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Teance Tea Shop moving to Berkeley's 4th St Nov 1, 2006

From their website:

"The Celadon Tearoom will be moving to 1780 Fourth St!
The tearoom will be open until August 20th at the 1111 Solano location. There will be a party on the 20th celebrating our last day at this location, with complimentary teas and pastries served between 1-5pm.

New permanent tea room location: 1780 Fourth St., Berkeley, CA 94710, between Peet's and Pasta Shop, to be open Nov. 1st.

Patrons may continue to come pick up teas at: 950 Gilman St #800, Berkeley, CA 94710 from August 20th to Nov. 1st

Thank you for your patience as we make this important transition."

website: http://www.teance.com/tearoom.html

Still on my list to try: Hand Tied Jasmine Green Tea that Rworange mentioned before: http://store.teance.com/hatijatea.html

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  1. I think the place is overpriced and too precious. I buy equally good much cheaper teas from Upton tea online. Why is it that tea places go after the zen vibe as opposed to coffee places, which are much more varied?

    15 Replies
    1. re: sensi63

      The tea bar is extremely valuable. Where else can you try a small sample of such a wide array of teas for only a few dollars? Of course their prices will be more expensive than an online tea company, they have overhead to pay for. But you can't get this level of expertise and care from a web site.

      Teance features some of the top teas produced in Asia: multiple award winners at international tea competitions; teas that are often available in the US on a limited basis. Teance is able to obtain these teas because they have built relationships with the tea farmers. I expect to pay a premium for such teas, and I highly doubt that "much cheaper" teas available on line are comparable to these. Furthermore, Teance prides themselves on paying a fair wage to their tea growers, I have no qualms about paying more if I know a portion of that is going to support a family farm. Teance also features extremely fresh teas, and their tea room is excellent at getting water temperature and immersion timing right.

      Teance is a wonderful business that features a high quality product in an excellent setting, and that prides itself on getting every precise detail of tea service correct. It will be a valuable addition to 4th St which is a far better location than west Solano.

      Here's a link to my report on Teance:

      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

      My parents, who are total tea snobs and have visited tea shops all over the world, were blown away.

      1. re: Morton the Mousse

        Ick. Fourth Street. Talk about a nasty, precious vibe. Not that I was a regular at Teance, but I'm much less likely to go there now.

        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          There are lots of reasons for a Hound to go to 4th street: Cafe Rouge is one of the best butcher shops in the East Bay, Sketch makes some of the best ice cream in the Bay Area, Codys has one of the best food and cooking sections in any book store and there's a Sur La Table. I also really enjoy the food at O Chame. Sure it's precious, but with all these destiantions, who cares? And parking on 4th is easier to come by than all the rest of Berkeley combined. Now they'll have a fabulous tea shop as well.

          1. re: Morton the Mousse

            It's not the food, Morton, it's the crowd that is a turnoff on Fourth. It's like Ferry Plaza at high noon on Saturday.

            I enjoy many of the places, and you forgot Bette's Oceanview, but sometimes some of those people take away from a pleasurable experience. I always have to gear up for Fourth Street.

          2. re: Ruth Lafler

            Nasty? Compared with downtown Berkeley or Telegraph? Hardly.

            Fourth Street has a lot of stores I'll never buy anything at but the places Morton mentions are all good. The butcher is great. The Peet's has very high turnover so the beans are fresher.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              No, it's different. At least with downtown there is a mix of people. Telegraph still hasn't been too corrupted and there is a mix of people.

              But Fourth, like the Gourmet Ghetto on a Saturday, is filled with A-type personalities. It makes the experience less than a pleasure. No matter how much I like the food, the vibe is such a turnoff that I am NEVER at Shattuck on Saturday and my visits to Fourth Street are limited.

              Edit Note to Morton (if you ever read it).

