the leaves around the inside edge and bottom of the cup form a pattern or image that coincides with the image formed in Maxine’s mind from the energy being channelled. She can then give a reading.
Maxine uses teas from David’s Tea on a daily basis with her clients. She usually keeps an array of teas and lets the clients choose which one resonates with them for the reading. Her current selection of David’s Tea includes Coco Chai Rooibus, Spearmintand Honeybee.
David’s Tea was founded in 2008 by David Segal in Montreal. After the launch of his online store, he opened his first tea shop in Toronto. His goal was to bring sexy back to the hot beverage world by offering high-quality yet affordable tea from around the globe. David’s Tea just opened their 50th store in Canada this past weekend and have plans in the works for their first U.S. store, which will be in New York. In Vancouver, we are blessed with stores in Kitsilano and Oakridge and in BC with stores in Burnaby, Surrey, Whistler, Prince George, Penticton and Victoria.
Much like David’s Tea company has a very sleek and modern “yin” branding and environment, so has Urban Clairvoyant. The tea houses and clairvoyants of today are about being real and contemporary, moving forward and true to the craft, not lagging in the dust with the crystal balls and mothball-scented doilies.
Glitter and Gold: first launched during the Olympics as “Go for the Gold.” It was then renamed Glitter and Gold so it would be available further. This tea has gold, sparkly sugar balls and shimmery sugar that dissolves to make your tea super pretty. This tea features cinnamon, clove and orange and smells like candy.
Chocolate Rocket: this tea is a mate (pronounced MAH-tay). This is a non-caffeine tea that gives you lots of energy without crash and jitters. Because there’s no caffeine, it doesn’t crystalize and stay in your system as long. It has a very roasted flavour with almonds, chicory, raspberries and cocoa nibs, which are high in nutrition and anti-oxidants.
I had naughtily joked that this tea has the two things girls love most: chocolate and rockets.
Pom Power: this tea is from the David’s Tea permanent collection. The tea is composed of silver needle, which is a high-quality white tea picked from the baby buds at the top of the plant. It is rich in antioxidants and features pomegranate and hibiscus. It has a slightly tart flavour and is great iced.
Happy Kombucha: this tea contains mango, pineapple and saffron with a roasted oolong tea base. This tea features Kombucha powder and is a natural probiotic.
Forever Nuts: one whiff of this tea, and you’ll feel like you just ate a bowl of freshly roasted nuts and granola. In fact, Stephanie pointed out that many customers, after steeping, use the tea to top their granola or oatmeal. This contains apple, cinnamon, almonds and beetroot, which gives it that full and cloudy pink colour.
The current trend right now is iced teas, which has been big in the states for quite some time and is the direction that David’s Tea will be moving more towards in the future. Maxine pointed out that freshly-steeped iced tea is something she will start offering to clients for tea leaf readings in the summer.
Stephanie also notes that David’s Tea offers a summer recipe book that features iced teas and tea-tinis for the adults.
Green teas, very popular for years, while still a favourite, will soon be outdone by rooibus and mate teas which are quickly becoming more noticed. Stephanie notes, too, that the herbal collection at David’s Tea has doubled in the last year and a half.
David’s Tea also offers a wellness collection, which includes tea for digestion, to boost the immune system, to decaffeinate, to improve skin and to improve cardio for working out. Also, a great way to battle sweet cravings is to have one of the dessert teas like crème caramel, crème brulee or coco chai rooibus, which are very low in calories yet satisfy those with a sweet tooth.
I know there are rules for steeping and serving for different kinds of tea, so I asked Stephanie to give us some pointers. She said that for white and green teas, you shouldn’t use water at boiling temperature; use water no hotter than 80 degrees. At home you can boil your water and let it sit for 4-5 minutes before pouring on the leaves. This way it won’t pull out caffeine and make it bitter. Also for the same reason, you should steep green tea no longer than 3-4 minutes.
Maxine doesn’t use green teas for her readings because she needs to be able to let the leaves sit in the water until the client is finished drinking. Generally she offers herbal teas and teas with no caffeine since clients are often seen in the evenings.
“So when I do a tea leaf reading, what I’m doing is I’m taking the tea and I’m looking at what I see in my mind, and when it matches up with what I see in the tea, that’s when I know it’s an authentic tea leaf reading. So it normally takes a minute, and then I’ll see it, and then I go from there.”
I had a chance to sit down and do a Q&A session with Maxine to reveal more about clairvoyancy and specifically Maxine’s gifts and how she helps her clients.
S: What prompted you to start doing readings professionally?
M: My master reader Kitty Lloyd encouraged me for years. I started performing readings for friends and family, and it just took off from there. It was not a planned business; it was purely based on supply and demand!
S: What do you find the most rewarding about working with your clients?
