Tea Shops in San Fran

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Tea Shops in San Fran

Postby RockingtheRepublic » Mar 31st, '09, 10:53

Hiiiii all,

I'm going to San Fran before the WTE and I was wondering can you guys recommend some teashops in San Fran that are worth checking out? I haven't been there in years! So far I marked Samovar Tea Lounge (the 3 locations) on my map. http://tinyurl.com/dd4ucq Any other recommendations guys? Thanks!!

Last edited by RockingtheRepublic on Mar 31st, '09, 22:22, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby wyardley » Mar 31st, '09, 12:07

I think you'll piss off a lot of locals if you say "San Fran".

Check out Imperial Tea Court, Red Blossom, maybe Teance if you go to the East Bay (tea & prices didn't impress me that much but the design is nice).

You might want to see if you can find a copy of this book to leaf through.
http://www.amazon.com/Way-Tea-Adventure ... 465&sr=8-1

See also http://community.livejournal.com/puerh_tea/224201.html

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Postby Janine » Mar 31st, '09, 13:00

I would definitely try Imperial Tea Court. Roy Fong (the owner) is really a San Francisco institution at this point - his old teahouse in Chinatown was the pioneer for Chinese tea appreciation (it's closed now). There is one location at the Ferry Building. There is also a location in Berkeley (with good food) that's nice if you get over there. My "icon" is a photo of the moongate at the Berkeley location (from inside the teahouse). Here's the website:

http://www.imperialtea.com/

I'd always recommend Red Circle Tea but they don't have a storefront. They do special tastings and right now they are in the process of switching locations. Here's their website - you might consider contacting them anyway and check:

http://www.redcircletea.com/

I don't know if you will go out of town travelling anywhere nearby, but in Napa there is a fairly new teaseller in the Oxbow Public Market. One of its proprietors (David Wong) was manager of the Imperial Tea Chinatown store. They are worth checking out if you drive up into wine country:
http://www.tillermantea.com/

And if you head down the coast, don't miss Chaikhana in Santa Cruz (or its counterpart, the Empty Boat teahouse)

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Postby scruffmcgruff » Mar 31st, '09, 14:10

wyardley wrote:I think you'll piss off a lot of locals if you say "San Fran".


"San Fran" is mildly irritating, but please never say "Frisco" (unless you are singing a particular Otis Redding song). :D

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Postby Janine » Mar 31st, '09, 14:37

eh. I might use San Fran as a written abbreviation, and I live there nearly half the year. But taking offense is probably not in the mentality - pretty tolerant city, at least traditionally. Course I never heard a native (which includes my mother and loads of relatives and friends) say anything but "San Francisco" (especially my grandparents' generation)

just learn to sing this song, everybody will love you:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvK_gD3ulaw

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Postby Herb_Master » Mar 31st, '09, 16:12

Janine wrote:
just learn to sing this song, everybody will love you:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvK_gD3ulaw


My San Francisco songs begin and end with Scott McKenzie and The Flowerpot Men :D

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Postby Janine » Mar 31st, '09, 16:15

PS I've never been to Red Blossom (just haven't made it over there when they're open) but I also hear good things about it - recommended by Imp. Tea Court staff. Also second checking out Teance and I like Samovar too (personally I like the 18th St location)

have fun checking them all out!

And go to the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park (not for the tea, for the garden - but tea is fun too)

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Postby Pentox » Mar 31st, '09, 16:28

Teance is probably worth checking out, I've never been terribly thrilled by it, but that's probably just me. It's a nice looking shop though.

Red Blossom and Samovar are on my list of it would be nice to get to eventually. I've had a few samovar teas and they're nothing to write home about. Haven't tried Red Blossom yet.

SF has two of the small handful of Lupicia stores, that's worth checking out imo. The one in SF City Center is probably most likely to interest you. It's the biggest around. If you're there there's also Puripan Tea Garden. Korean tea store basically. Haven't tried any of their stuff yet, but they got my curiosity. It's on the same floor as Lupicia, just around the corner.

Imperial Tea I haven't been to in the ferry building yet. I've been to the one in Berkeley, also nothing special there imo.

Aroma Tea Shop (6th and Clement) is an interesting place, checked that place out last weekend while I was up there. Has a really gritty chinatown feeling to it. Fun place to try out tea. They'll have you try some blue people oolong and milk oolong, personally not a fan of either. Try whatever you like though.

Japanese tea garden, as they mentioned is not a spectacular place for the tea, but quite beautiful. Sakura are in bloom right now, absolutely stunning. I didn't mind paying 4 dollars for a pot of YMY sencha, it's really a setting/experience thing. Absolutely stunning with the sakura in bloom though.

White Crane Tea Co in J-Town if you want to see the smallest tea store you'll ever find. Some good stuff and the proprietor is a great guy. There's also a few stores worth poking around in Jtown if you want to look for some nice teaware.

Asakichi in Jtown and the tea stand in front of it are worth poking into if you want some Koyamaen or Ippodo tea.

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Postby RockingtheRepublic » Mar 31st, '09, 22:34

Thank you everyone soooo much for posting. I added everything onto my map. I just hope I can fit most of these tea shops into my schedule.

BTW can anyone recommend any health stores or farmers markets in San FranCISCO? ;)

I'm definitely going to hit up the San Francisco Herb Co to check out their herbs and teas too.

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Postby RockingtheRepublic » Mar 31st, '09, 22:36

Janine wrote:And go to the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park (not for the tea, for the garden - but tea is fun too)


Whats the difference between that one and the one at 1337 Mission St, San Francisco, CA‎??

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Postby RockingtheRepublic » Mar 31st, '09, 22:42

wyardley wrote:I think you'll piss off a lot of locals if you say "San Fran".

Check out Imperial Tea Court, Red Blossom, maybe Teance if you go to the East Bay (tea & prices didn't impress me that much but the design is nice).

You might want to see if you can find a copy of this book to leaf through.
http://www.amazon.com/Way-Tea-Adventure ... 465&sr=8-1

See also http://community.livejournal.com/puerh_tea/224201.html


Thank you for the links! That's amazing that there is a book specifically on the tea scene in SF.

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Postby Janine » Apr 1st, '09, 10:26

Hi RTR,

I have no idea what is at 1337 Mission. Do yourself a favor and go to the Park :-)

here's a photo of one of the currently blossoming trees nearby (you can see the garden structures behind it)


Image

For Herbs (and health food, organic, etc) I recommend Rainbow Grocery
http://www.rainbow.coop/

There's a good Farmer's Market in front of the Ferry Building... I think it's Tuesdays and Saturdays. You could combine a trip to the Farmer's Market with a visit to Imperial Tea Court :-)

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Postby RockingtheRepublic » Apr 1st, '09, 13:43

Thanks Janine!

That's so pretty!!

I will be sure to stock up on lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and health products that I can't get in Canada! ;)

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Postby Janine » Apr 1st, '09, 13:55

You're welcome!

Have fun!

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Postby Herb_Master » Apr 1st, '09, 14:23

Janine wrote:Hi RTR,


For Herbs (and health food, organic, etc) I recommend Rainbow Grocery http://www.rainbow.coop/

There's a good Farmer's Market in front of the Ferry Building... I think it's Tuesdays and Saturdays. You could combine a trip to the Farmer's Market with a visit to Imperial Tea Court :-)


Thanks, I will go to Rainbow Grocery if I ever get to San Francisco. :wink:

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