Tea Shop Talk

30 Replies
Suzi said

The only non-chain tea shop I can think of in my area is Mountain View Tea Village:

The owner is wonderful and friendly, and the tea tastes great. I should pay him a visit….even though the shop isn’t close to where I live, I’m willing to drive up because the owner is very knowledgeable and willing to share what he has learned, and he makes it a priority to get tea that’s as ‘clean’ (pesticide/chemical-free) as possible.

There’s also a Puripan Tea Garden, but I’ve never been to it. It’s on my to-do list but I never quite make it over.

Otherwise, there’s a nice selection of chains here. Teavana, Lupicia, Ten Ren, etc. I guess I live in a pretty swell tea area, all things considered!

I’m not including the ‘high tea’ style tea houses, just stores that sell tea leaves and usually also make drinks.

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My favorite tea store is Harney & Sons. It’s about halfway on the route on my way to school, but it is about a 40 minute detour (which during a 3.5 hour ride is a lot). It is such a cute little store and it always smells so good, and i love their walls of tea where you can just ask and they’ll brew any tea for you. The people are friendly, informative, and i love going there.

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I have a question. Today I visited a little tea shop that I loved, however, I have a small concern…..The tea is displayed in large glass jars (what about light?) I asked how the tea was bagged when purchased and the owner said in a lined paper bag. I asked how long I could keep the tea in the bag and was told about 3 to 4 months (it would still remain fresh) The owner said she did not promote selling tins, she would rather sell tea. Please tell this new kid your thoughts.
I love the store! I want to go back and I promise you I will go back! I was made to feel very comfortable and welcomed. Maybe I will buy a cup of tea for a test before making any large purchase of tea (I think slow is smart in this case)

Cofftea said

Your experience gives me mixed impressions- 1st: If the glass is NOT treated to protect against UV rays, you’re pretty much putting your tea on death row. 2nd: Tea that is kept away from air and light can actually be fresh up to (and even past in some cases) a year which initially makes me think the owner is doing you a favor by giving you a shorter answer… but if tea isn’t kept away from light and air in the shop and/or at home, the 3-4 months may be more accurate… and you aren’t getting the freshed tea on the day you buy it. 3rd: I have no problem w/ lack of tins. Infact, tins can take up a lot of space. A tea does not need to be in a tin to be kept from light and air. Echoing the lady in the shop- I’d rather have lots of tea in plain packaging that takes up less space than a moderate amount of tea in pretty packaging that takes up more space.

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Thanks for the reply (I appreciate the help). One of the reasons I liked the shop so much was the fact there was No Pressure! This is a place I feel I could go and be totally relaxed. I do appreciate the shop owners answers to all my questions and I do feel like she was accurate with the answers she gave. I did not think about the fact the jars she stored her tea could have been treated (which would protect the tea).
This is a very bright cheerful place and I was just worried.
I am making a list of tea I would like to try and I am sure you will find me back at my new tea store tomorrow.
Ya!!!!! I Am So Happy!!!!!!
There is a tea store less than 5 miles from my house (I never knew until today!)

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Update on my local Tea Shop (Dishtopia and The Anytime Tea Bar)
I can only say that everything about this tea bar is wonderful!
The owner loves to make you feel welcome, she is willing and enjoys sharing her knowledge of tea and will answer any questions asked.
I have been there the past two afternoons (buying tea and having tea as I chatted with her) The Tea is bagged very carefully and I feel is very fresh.
This is a true spot to go and relax away from the stress and demands of a busy life.
Take a look at her website if you get a chance.

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I wanted to make a comment about the tea shop that I mentioned a few weeks ago – Myrtle’s Tea Shop in Ridgefield, WA. They are so awesome… my daughter and her boyfriend went there for tea last weekend, and she recognized my daughter immediately, and asked about me and my youngest daughter. Then, before they left, she gave my daughter a box of unbaked scones along with baking instructions and lemon curd for me – along with the hope that we would visit soon.

I love the way this tea house makes me feel like I am a very special and appreciated customer. I wish more businesses treated their customers this way.

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kuanyin said

I’m in Kansas City and want to agree with how delightful Shang Tea in Crown Center is. Shang or his associate will brew you samples then and there and educate you on that tea. I LOVE that he is actually a tea grower. I have gotten quite spoiled and snobby in wanting places that have a direct knowledge of the teas they sell and it doesn’t get any more direct than producing it himself.

I dislike Tea Drops since getting ignored there by the pretentious little Westport hippie wannabes that were running it one night. And don’t they keep the tea for sale in glass jars? I can’t remember for sure, but I think so. I went in hoping to find the teapot selection they show in the picture on their website, but it wasn’t there.

I want to try The Teahouse & Coffeepot by Temple Slug, which is a landmark for those of us who were hippie types back in the day. Maybe my husband could go with me for the coffee…..

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