M: My clients teach me as much as I teach them, so it’s a mentoring relationship. I’m in a profession where people come to me on a daily basis looking for spiritual guidance and healing, so I’m constantly connected to gifted people that understand and respect the craft. It’s so incredibly rewarding to be able to do what you are passionate about!
S: Besides tea leaf readings, what are your preferred tools or mediums to use with clients and why?
M: Depending on the client, I work with many different tools, although my main ability is that I can channel. This is the ability to read energy through images in my mind. Reading energy is what I do through every medium whether it’s psychometry, dowsing, or tarot cards.
S: You have been using David’s Tea as your preferred choice of tea in working with clients. What is so unique about David’s Tea?
M: David’s Tea is a local company, which I prefer to support, and they also offer a very high quality product with natural ingredients. I am always striving to offer the best possible experience for my clients. That’s why I call it “A Spa for the Spirit Experience”
S: You offer quite a variety of services to your clients, including food sensitivity testing. What does this entail? Why would you recommend food sensitivity testing?
M: Food sensitivity testing is a popular service with my clients as many people experience different sensitivities to food. I am able to test what foods you are sensitive to by dowsing. Many clients come to me when they are unsure of what foods are upsetting their system. Also, many clients come that have specific dietary concerns such as celiacs disease. You may get this service from a naturopath although it costs double what I charge plus they don’t provide the insight I add to the session.
S: Any general tips or comments for the readers regarding food, the body and health (mental, spiritual and physical)?
M: The mental, spiritual, and physical body and interconnected, so listen to your body when it speaks to you.
Food is to be enjoyed, and you should never have any guilty or negative feelings associated with what you are eating. (I am working on this one myself). Upon furthering your spiritual development, the more in tune you become with your body’s nutritional needs on a cellular level.
S: What does the near future hold for Urban Clairvoyant?
M: I do plan on furthering my learning with Pranic healing, animal readings and healings, feng shui, as well as providing additional mentoring classes for my clients.
Maxine kindly did a reading each for Stephanie and me. With Stephanie she laid out many personality traits that were later confirmed to be accurate, such as the fact that Stephanie is a strong person who is very grounded and authentic, true to herself. Stephanie has a variety of interests and a need for travel. In fact, Maxine said Stephanie has some travel coming up in the future. Stephanie did confirm this by saying she has a trip to Indonesia planned for next year.
“It’s really true to who I am, which is pretty amazing. And a lot of things you said were true.”
With my reading, Maxine said I’ve been progressing along my own personal journey and have found something I am very passionate about and that many exciting things are coming up along that vein. My path is flourishing and a wealth of knowledge and success lies in the path I’ve found because I’ve planted the right seeds. It also looks like I’ll be building up to some spotlight on myself in the future as I become more established.
“It’s interesting how people come to me and they are curious about it, but it’s because they are somehow in tune to their own intuition. It’s something we all have; it’s not like it’s just, poof, oh, you have this great, magical ability. It’s just energy really. That’s how I read you; that’s how I read her. So it isn’t a magical thing; it’s a beautiful sixth sense.”
I ended up going home with a tin of Jessie’s Tea and a tin of Buttered Rum. I like that you can bring back the tins once empty for a refill. I ended up serving Jessie’s Tea later that night at my diva dinner party with homemade dessert, coconut lime icebox pie.
Coconut Lime Icebox Pie
1 can condensed milk
1 can coconut milk
1 can limeade
1 graham cracker crust
Blend first three ingredients in chilled bowl until smooth. Pour onto graham crust and freeze 6 hours (preferably overnight)
I garnished with a Parisian macaron I bought fresh at the Farmers Market from French Made Baking and a piece of chili-infused dark chocolate (my personal favourite) and sprinkled with toasted coconut flakes, cocoa powder and lime zest. It pairs swimmingly well with Jessie’s Tea.
Started the day with fantabulous tea and ended the day with fantabulous tea. Awesome.
David’s Tea in Kitsilano is on West 4th Avenue at Yew Street. Their online store is also available. Bookings with Maxine Friend can be made at Urban Clairvoyant in Kitsilano.
When I asked Maxine what I should bring for my reading with her, she responded “Just an open mind.” As an urban clairvoyant, she is committed to breaking down the stereotypes of mysticism associated with healing and energy reading. No hocus pocus or crystal balls here, just Maxine’s inviting presence in her wonderfully relaxing space. Her ability to tell you things about yourself only you thought you knew can make you laugh, cry and feel inspired. And if you need a little snuggle after the reading, her cat, Rousseau, is up for the job.
My Favourite Person this week is Maxine Friend.
Who are you and what do you do?
