(I originally wrote this review for Yelp.com in March of 2008.)
I like coming to Lisa’s Tea Treasures every once in a while; if you go during the slow periods (mid-week, mid-afternoon) there won’t be too many other people around so you can have a nice, quiet tea. It is a little bit of luxury that I can rarely afford, so when I go I savor it. That said, Lisa’s Tea Treasures isn’t perfect.
The service is probably their weakest point. The last two-three times I’ve gone the servers were harried and seemed unhappy. When I last went, the girl who served me didn’t chit-chat at all and avoided eye contact. Working retail, I can totally understand that; I have days where I’m in complete robot-mode, too. She brought us our food quickly and did check on us to make sure we were satisfied, but there were only two other groups in the front room so I would expect that. But though there were few customers in the store she seemed stressed and overworked, and it’s hard to create a relaxing atmosphere when your server is so frantic.
The food is usually pretty good. As others have pointed out, the bread can be a bit dry sometimes, and the desserts aren’t always homemade. But the fruit and salads have always been quite fresh and crispy/tangy/sweet and the savories always arrive warm and tasty. The food fills me up and I always have leftovers to take home, too.
Did I forget to mention the actual tea? My favorite is the Boysenberry Tea, but they have several lovely selections. I haven’t yet had a ‘bagged’ tea; all of the ones I’ve tried have been loose-leaf I believe. (My boyfriend always forgets to put the tea strainer in his cup and ends up with leaves floating at the bottom of his cup. Yes, my boyfriend goes with me. Does he cry about the girliness of it all? Naturally. But he always says if it makes me happy he’ll do anything. He’s a sweetheart. Yes, I’m off-topic. Back to tea.) The teapots are pretty small, so you don’t get much tea, but they do refill them for you if you run out. (I hope they don’t charge you for the refills. You know, I’ve never actually paid that much attention. Must do so next time.)
Whenever I drop in I poke around the gift shop, but I’ve never seen anything I ‘ve wanted to buy. (Or, for that matter, seen anyone buy something!) They have teapots and teacups, country-crafty froufrou trinkets, tea-themed jewelry, and baubles galore. It always makes me think I’ve stumbled into Grandma’s Secret Treasure Trove. The front room is decorated in lemon-yellow and is a bit cluttered; the back room is rose-pink and often a tight squeeze to maneuver.
Having done tea in England, I’m the first to agree this isn’t an English tea. But it’s fun and relaxing (if you go at the right time) and a very pleasant way to hang out with friends.