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Suggestions for tea?

Up until now, we've ordered tea, in small bulk, from Seattle Teacup. Great variety, but going out of business. Is there a good tea shop, leaf, that anyone suggests? Black flavored/spiced is the preference. Here in Napa we've got Tillerman, Peets, but not up to the quality of what we ordered from Seattle. Anywhere in the Bay area works. Thanks.

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  1. I might try http://www.lupiciausa.com/. I saw their storefront in the Westfield Mall in downtown SF and it looks clean, attractive, and with lots o' tea.

    1. I am a black tea drinker. I am not familiar with Seattle Teacup, so I can't compare. But I can recommend Murchie's -- in Vancouver. If you call them, you can discuss your taste preferences for advice on which tea or blend might suit your preferences. Lately, I'm partial to the "Royal Alberta Museum" blend.

      Shipping used to be slow, but now they seem to be able to get it across the border real quick.

      If you find a local purveyor whose selection you enjoy, please let us know. While I really enjoy Peet's Green Tea, and their Assam, their blend for an English Breakfast tea isn't up to speed for me.

      2 Replies
      1. re: escargot3

        Murchie's is good, but if you like scented black teas, I'd recommend you check out Mariage Freres. The Pasta Shop on Fourth Street in Berkeley carries some of their teas in bulk so you can go in and sniff them and try a small amount. Porte Rouge carries it mail order.

        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          This thread just cost me $40, btw. I went to the Porte Rouge site and was seduced by the Noel white tea.

      2. If you like Indian black teas, take a look at Freed, Teller and Freed: www.freedscoffeetea.com They ship priority mail from South San Francisco, so it's pretty quick.

        1. Far Leaves (now in West Berkeley) has served us well. Their green teas are very nice, and I would assume their black teas are of similar quality (yes, better than Peet's). Best thing is you can visit and taste for yourself. They also do mail order. I'm a fan of Mariage Freres as well.

          1 Reply
          1. I love quality tea, and in the past have tried Lupicia, Teance, and Red Blossom. For quality flavored tea I generally head toward buying Marriage Freres at Pasta Shop despite the high price tag. (Williams Sonoma might also carry it but there's more variety at Pasta Shop.)

            Recently, I discovered Five Mountains, a new San Francisco tea company that I really love. They have very limited menu of tea flavors, and it's not really tea flavors in terms of mixed flavors but more unique black tea that has distinctive scents. The quality is really good, and they're the purveyor for many San Francisco restaurants and coffee shops that serve tea. It is only available online, which is how I ordered mine. (I actually order a couple of tea varieties and blend them myself.) You might want to check them out. (I heard they're also sold in a local San Francisco museum, I think it was the crafts museum, but can't say for sure.)

            2 Replies
            1. re: singleguychef

              Five Mountains tea is sold at International Art Museum's Gift Shop on Market St between 6th & 7th in SF, my post here:
              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/831663