I’m a clairvoyant and a healer. I have the ability to read energy. I am able to interpret energy through channeling, psychometry, pre-cognitive dreams, clairsentience, clairaudience, dowsing, tarot, and tasseograpghy. I am also a certified Reiki energy healer. I provide readings and healings for individuals looking to find clarity in their life and let go of pain.
How did you start?
This ability runs generationally in my family and signs of this gift showed up at 6 years old. I visited an amazing psychic, Kitty Lloyd, who told me that I had a great gift and encouraged me to start giving readings to others. I started offering readings to family and friends and it just took off from there. It was not a planned business venture at all!
What inspires you?
I draw inspiration from so many things but my clients by far are the most inspirational. I am fortunate to meet so many interesting people from all over the world, and all of them share a piece of themselves with me and their energy just resonates. It still amazes me to this day how many people find their way to my front door.
What are your favourite budget-friendly activities?
Free yoga at Lululemon, meditation by donation at Semperviva, and just getting outside. I also offer free tealeaf readings to my clients who book a service with me.
Why do you feel what you do is important?
The best part of what I do is that I get to help people on a regular basis. I am so blessed to get many emails of clients thanking me or telling me how I was able to assist them. It feels so good to know I could make a difference in the lives of others.
I am in the process of creating a course on developing clairvoyance. I’ve had an overwhelming demand for this workshop, so I’m aiming to have this completed this summer. After that, a book!
Have you had your tea leaves read before? You can at one of the Blenz locations with local Clairvoyant – Maxine Friend. Check the Tea Leaf Reading Tour schedule for the closest location near you!
Oct 2 at Library Square
Oct 16 at Coquitlam Centre
Oct 23 at Richmond Centre
Oct 30 at Broadway and Maple
(Between 3pm and 5pm)
About Tea Leaf Reading:
The practice of tea leaf reading originated independently in Asia and the Middle East , Scotland, Ireland, and England have produced a number of practitioners and authors on the subject, and English potteries have crafted many beautiful tea cup sets specially designed and decorated to aid in fortune-telling. Cultures of the Middle East that practice divination in this fashion usually use left-over coffee grounds from Turkish coffee turned over onto a plate.
This weekend I covered the 2nd annual Vancouver International Latte Art Competition aka That Barista Thing. Held at Vancouver Library Square and open to the public, this was a unique opportunity to witness a competition normally reserved for industry insiders.
Baristas competed against one another in two categories: Free Pour Latte Art and Etching Latte Art. They were allowed four minutes to create their masterpiece that was quickly brought to the judge’s table while the artwork was intact. Cash prizes ranged from $500 to $2,500 dollars, ponying up some of the largest dough for a competition of this type anywhere in the world! As well, this event attracted baristas from around the globe, including Japan.
I met with Ale Najafzadeh and Wayne Liu, two Baristas who were competing against one another in the same round and from the same Blenz location in Vancouver. Even funnier, Wayne is Ale’s boss!
Here are some of the Baristas and a few of their gorgeous latte art creations that I captured during this exciting afternoon.
In addition to the competition, the public was offered free lattes, a fortune teller tea leaf reader (courtesy of Maxine Friend, Clairvoyant), and a button-making station to design a souvenir coffee-themed button.
There were four judges on hand to judge each cup of art based on aesthetic beauty, definition, colour infusion, and degree of difficulty/creativity. Both Sammy Piccolo and Mark Prince are local coffee industry personalities, while Fiona Forbes hosts, writes, and produces Urban Rush for Shaw TV.
SILVER CITY — Human skeletal remains found off Highway 78 near Mule Creek in April have been presumptively identified as those of Howard Hall, a 69-year-old Arizona man who went missing in June 2009.
The cause of death was ruled suicide due to a gunshot wound to the head, according to a determination made on Monday by the Office of Medical Investigator in Albuquerque.
The remains were discovered in mid-April after someone hiking in the area came across some shredded pants and a walking stick and called the finding in. The Grant County Sheriff’s Office then contacted search-and-rescue, which had an unresolved search in the area. Deputies and search-and-rescue volunteers went out to the site of the findings and eventually came across the skeletal remains.
Deputies and searchers used ATVs and hiked in to the site, which was described as a mile or so off the road in rough and rugged terrain. The remains were found almost exactly one mile due south of where his vehicle was found parked on Highway 78, about two miles from the Arizona state line. Next to the remains additional clothing, an ID and a pistol were also found.
Brian Fuller, who was the incident commander on the initial Search and Rescue mission, said the last day Hall had been seen was on June 30, 2009, leaving the Drifter Hotel. His vehicle was discovered at mile marker 2 on Highway 78, during the Fourth of July weekend. Fuller first received a call to initiate a search on July 19.
Fuller said he talked with a cousin and a brother of Hall to find out possible reasons why he would be parked in the area.
