Reputable chinese tea stores in the bay area?


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Reputable chinese tea stores in the bay area?

Postby BryanP » Aug 7th, '08, 19:50

anyone know of any?

thanks
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Postby Pentox » Aug 8th, '08, 02:57

The big ones are

Teance
Imperial Tea Court
Red Blossom Tea Company

(assuming you're talking about the SF Bay area)

I would say their fame is probably in that order as well. There's a few Ten Rens around the bay area as well. There are lesser known teashops around as well. There's even a book on the tea shops of the bay area
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Postby BryanP » Aug 8th, '08, 06:02

Nice I'm going to be in the Berkeley area tomorrow.

Might as well check out Teance.
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Postby Pentox » Aug 8th, '08, 12:34

BryanP wrote:Nice I'm going to be in the Berkeley area tomorrow.

Might as well check out Teance.


Just to warn you though, teance is VERY marked up.
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Postby hop_goblin » Aug 8th, '08, 13:47

Pentox wrote:
BryanP wrote:Nice I'm going to be in the Berkeley area tomorrow.

Might as well check out Teance.


Just to warn you though, teance is VERY marked up.


I think you can say that about almost every tea store. Buy from oversease! only way to go!
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Postby Pentox » Aug 8th, '08, 14:27

hop_goblin wrote:
Pentox wrote:
BryanP wrote:Nice I'm going to be in the Berkeley area tomorrow.

Might as well check out Teance.


Just to warn you though, teance is VERY marked up.


I think you can say that about almost every tea store. Buy from oversease! only way to go!


Well teance is particularly bad. For instance a small glass gongfu pitcher I saw there (identical to others since I think there is only one manufacturer making them) was ~30 dollars at teance, it was ~10 at another store and ~7 on ebay (but A LOT in shipping).
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Postby Angela Justice » Aug 8th, '08, 14:47

I think calling Teance bad might be harsh. Teance is expensive. They are located in an a very exclusive shopping area of Berkeley and paid a lot to design such a beautiful location. Teance has wonderful oolongs and aged puerhs. While pricey, if you are serious about small production, boutique teas. It is the one of the best places to go locally to taste teas with many knowledgeable staff members. There is no food really and I think tea service only on weekends. You go eye the new crops decide which strikes your fancy sit down at the tasting bar. Look the bartender in the eye and say I want to taste the charcoal roasted Tung Ting and then I might try the Phoenix Honey Dan Chong. If Darius is helping you ask him how he's doing with his kung fu.

Have fun!
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literally ten feet from Berkeley

Postby Angela Justice » Aug 8th, '08, 14:50

Also consider visiting Far Leaves at Ashby and College Ave. The owner Donna is Taiwanese and introduced me to my very first Li Shan High Mountain. Her store is small, warm, and unpretentious and less expensive than Teance or Imperial Tea. I'm sure you will find plenty to capture your attention if you like Oolongs, Greens and even herbals.
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In San Francisco

Postby Angela Justice » Aug 8th, '08, 14:54

Must visit Modern Tea which is a restaurant that serves about 15 phenomenal teas. Samovar in the Mission and Yerba Buena center also has large selection of teas. Hope this helps. Please feel free to send me a message. I'm also in the Bay Area so I have visited quite a few places.
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Postby Pentox » Aug 8th, '08, 16:22

Angela Justice wrote:I think calling Teance bad might be harsh. Teance is expensive. They are located in an a very exclusive shopping area of Berkeley and paid a lot to design such a beautiful location. Teance has wonderful oolongs and aged puerhs. While pricey, if you are serious about small production, boutique teas. It is the one of the best places to go locally to taste teas with many knowledgeable staff members. There is no food really and I think tea service only on weekends. You go eye the new crops decide which strikes your fancy sit down at the tasting bar. Look the bartender in the eye and say I want to taste the charcoal roasted Tung Ting and then I might try the Phoenix Honey Dan Chong. If Darius is helping you ask him how he's doing with his kung fu.

Have fun!


Well I didn't mean to say that Teance is bad, I was just saying that their markup is significantly higher for some of their stuff. In terms of the instore experience, the quality, etc they are almost unparalleled in the Bay area in my opinion, but I felt it pertanent to point out the overhead of such a location.

Angela Justice wrote:Also consider visiting Far Leaves at Ashby and College Ave. The owner Donna is Taiwanese and introduced me to my very first Li Shan High Mountain. Her store is small, warm, and unpretentious and less expensive than Teance or Imperial Tea. I'm sure you will find plenty to capture your attention if you like Oolongs, Greens and even herbals.


I actually stopped by Far Leaves last week. I didn't have much time to spend hanging out there, I pretty much just had the opportunity to look around it a bit and grab some stuff to take home with me. I was unsure of what their reputation was like since I haven't heard much buzz about them before.

Angela Justice wrote:Must visit Modern Tea which is a restaurant that serves about 15 phenomenal teas. Samovar in the Mission and Yerba Buena center also has large selection of teas. Hope this helps. Please feel free to send me a message. I'm also in the Bay Area so I have visited quite a few places.


Modern tea I haven't had the chance to try out yet, and the same goes from Samovar, but from what I have seen/heard about Samovar it sounds like it has partly the same effect as Teance. Both have a lot of attention to their location which is nice if you're there, but you should be aware of the difference of what you're paying because of where they are and their decor/etc. I guess i'll have to add Modern Tea to my list of places to hit up.
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Postby Angela Justice » Aug 8th, '08, 18:39

Far Leaves has been around since 1999 I believe. They have been written up in a few industry journals and newspapers. I like Far Leaves because there are some really great teas and it's completely unpretentious. If you know lots about tea, it's great they have more to talk about with you. If your brand new, no problem they have lots to talk share. I love the owner Donna. Far Leaves was the first tea shop I worked in when I moved to the Bay area. She gave me a very good introduction to gung fu tea service and Taiwanese oolongs when I worked there. The first oolongs I tasted with her remain in my palate memory particularly her Li Shan High Mountain.

Teance and Samovar has some prices that are higher than other places, but many of the competition grade oolongs are not overpriced. That being said I know where you can find teas such as silver needle, jasmine pearls, and yunnan gold at a much better price. :wink: If you don't have the time or money to travel to China or Taiwan, visiting a good tea shop can transport you there without the expense of airplanes, hotels, and visas.

Modern tea is a restaurant that also sells tea, but the 15 choices or so they sell are spot on. Alice, the owner, is coordinating the tea pavilion at the Slow Food event happening at the end of the month. There is a new tea bar in Marin called Tea Pod that I'm looking forward to visiting as well. When I talked to the owner on the phone, he sounded very passionate about good tea. :)
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Postby Pentox » Aug 8th, '08, 18:49

Angela Justice wrote:Modern tea is a restaurant that also sells tea, but the 15 choices or so they sell are spot on. Alice, the owner, is coordinating the tea pavilion at the Slow Food event happening at the end of the month. There is a new tea bar in Marin called Tea Pod that I'm looking forward to visiting as well. When I talked to the owner on the phone, he sounded very passionate about good tea. :)


Teapod looks quite interesting, it reminds me of Lamyx in Oakland.
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