San Francisco Bay Area
Who’s in the Bay Area? What are your favorite tea hang outs and places to go to grab some great teas?
I love Aroma Tea Shop. I tend to score some pretty high grade ti kuan yin and greens from taiwan and china. The owners are a husband and wife team and are super awesomely hilarious tea masters. Their shipments are frequent and very fresh.
When I’m looking for a more calming experience with a full pot of brew and some food, I’ll go to Samovar. Tho, I think they are ridiculously overpriced for what they sell and the decline of their service, but I’m still a loyal customer because we are very lucky to have such a place, let alone 3 of them, here in SF.
Holy Gelato has some loose leaf teas, but I had a horrible experience here with one of the employees. She might’ve been the owner. But the lady I spoke with did not know how to brew tea properly and was giving me very bad advice. I’m not entirely sure she knew what they are selling. But the teas are good.
Rainbow Grocery is an awesome source for some awesome loose and bagged teas.
What are your other favorite tea hang outs? Where do you usually purchase your teas from and what is your favorite tea?
I don’t live in SF, so I don’t hang out there. However, I’ve been drooling over some of the offerings at Red Blossom tea shop online. They literally have some of the finest teas that I have ever seen, especially their “finest” long jing. I don’t even know if they have it anymore.
Aroma Tea Shop is fun. I like the location on Clement Street. Samovar is nice too (I am going there today). Also in Chinatown, Red Blossom Tea is great. Sometimes I got to the Vital Tea Leaf too. Also worth checking out are Taste SF in Hayes Valley and Imperial Tea Court in the Ferry Building. I just started a blog recently about my life as a San Francisco tea drinker. It only has one entry in it so far but I hope to write another one this weekend.
As far as commercial outfits, you do have Lupicia in S.F. and Tea and Spice Exchange at Pier 39, I had a fantastic time just with an afternoon of traditional whole mint (not dry) at a Middle Eastern Place on Sutter, Saha. I love sitting with a friend for hours and drinking mint tea very sweet on a hot day as if I’m in Morocco.