“We really had very little information as to why he was there,” Fuller said. “They said he was possibly depressed. The cousin said he was looking to relocate to a different area and was trying to determine that area.”
Search-and-rescue brought in certified search dogs and 13 search and rescue volunteers and searched a 3/4-mile radius around the vehicle during the initial search on July 20.
“One problem we had it was in the heat of the day. It was close to 100 degrees and that limits the effectiveness of the search dogs and searchers,” Fuller said. “And it had been such a long timeframe from when he was last seen and when the vehicle was discovered. We didn’t know if his vehicle was just parked there and he was broken down and if he was totally out of the area.”
Kelly Snyder, a retired law enforcement officer and founder of the organization Find Me, (www.findme2.com), said he was also contacted by friends and family of Hall, about six weeks after he had gone missing in mid-June.
Find Me consists of current and retired law enforcement, canine search-and-rescue professionals, plus 35 dogs and 80 psychics from all over the world, Snyder said. He founded the group in 2002, after working for the National Center for Missing Children.
Snyder said he was contacted by a friend of Hall’s who found his group’s site on the Internet.
“The friend said (Hall) was not happy with his life and was going to New Mexico to see if he wanted to live there.”
Snyder said he sent the information to all 80 psychics in the group and about half responded with information that Hall was dead somewhere in the vicinity of where his truck was found.
Snyder said he reached out to the Grant County Sheriff’s Office and the New Mexico State Police with information and a number of GPS coordinates and left messages for a deputy and state police officer but never heard back from anyone.
“It looked like they did one hell of a thorough job,” Snyder said of Grant County Search and Rescue, “they just didn’t go far enough I guess.”
Fuller said identifying the remains brings closure to the case and the family and friends of the missing man.
“I’m glad we have a positive ID because that will allow the family to have some closure,” he said.
Voted as most popular clairvoyant in Vancouver, Maxine specializes in tarot card readings, various divination techniques, tea leaf readings and reiki healing treatments.
What inspired you to launch your own website?
I was getting quite a bit of demand for my services, and wanted to create a one stop shop for my clients and develop some new clients along the way.
When did you launch your first website, and what was it?
I only just launched May 28th of 2009
How did you decide on a name for your website?
I did not want some cheesy psychic name on my website, so I just decided to promote myself and my services.
What makes your website different from other, similar offerings?
The largest difference is that I cater to many high end clients. I guess they like my no nonsense approach to the spiritual perspective.
What is your eventual goal? (To sell it, keep it for income; secure a book or other mainstream media deal?)
I would like for my business to grow so that I can assist as many people as possible. I would like to get my Reiki Master Teacher certification and also become a certified life coach. I also would like to earn enough money to donate a substantial amount to The Scleroderma Association of BC.
How does your investment of time and money balance against your success?
I have invested a huge amount of personal time to the development & marketing of my website versus marketing dollars. My background is business development so I feel this has been advantageous to my business.
If you had an unlimited development budget for development, how would you change your site?
I would create a stronger brand for my business. I would also create my own organization to raise money for my favorite charity: The Scleroderma Association of BC.
If your site got really big, really quickly, would you be able to keep up with the demand?
I could keep up with the demand however, if the demand did not let up, I would scale back on my marketing efforts.
What unexpected costs and headaches have you had to deal with?
I have quite a bit of experience in the E marketing sector therefore; I have done an entirely free marketing campaign. You don’t necessarily have to spend a fortune to generate business-providing that you know your target market and where you can optimize your exposure. There have been no headaches thus far.
What has been your biggest challenge?
Creating my own website!
What method has been most successful for promoting your website?
How has running your website differed from your expectations?
It hasn’t really….my website is so new and I know it takes time for the search engines to pick up your site content.
How long have you run the site already, and how long will you continue to keep it up if you don’t enjoy big gains in traffic, income or popularity?
Not long-I only launched last month. I will keep my website up and running for several years. I am not just looking for short term gains but a loyal following & clientele.
How can I get in touch with you for your services?
You may call, email, tweet, add me to Facebook or simply visit my website.
As a spiritualist, it is my vision to work for humanity, inspire, assist, and to embrace the world in terms of its infinite possibilities. Spreading good energy, knowledge and the life tools for success.
View Manifesto »
I came for a reading last week and I meant to write to say thank you so much! I feel so good about everything you said to me! You truly are remarkable and what you do and completely honest. I have had some bad experiences with psychics who made me believe they could bring back people to my life and protect me from anything bad and got me into huge debt! I got that paid off and started living a new life! I am so thankful to have come across you. I feel so at ease knowing my life is going in the right direction and will be definitely keeping in touch and would recommend you to anyone! How truly gifted you are! — Karen Richmond, BC