Tea Museum & The Phoenix Collection Edit

1 ratings
1 2 3 4 5
Type Tea Room
Style Asian
Serves Loose-leaf
Features Tastings
Good For Groups
Mon Fri Closed
Saturday 10:00 AM 2:00 PM
Sunday Closed

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Photo submitted by Dustin

1 Review

Dustin rated this place
and said Edit

Wonderful experience! Long time tea enthusiast and curator, David Hoffman, offers free tea tasting on Saturdays. I went in with two friends and joined about 8 other people who were sitting on stools around a tea table that David sat behind while he steeped and served his guests gongfu style. He would steep three selections of tea at a time from a bookshelf to the side of him, making sure all his guests got a chance to select a tea for tasting. He would answer questions and tell us a bit about the tea. I’m not sure if this is the norm, but there were musicians playing while we were there! One guy on guitar and three violinists that would rotate out to join the guitarist. You can purchase any of the teas you have sampled, there was various teaware for sale and in an adjacent room was the tea museum. The museum space was filed with various pressed puerhs, old tea tins and compressed tea stored in 4 foot bamboo stalks, bamboo baskets and sacks that I’m guessing may have held 50 lbs of tea. David is a super chill guy. He seemed modest, grounded and very generous. He doesn’t charge for the tastings he does. I sat there for maybe two hours, chatting with my neighbors and the friends I came with, enjoying various teas together. We ended up leaving with a selection of six reasonable priced teas that we had enjoyed tasting.

Aside from the great experience at the tasting room, David is a fascinating man whom you can read a lot about online. He has spent decades traveling the world, collecting tea and building his nearby home out as a sustainable ecosystem, complete with a puerh cave! He used to do tastings from an area on his property, but a changing of the guard of country inspectors who used to wave any requirements for permits to new inspectors who want his property to be held to current code has led to many restrictions and dealings with the county and court, hence the current location of the tea museum. You can read a bit about the uncertain fate of his property here: https://www.sfchronicle.com/food/article/Steeped-in-controversy-Marin-tea-guru-in-the-11958381.php

Visiting the tea museum for a tasting is an experience that I’d highly recommend if you are in the area!