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May 8, 2012 05:09 PM

Bay Area Tea

[NOTE: We've moved this discussion from the thread at -- The Chowhound Team]

Oh please. If you think coffee is the poor stepchild, then try getting a high-quality cup of tea -- the poor distant cousin. Tea service is actually getting better in the Bay Area, but that means a step up from grocery store tea bags to fancier tea bags, not loose leaf tea properly brewed. I will never forget (nor forgive) being offered Stash tea bags (presented with a flourish in a fancy wooden box) at Fleur de Lys.

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  1. Ruth, I feel the sudden urge to buy you some loose tea at the shop on Hopkins. Is okay? Or as Senor Wences said, "'Sa' right?

    2 Replies
    1. re: rccola

      Sounds like you're talking about Country Cheese Coffee Market -- that place totally flew under my radar! I actually have a "subscription" to my everyday tea (Organic jasmine silver needle), but I'm always on the lookout for something new.

      1. re: Ruth Lafler

        I rarely drink tea unless with Chinese food or when I'm sick with honey and French bread soaked in it since I can't find the old Nabisco Zweibach.

        But I'd have no idea what would be new for you. I live close to the Country Cheese and buy all the bowls for my husband's snacks and the cats' dinner there.

        So.... Do you like red Lillet?

    2. It's a different topic, but it seems there is a new wave of tea providers now, and some of them are local....I would wonder which ones you suggest. Red Blossom is the one I'm seeing around the most.

      2 Replies
      1. re: sugartoof

        I think it depends on what you like. Red Blossom is, I believe, only Chinese tea. Good for white or green, but for black tea I really prefer Indian tea. Actually, for black tea I usually prefer European-style blended or scented teas. Since I drink white on a daily basis (less caffeine, I'm sensitive) and black on special occasions, I don't have a single purveyor I recommend. Buy it where you can see and smell it before you purchase and preferably where you can actually sample a cup.

        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          Red Blossom has some non-Chinese options under Scented and Herbal. I thought the elderflower osmanthus I had at Local Mission Eatery on our recent trip was quite worthy, and ideal for an after-dinner option: The SO had the Xin Gong Yi (not listed on their website) and enjoyed it (he is much more of a tea-o-phile than I).