Need A Tea STORE...
On a recent trip to LA found a great tea store a block or two off of Rodeo Drive. It had every type of tea imaginable, in loose leaf form, in giant bins that you could buy by weight. They had certain teas already bagged. A macha section with appropiate accessories. Also, they had a bunch of accessories in general.
The attendant was from NYC so I asked if he knew of a similar store here and he couldn't think of any beyond some that specialized in green tea, macha or were more like cafes.
I need help, do you guys know of any stores in Manhattan like that please? Thanks!
McNulty Tea on Christopher between Bedford and Bleeker. Their selection is mostly Chinese, but they have some nice Japanese and English teas available.
We are at a disadvantage in Manhattan of late, as a couple of really good places have closed their doors. One of them, however, still has an online presence (The Tea Gallery) and their teas are excellent.
I personally don't like the bulk tea storage at McNulty's (big glass jars with plenty of exposure to air and coffee aromas) Their tinned teas may be OK. Try Ito En on Madison for Japanese greens and some other teas (yes, they have a full range). If you want to get esoteric, there are a couple of places in Flushing, Queens, one being Fang Tea on Roosevelt Ave. near Main Street. I've found some of their teas quite worthwhile.
The teas at Ten Ren (two Manhattan locations) I don't particularly recommend. Avoid their teas scooped out of the huge 5-gallon tins; sometimes their Taiwan oolongs in vacuum-sealed packages are nice (usually seasonal, as "Winter Tea" or "Spring Tea.")
But you know, the internet is a wonderful place, and these days might be a better bet than the brick-and-mortar places in Manhattan, sad to say.
What kind of tea do you like? There are a couple of truly good tea stores in Flushing, Queens I can recommend. IMHO, #1 is Lu Yu Tea Empire, http://www.luhyutea.com/, ask for Annie. The other one is http://www.fangtea.com/ , ask for Lee (Mandarin only!) or Teresa.
The best Manhattan tea store has went 100% online, but they are well-renowned for the best aged teas in the nation, by far. http://www.theteagallery.com/.
I'm a McNulty's addict. I never order from them on-line, as the experience of visiting their store is delightful! It's like walking back in time a hundred years (in fact, many of the tools used by them to this day are that old).
I respect the poster above for questioning the bulk storage at McNulty's -- but I've never had a problem with coffee-smelling (or tasting) tea purchased there.
Thank you for your suggestion of Lu Yu; I've seen it mentioned on this board before. I look forward to visiting sometime soon!
Nice to know about Sanctuary Tea. I'd not heard of it. Manhattan can certainly use another nice tea place, and I'll pay a visit.
I certainly agree about the old-time atmosphere at McNulty's. Definitely a place worth a visit, especially if you haven't been there before!
I was at Fang's last week, after a few months, and I really liked what I saw. They have expanded: now they provide a much greater variety of mainland teas, and most importantly, the quality hasn't slipped! IMHO, their quality is high enough to satisfy a demanding tea gourmet (i.e., not me, gee). In particular, some of their fermented teas do not need washing at all! (i.e., no dust, no staleness, professional handling and storage: what must be aged is aged, what must be fresh stays that way).
Fang's is not cheap by any measure, but I feel they might be worth it: I am talking about tea rather than teaware, mind you.