              Just responding to the locations that Robert metioned, which have a few good eats, but don't consider food destinations either. It is just there are so many good places in the Bay Area that unpleasant places don't need to be frequented. It is not a matter of ignoring the vibe. I've litteraly been walked into, strollered over, etc so unless I gotta go, I don't or I choose less lethal times of the day.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                Perhaps nasty was a poor word choice. I didn't mean nasty as in unsanitary, I meant nasty as in "smug" and "self-satisfied" and "full of people patting themselves on the back for being cool-than-thou, enlightened liberals while participating in crass yuppie consumerism," and "staffed by the snottiest salespeople I've seen in the East Bay." I don't care how many chow-worthy destinations there are on Fourth Street, I never go there without being overwhelmed with vibes that are, at least to me, negative. I don't see Teance maintaining any kind of Zen-like atmosphere on Fourth St., especially since the higher overhead there is going to mean they'll have to have a much higher customer volume.

                Morton, you're joking about the parking, right? Are you really going to claim that the parking there is better than the Teance location on West Solano? The parking at Fourth Street is hideous, with cramped lots made even worse by the number of people standing around stuffing the backs of their SUVs with their swag.

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  In reply to Ruth:

                  Plenty of parking West of the RR tracks and the lots are empty in the evening. West Solano is in Albany. 4th st parking is easier than North Berkeley, Telegraph, east Solano and College and cheaper than Downtown (not like you'd have a reason to go to Downtown.) It's nasty compared to, say, Alameda but it's a breeze by Berkeley standards.

                  You make a good point about the vibe. We'll have to wait and see what they do with the space. I've been living in North Berkeley for so long now that the yuppie vibes just bounce off of me. Instead of letting the "hippiecrits" stress me out I just have a nice long laugh at their expense.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    In responce to rw:

                    Downtown and Telegraph may have a more interesting mix of people but aside from the Downtown FM and the occasional trip to Adagia or Kingpin I have no reason to go to either wheras 4th and the GG have a ton of great chow spots.

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                      I shop at Fourth Street all the time and to me the people seem to be a mix of boring Berkeley types and boring Contra Costa suburban types.

                    2. re: Ruth Lafler

                      Don't let it bother you. Just go and enjoy yourself.

                    3. re: Morton the Mousse

                      I thought Teance was the cat's meow for quality China greens hereabouts, until I discovered that Red Blossom in my own back yard had equally fine or finer teas at a significantly lower prices. I also found out that Peter Leung, who runs the tea shop with his sister, personally travels to Hangzhou each spring to oversee the selection and purchase of young greens, whereas Teance relies on an agent. Red Blossom doesn't have a tea bar, but has two tasting stations and is very generous with FREE samples. I'd also say that the staff at RB is less condescending.

                      Overall, I'd say that both operations are very committed to delivering the highest quality teas, and we are fortunate to have both in the Bay Area. It's mostly a matter of differences in style (and pricing, to an extent) but I'm happy that Red Blossom saves me the trek to the East Bay.

                      1. re: Gary Soup

                        Teance uses an agent from my understanding for a few of the teas, but the owners make frequent trips to Taiwan and have a close relationship with some of the plantations there.

                    4. re: sensi63

                      Do you really find it overpriced for the quality?

                      Given the wide range or prices for a single type of tea, have you bought the EXACT same tea for a significantly less expensive price?

                      I guess have no clue about what you are talking about as far as the zen vibe of tea rooms. I've been in almost every one in the Bay Area and the vibe is significantly different from tea room to tea room.

                      Not everyone liked the vibe at Teance. It drove two people I took there up the wall. However, for me Morton said everything I could say better.

                      I love Teance. It made the world of tea accessible for me.

                      No matter what other tea room I've been to either they aren't friendly with non Asians or you don't get that much information.

                      Teanance explains the tea without the nonsense. I loved their classes and special events and am sorry to see them move since the Albany tearoom was closer to my house and a nice little oasis to stop by.

                      1. re: sensi63

                        We've moved the discussion of Upton Tea to the General Topics board, here: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/... .

                      2. I notice they have a Gyokuro, a premium Japanese green tea that I've developed a taste for. If they offer a sip, give it a try. The color is intensely green, moreso than other green teas, and the scent (freshly cut grass to some, spinach to others) somewhat headier than sencha. $52 for 2 oz. is a high price, though. At Teavana, 2 oz. is $15, and at Nijiya market, a 3 oz. package (Maeda) is $15. Teance may well be offering a higher grade, but I'm not sure it's that much higher...