This month we spotlight Art Pietra, who will soon be leaving us to study applied mathematics at the University of Delaware. His last day in Arlington will be August 26. We’re going to miss you Art! Have fun… but not too much fun!

What’s your job title?
Tea House Attendant

What’s your favorite part of your job at Steep?
I love learning about all of the different teas from all over the world, and teaching others about it. Before I came to House of Steep, I only knew about one kind of tea, now I can inform customers of dozens.

Anything you like to do in your spare time? Hobbies?
My hobbies include Origami- some of which can be seen at House of Steep- Reading science fiction, and listening to music. I am really interested in technology, and I’m constantly teaching myself new things, whether it’s a programming language or building my own computer.

What are some interesting facts about you some people may not know?
• I was adopted from Russia at the age of 6.
• I’m an amateur pianist!
• I’m an actor, and I’ve starred in a few stage performances, as well as several award winning student films.
• I can solve a Rubik’s Cube in 30 seconds!

Where did you grow up?
I was born in Tver, Russia and lived with my brother, sister, and mother. At the age of three, my siblings and I were taken from our home and put in orphanages. At 6, I was adopted with my brother and sister and came to Arlington, Virginia. I’ve lived here ever since with my amazing new parents.

What are some of your favorite movies?
◦ John Carpenter’s The Thing
Blade Runner
The Fifth Element
Howl’s Moving Castle

If you could go on a dream vacation, where would you go?
I would love to go to Iceland, it just looks so beautiful. New Zealand is on my list too.

What’s your favorite band/artist?
Unfortunately, I can’t pin down just one artist that I like most, so here’s a list.
• Gorillaz
• The Avalanches
• Thievery Corporation
• Bill Evans
• Led Zeppelin

What’s your favorite local business besides House of Steep?
I absolutely LOVE Hole In the Wall, a tiny book shop in Falls Church. I’m there several times a month to buy book and comics. My bookshelves at home are overflowing with books that I buy there.

What’s your favorite tea?
My favorite tea is a tie between Golden Monkey and Da Hong Pao. Both have a light but bold flavor to them, and a soft and almost floral finish.

What’s your favorite soak?
My favorite Soak is Centered Presence, a lovely blend of Cinnamon, Pine, and Patchouli.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In five years I hope to have graduated college and have a stable job. Hopefully I will have my own apartment filled with books and records. I’m not quite sure where my degree in Applied Mathematics will take me, but I hope to figure that out in college!