Loose Leaf Teas
I'd like to see a consummate list of places to purchase quality loose leaf teas in the LA area. I'm so tired of threads with mentions of Starbucks, Pete's, and Boba shacks (no! I don't want to hear about your sugary filth and gelatinous slime). Intelligentsia, eh. They can go suck it too. I want substance over style or pretense. I want the real deal. We deserve the real deal. This is chowhound not yelp. I've got my zojirushi with 4 temp settings. I'm ready. Sock it to me. Enlighten me. I need your help, you of chowhound. You've delighted me with so many delicious insights and I'm really grateful. Can we band together for this cause, the cause of a righteous cup of tea in the comfort of one's own abode?
Ten Ren, Taiwanese chain, good for oolongs, jasmines, dragon well and I dig the pillow packs of silver needle. I have encountered language barriers, so hard to gain real insights from their sales peeps. "Is this good?" "Yes, very good." "How about this one?" "Also very good."
Ten Ren Tea (also in Monterey Park, Alhambra)
727 N. Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Tea Habitat, found them online. They seem dope. I hope they open their new shop and offer more tea tasting so they can infuse me with knowledge.
Tea Habitat (They're moving to a new address
)21B Peninsula Center
Rolling Hills Estates, CA
Funnel Mill, a tea house disguised as a peddler of coffee swill. They serve your teas in proper china pots with a kettle of hot water for multiple infusions and they sell teas by the ounce. Was on the pricey side, but was real tasty. Their white peony was/is outta sight.
Funnel Mill Coffee and Tea
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Neighborhood: Santa Monica
Wing Hop Fung... Ten Ren is downstairs from them, so I haven't tried any of their teas. They sell a ton-o-stuff and it ain't all tea. They confuse me. Should I buy tea or slippers...
Wing Hop Fung (also in Alhambra
)727 N Broadway Ste 102
Los Angeles, CA 90012
T - Tea Shoppe, me likes. Friendly and willing chat tea, offer suggestions. "Try the butterfly tea." Sure why not. Mint Medley? Like best iced tea brew ever (and I don't usually go for herbal, fruit infusions).
T - Tea Shoppe
6333 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Chado Tea Room, never been. Might have to rock it like sherlock, holmes.
Chado Tea Room (also downtown and mid city
)79 N Raymond Ave
Pasadena, CA 91103
www.teamap.com has all the tea rooms in and around LA but doesn't specify as to whether one can buy loose leaf.
930 Broadway, Santa Monica, CA
21B Peninsula Center, Palos Verdes, CA
Wing Hop Fung
727 N Broadway 102, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Chado Tea Room
8422 1/2 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048
1223 University Ave Ste 110, Riverside, CA 92507
630 W 6th St Ste 110B, Los Angeles, CA 90017
the T Tea Shoppe at the Farmers Market is my absolute favorite. The woman knows her stuff, is super friendly, and I always leave with some sample of this or that. Not cheap, but very good.
I had good teas at Chado, but I much prefer the T Shoppe. Much more congenial atmosphere (and I think, more choice).
Been to le Palais des Thés in BH a long while ago, but I found the place way too chi chi compared to the original place in Paris. And much more expensive.
There's always Fortnum & Mason online, too.
re: bad nono
I recently found Gunpowder tea in Farmer's Market, I was ecstatic. It was a thing with mom, so it was more emotional than about the tea. Tried some Tigerhill and she gave me a lot extra. Am in OC, so was looking for something closer to home. Have also purchased loose tea at Jon's market and I love to browse their aisles for random things that you don't see on store shelves normally. Owner is Lebanese, I believe, but they carry much from eastern Europe. That got me started, was finally able to enjoy a good strong cup of tea and enjoyed it so much have now started searching for more; thanks to all who contributed to this search here. The water's hot ~
I like Wing Hop (Monterey Park not Chinatown) better as well. For a mere $1 you can get a VIP card and that amounts to good savings as Wing Hop often has sales. The people working the tea section tend to be more knowledgable than the college grads at Bird Pick, but as theonceler noted (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6339...) they tend to push you toward the more expensive offerings.
I really like their Peony White Tea, light and nutty. $10 gets you a fat, full bag.
Aside from the fact that I walk to Bird Pick in Culver City and I DO like Wing Hop for basics like Chrysanthemum tea. I still perfer to shop at Bird Pick because all of their teas are out and they vibe there is much more casual so I can open the pots, smell them. Take my time and when I ask for a fruity tea or a Japanese green tea, my taste isn't going be sneered at.