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.
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.