General Question

sofia's avatar

Is there a good place to buy reasonably priced teas?

Asked by sofia (153points) July 21st, 2008

I just bought Tonia George’s “Tea Cookbook” and am wondering if anyone could recommend a place that sells quality teas that aren’t too expensive in the Bay area. I live in Emeryville and wouldn’t mind trekking into San Francisco for a great shop.

I’m specifically looking for sencha and chinese gunpowder green tea, matcha, and lapsoung souchong.

These are the types of teas the book calls for: assam, bancha, darjeeling, dragonwell, earl grey, gunpowder, gyokuro, honeybush keemum, lapsang souchong, lemon verbena, masas chai, matcha, orange pekoe, peppermint, roibos, rosehip, sencha, yunnan.

Thanks in advance!

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7 Answers

La_chica_gomela's avatar

YES! Upton Tea Imports! at They have over 420 varieties of loose leaf tea (the only real tea, in the opinion of many tea snobs).

I did a few quick searches, and they do have all the varieties on your short list: sencha and chinese gunpowder green tea, matcha, and lapsoung souchong. I didn’t search the longer list.

I know you mentioned the bay area, and this is a website, but shipping is only $4 in the US, and I’ve ordered from them before, so I can tell you they are a real company :-).

Good luck with your tea recipes!

marinelife's avatar

I wish you were here in Orlando. I could take you to several of my favorites. I am not familiar with current Bay Area places from personal experience. We have so many SF Flutherers, though, I am sure someone will chime in.

Imperial Tea Court in Berkeley gets great reviews. Although you can have tea there, it is primarily a retail tea shop.

If you try it, let me know how it is. I love tea.

I think I will go brew some Silver Needles (my favorite white) now since I can enjoy it thanks to the luxury of AC even in the summer.

Hobbes's avatar

I drink Yorkshire Gold, made by Taylors of Harrogate. I’ve never drank better tea, and plus they’re one of the few remaining family tea and coffee merchants in the UK.

sdeutsch's avatar

There’s a really great tea shop in the Westfield shopping center in downtown SF (near the corner of Market and 5th). It’s called Lupicia Tea and it’s on the second floor, right near the entrance to Bloomingdale’s. They’ve got hundreds of varieties of loose tea, and they have little sample canisters of all of them, so you can smell them and decide which ones you want. I’d definitely recommend checking out their “chocolate teas” – they’re made with black tea leaves that have a distinct chocolatey flavor – I’ve never had anything like it…

You can also order from their website, but I wouldn’t want to miss out on going to the store – it’s quite an experience!

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nephrons's avatar

i love drinking tea, black tea, green tea.. with or with out sugar, with or with out milk.. whatever.. BUT it is usually in packed tea bags from neighboring stores and i dont mind the price, because i only buy cheap ones..

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