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East Bay Coffee/Tea places with Ambiance?

z
zaftig Oct 31, 2007 01:47 AM

Looking for a good place to go that's cute/quirky/funky, has not too bright lighting (on the dimmer side), ideally opened past 9pm. Can also be a cafe where one can get just coffee/tea and not be bothered.

bonus points for quality tea selection and couches/comfy chairs (hard to find around here!)

Tell me your favorites! Thanks.

  1. b
    BigWoodenSpoon Nov 1, 2007 10:19 AM

    There's a new place in Oakland called Numi Tea Garden: 2230 Livingston that's open Tues-Sat 11 am - 7 pm that has more of an Asian feel (no couches unfortuantely) but has some cool burlwood tables and chairs and a great selection of organic teas and interesting sweets. (Chocolate rosemary scones anyone?) They also have Charles Chocolates Truffles (Gold Star Caramel, Honey Lavender and Mint) which was a nice treat to share:
    www.numitea.com

    1 Reply
    1. re: BigWoodenSpoon
      z
      zaftig Nov 2, 2007 12:37 AM

      thanks for the suggestion. they must have *just* changed their hours because as of yesterday they were only open mon-fri, 9-5!

    2. twocents Oct 31, 2007 11:10 PM

      L'amyx tea bar has two locations in oakland, and their website says open till midnight. Piedmont branch is pleasant though not dim, I have not been to the newer lakeshore/mandana branch. tea and tea drinks, some pastries, cake.

      1. g
        gatonegro333 Oct 31, 2007 06:43 PM

        wow, this is a challenging question. i'd second a cuppa tea on college, cause it's open late and is pretty chill. cole coffee isn't a late nite spot, but their couch is nice during the day. the pub on solano is a gem. there's a place on park in oakland, near the parkway, called the artist's cafe. it's open til 11, i think, is chill and sometimes has live music, which may bother you. downtown oakland there's the breakroom, at 13th and harrison, which just opened, and fits your description exactly, except for they close at 7pm. we need some good late night coffee spots in the east bay!!

        1. kare_raisu Oct 31, 2007 03:13 PM

          I was at Crixa Cakes across from the berkeley bowl two weeks ago. I think it fits your bill - perhaps not in regards to late opening.

          Cool eastern-euro bent to pastries, ambiance.

          1. sfeater Oct 31, 2007 11:31 AM

            World Ground. In the Laurel in Oakland

            1. Glencora Oct 31, 2007 10:37 AM

              The Pub on Solano has chairs and sofas (though you may end up with fleas), it's open late and can be a good place to talk, unless other people are talking loudly. I like to go there during the day to read or write because there are no kids, no strollers. Since it's in an old house, you can usually find a quiet corner. No food, except chips, though they often don't mind if you bring something in.

              1. Windy Oct 31, 2007 08:30 AM

                Where in the East Bay?

                I enjoyed sitting both inside and on the patio at Julie's Tearoom in Alameda. It's good without being precious.

                I seem to remember a cafe with giant chairs on College on the Elmwood/Rockridge border, opposite the Safeway.

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                Julie's Coffee & Tea Garden
                1223 Park St, Alameda, CA

                4 Replies
                1. re: Windy
                  c
                  chemchef Oct 31, 2007 11:38 AM

                  Are you talking about "A Cuppa Tea"? I wasn't thrilled with the chai I had there (way too sweet) and their chairs aren't very comfy. An otherwise nice coffee place.

                  1. re: chemchef
                    Windy Oct 31, 2007 12:04 PM

                    I don't think that's it--I thought it had a woman's name.

                    Commercial chai is a horrid invention, much worse than instant coffee (and I grew up happily drinking diet instant iced tea). Samovar is about the only place that's worth ordering chai, aside from an Indian or Pakistani restaurant.

                    1. re: Windy
                      c
                      chemchef Oct 31, 2007 12:13 PM

                      Oh, ok. Then its the one on the next corner down. I can't remember the name of that one. I've never been to it since its always PACKED! Its probably good then.

                      I agree about chai. I've never been to Samovar, but aside from making my own at home (which I do only occassionally), I like the one at the Berkeley Farmer's Market (made at the Indian food booth), and if I have to get one while I'm out, I think Peet's is ok. At least its not sickly sweet.

                    2. re: chemchef
                      d
                      dreamsicle Oct 31, 2007 01:40 PM

                      Or maybe Cole Coffee? They have a sofa inside the store and a couple of tables and chairs outside.

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                      Cole Coffee - retail store
                      307 63rd St, Oakland, CA 94618

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