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Suggestions for tea?

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Dan Wodarcyk Apr 4, 2012 10:59 PM

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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    Celly RE: Dan Wodarcyk Apr 4, 2012 11:24 PM

    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. escargot3 RE: Dan Wodarcyk Apr 5, 2012 10:08 AM

      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
        Ruth Lafler RE: escargot3 Apr 5, 2012 11:10 AM

        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
          Ruth Lafler RE: Ruth Lafler Apr 5, 2012 04:30 PM

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

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        TenderNob RE: Dan Wodarcyk Apr 5, 2012 10:45 AM

        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.

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          rubadubgdub RE: Dan Wodarcyk Apr 5, 2012 02:43 PM

          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. re: rubadubgdub
            wolfe RE: rubadubgdub Apr 5, 2012 03:44 PM

            Far Leaves.
            http://www.farleaves.com/tea_types.ph...
            Teance
            http://www.teance.com/Red_Black_Hong_...

          2. singleguychef RE: Dan Wodarcyk Apr 5, 2012 03:46 PM

            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
              hhc RE: singleguychef Apr 10, 2012 10:23 PM

              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

              1. re: hhc
                singleguychef RE: hhc Apr 12, 2012 01:56 PM

                thanks!

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              foodeye RE: Dan Wodarcyk Apr 5, 2012 03:53 PM

              Red Blossom has very fine teas. It is a great place to visit, and they will brew some for you to taste. http://www.redblossomtea.com/tea/blac...

              Imperial is good and fun to visit, too. https://www.imperialtea.com/Organic-E...

              1. organix RE: Dan Wodarcyk Apr 11, 2012 04:25 AM

                Teance in Berkeley.

                www.teance.com

                1 Reply
                1. re: organix
                  Ruth Lafler RE: organix Apr 11, 2012 07:16 PM

                  Teance is very good for tea purists. I wouldn't recommend it for someone like the original poster who is looking for scented/flavored black teas.

                2. scarmoza RE: Dan Wodarcyk Apr 11, 2012 08:42 AM

                  What do you think of Harney & Sons (Millerton, NY)? Someone brought me back a big sampler basket from a visit to their tearoom a couple of years ago. I loved them all.
                  I've heard good things about SkyTea's (Oakland) Masala Chai - have you tried it?

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                    taarfirion RE: Dan Wodarcyk Apr 22, 2012 03:54 PM

                    Does anyone know a good bay area shop for Indian tea? I'm talking something on par with Teance or Red Blossom, run by connoisseurs who goes on location every year to taste and buy teas.

                    Teance has a very good Darjeeling, but I'm really craving for this years first flush, and don't want to buy online from unknown shops. The only Indian tea shop I know is chado in LA.

                    I admit to be a snob for tea, so chain shops and blend or coffee combo shops doesn't do it for me.

                    Thanks in advance!

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