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After arriving in the city as refugees, Iroh managed to get himself and Zuko jobs as waiters in a local tea shop. Iroh soon discovered, however, that the tea was less than to his liking, as he described it as "nothing more than hot leaf juice". He decided to take matters into his own hands and enforced some major changes. Business picked up and soon the city was buzzing about Iroh's fame as the "finest tea maker in the city". Upon learning about Iroh's brewing abilities, Quon, a merchant whose goal was to be the greatest tea baron in Ba Sing Se, visited Pao's tea shop to see if the rumors were true. More than satisfied, Quon tried to poach Iroh away by offering to fulfill his lifelong dream: his own tea shop. Quon said he would finance a tea shop in the Upper Ring of the city, give Iroh full creative freedom, and even throw in a new apartment. The offer was too tempting to refuse, thus, Iroh readily accepted.
After Zuko's illness and much to Iroh's joy, Zuko willingly and happily ran the "Jasmine Dragon" with his uncle. Business quickly picked up and Iroh's fame as a tea maker increased; praise of his brewing skills spread further through the city until a royal messenger arrived, who brought with him a formal invitation for Iroh asking him to serve tea to the Earth King. The invitation, however, turned out to be a trap laid by Princess Azula and led to Zuko's imprisonment in the Crystal Catacombs. Iroh sought the help of Team Avatar in an attempt to save his nephew, but due to Zuko's betrayal, the Avatar was killed by Azula's lightning and Iroh was captured by the Dai Li. The former general was taken back to the Fire Nation to serve his time in the Capital City Prison, leaving the Jasmine Dragon unattended.
The day before the arrival of Sozin's Comet, Iroh swore that he would liberate Ba Sing Se with the help of the Order of the White Lotus and reconquer his tea shop, intending to spend his retirement serving tea and playing Pai Sho. After Ba Sing Se's successful liberation, the defeat of Ozai and Azula, and the renewed peace after Zuko's coronation as the new Fire Lord, Iroh reopened the Jasmine Dragon and served tea to the young war heroes at the end of the series. Sokka also attempted to create a painting of the Jasmine Dragon and the heroes in it so that they would never forget that moment in the tea shop. The Jasmine Dragon was also the place where Aang and Katara shared their passionate kiss, marking the start of their relationship.
Following the Battle for Yu Dao, Aang brought Zuko to the Jasmine Dragon to rest after the Fire Lord passed out. Atop the tea shop's roof, the Avatar had his final conversation with Avatar Roku before severing his spiritual connection to him in feeling that it was a new world that he needed to face alone. Iroh then called Aang back inside after Zuko woke up. Aang and Zuko sat at a table and had a conversation about what happened between them and their personalities in general. Zuko told Aang of his attempts to find his mother, which Aang encouraged by saying that "it's a new world" and "he had to take risks". Iroh then offered them his new beverage made of milk, tea and tapioca balls, which the two did not particularly enjoy, Zuko spitting his out.
The Jasmine Dragon is a large, exquisite building in the Upper Ring of the Earth Kingdom's capital. Two separate, broad stone steps lead up to a neatly paved patio in front of the tea shop; in the middle of this patio is a large, rectangular fountain with a statue in the center. The elevated position of the terrace provides a panoramic view over the city.
Wide, stone steps stand before the wooden, double front door at the center of the building. At both sides of the door is a large, round decorative window and located above the door is a black sign decorated with carefully applied golden letters to form the name of the shop. The sign is flanked by two slim, elegant golden dragons. A large copper flowerpot sporting a neatly trimmed green bush stands at each corner of the shop.
The building sports eighteen windows, nine on each side of the door, all facing the street. Each window is made of wood of a rich deep brown color, and each has yellow shutters. The windows are on hinges, allowing them to fully swing open to let in the warm air of the Earth Kingdom and to let the sweet, inviting aroma of tea spread to passersby.
The tea shop consists of a large frontal dining room and a smaller working area and kitchen located at the back.
Dining room Edit
The dining area fills the majority of the available space. It is filled with aesthetic brown square and round tables with matching chairs. The tables are large enough to accommodate four people, but it is also possible to request a table for fewer.
In the middle of the shop floor lies a large, dark green, rectangular carpet edged with a yellow border and depicting two dragons. The lighting is mostly provided by natural sunlight flowing in through the windows during the day, but rectangular wood and cloth lanterns in the same yellow-green colors to match the Earth Kingdom feel are also hung from the ceiling to illuminate the shop at night. Right above the entrance is a framed piece of calligraphy displaying a proverb: "It is better to go for three days without food than one day without tea". Numerous intricate scroll paintings are hung on each of the room's walls, each artistry different than the other. As finishing touches, potted plants are placed at strategic locations spread over the shop, to create a more natural, green environment. Decorative kettles and tea pots are also part of the decor.
Workers' area Edit
Not much is shown of the kitchen except that the entrance to the back room is separated from the main area by green drapes which can be drawn back to provide an easier access to the kitchen. White fabric dividers are hung above the counter to limit the customer's view of the kitchen.
Right at the door, two hostesses are positioned. Their job is to welcome the incoming customers and provide them with a table. Their attire consists of a fashionable Earth Kingdom dress in the typical green and yellow of the nation, also the primarily used colors in the decoration of the shop. The main color of the dress is dark green, with light green borders at the side and the shoulders.
There are several male waiters at work in the Jasmine Dragon. It is their job to serve the customers, provide refills and clear tables once customers have left. Their attire consists of yellow pants and a dark green robe, tied around the waist with a belt; the green robe has a lighter green border which runs diagonally down the front and sports some detail at the sleeves. Each male wears his long hair in a single braid down his back and has a round, dark yellow hat with a dark green rim and cross on his head.
Iroh, as owner of the shop, donned the same outfit, but Zuko wore a slightly modified version. The lighter green line on his robe ran straight down and he wore dark brown pants instead of the customary yellow pants. He also did not wear the hat that the other workers and Iroh wore.
- A possible name for the shop was "The Tea Weevil", but the suggestion was quickly deemed absurd by Iroh himself.
- The shop seemed to be located at the side of one of the fancy streets of Ba Sing Se's Upper Ring. When Katara and Momo first visited the tea shop, a shot showed that there was another building across the street. However, when Aang stepped out on the patio during the final scene of the series, there was not a building across the street, but the patio allowed a nice panoramic view of the entire city below.