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Nov 12, 2013 09:32 AM

Tea Tasting in SF or East Bay

I'm looking for a place to go try a bunch of different teas. Not necessarily a Tea Room (like Samovar), but somewhere where I can actually learn about different teas and preparations. Thanks!

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  1. Definitely check out Aroma Tea Shop in the Inner Richmond if you haven't been there already. More on this place here:

    Apparently there's a location near Chinatown too?

    Here's their website:

    1 Reply
    1. re: Dave MP

      I'll second that. I love going to the Inner Richmond Aroma (on 6th Ave between Clement and Geary). As noted in the linked discussion, the owner, Hayman, is always there, and he combines an entertaining hipster persona with a real enthusiasm for tea. He looks so young that I asked him if his family was in the tea business, and he said no, it was just a personal passion that led him into the business.

      If you're interested and ask lots of questions, he'll break out the really expensive stuff. Warning: I never get out of there for less than $50.

    2. Red Blossom Tea on Grant in Chinatown has a great selection of high quality tea and very knowledgeable staff. They'll show you how to prepare tea when they serve you samples. They may be a little more expensive than most but the quality is worth it. I've gotten excellent pu-erh and oolong tea there.


      1 Reply
      1. re: charliemyboy

        Peter Luong, who was the buyer at his parents' Red Blossom Tea, has left to start his own shop specializing in rarer, small batch teas and ceramics. Song Tea opened last month. I've not been but hope someone can tell us about it.

        Song Tea & Ceramics
        2120 Sutter St.
        San Francisco, CA

      2. Leland Tea Co. on Bush Street, SF (between Van Ness & Polk).

        1 Reply
        1. re: DavidT

          +1 on Leland's. If the owner is in and its not too busy, he might help you make your own blend. Best price in town for High Tea as well.

        2. If you want to drive north, you might try Tillerman Tea at the Oxbow Public Market in Napa.

          1. For the East Bay, I really like Teance. You can do a tea tasting flight, or just have a pot of tea. A little pricey but very relaxing especially during crazy holiday shopping time on 4th Street in Berkeley. If you ask, they will talk to you about the teas, the proper temperature for steeping, the way it changes with subsequent infusions of water, etc.