Best place for loose leaf tea?
I'm a huge fan of the coffee from Intelligentsia, but I've been having problems with them being out of the tea I like when I go.
Where else can I go to get good loose leaf tea? I'm skeptical of chain places (their coffee stinks, why would the tea be better?), but I'll keep an open mind. I'm up in Hollywood.
Wing Hop works for me...
Wing Hop Fung
727 N Broadway 102, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Wing Hop Fung Ginseng
725 W Garvey Ave, Monterey Park, CA
Ten Ren Tea
-they have many affordable and less affordable teas mainly from China and Taiwan but some of are from India
27 N. Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90012
154 W Valley Blvd
San Gabriel, CA 91776
I love TeaForte tea. I had it at a restaurant once, I can't remember where but I know if you go on their website you can check locations. And I think they have it at Mr. Marcel's which I don't think is too far from you.
Mr Marcel's Gourmet Market duplicate
6333 W 3rd St # 150, Los Angeles, CA
I love Intelligentsia's Osmanthus Silver Needle. Ten Ren has a wide selection. I like their King's Tea, which I purchase at the San Gabriel location. Lupicia can be hit or miss (I like the Jasmin Dragon Pearl), but their packaging is very pretty (if you're looking to make a gift)... One of my favorites is Theodor's Peché Mignon, which you can purchase at Jin Pattisserie in Venice, or at their new location in Century City. Happy sipping!
Ten-Ren: They have some very strongly scented jasmine if you like that (great for guests!), and good taiwanese oolong. But If I'm paying their premium prices I'd rather order online where you can get exact harvest locations/date etc instead of a pretty box.
Tea Habitat is the only local place I've found where they actually know the details and will tell you when and where the tea is from (if you believe any tea merchant on this...), but very specialized to mainland chinese.
Wing Hop Fung is great with a few caveats... you sort of have to know what you're doing. There is a lot of junk there... everything that is pre-packaged has been horrible in my experience (including the icky pu-erh cakes they have been carrying in the past few years). You MUST order from the bins.You can't ask them for advice because of course they will just push you towards whatever is the most expensive thing... which will be no different than what is next to it at half the price. Also you need to know that when you say 2 ounces on a $200/lb tea they will always fill .2lb and feign innocence if you call them it. So you should just think .2lb in advance to avoid anger/frustration issues. But they do have some good stuff in the bins and I think the ginseng-coated oolong at $20-30/lb cant be beat... (also good for cheap pots).