Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Red Blossom Tea

Today I had the chance to stop by Red Blossom Tea in San Francisco. I had known about Red Blossom for quite some time, its notoriety even having a section in the book The Way to Tea. Albeit I was a bit cautious of really checking out a tea store on Grant street in SF, right in the heart of chinatown. I thought to myself how serious of a teashop could it be, sharing a street with all of those shops that sell I heart SF sweatshirts, Golden Gate Bridge shot glasses, and CA license plates with your name on them. Nonetheless though I went to check them out and was pleasantly surprised.

Red Blossom is a very small tea shop. It is a narrow little place, one side lined with all of the cans of tea and the other lined with a myriad of teawares. The decor is quite modern and minimal in it's design, very much feeling like Teance, but more minimalist. Quite the contrast to the rest of Grant with baskets full of red and gold trinkets. As befitting their location and style, they offer Chinese and Taiwanese teas. In the middle of the store they have a pair of tea tables setup with beautiful tea trays and all that they would need to pour up a wonderful cup of tea. While I marvelled at some of the teas (including a Song Zhong Phoenix) the staff was more than eager to help me and answer any questions I had. Also while I was waiting for a few teas to be packaged up the staff also offered me a sample of a few similar teas (for me it was an aged Phoenix). A friend of mine who was with me, and doesn't know much about tea, was more than educated on the differences in teas and all of those interesting tidbits that you learn when first entering the world of tea.

The staff is very helpful and for the most part knowledgeable, amusingly at some points. One staff member looked at the label for Xin Ren Xiang (Almond Fragrance Phoenix) and simply referred to it as Almond to the chuckles of a more fluent staff member. Knowledge yes, Mandarin pronunciation needs a bit of work. Although it's not like I could do any better.

Teas are packaged upon demand in mylar bags and heat sealed. Prior to that they are stored in the traditional large tins. I can't wait to do some reviews of these teas. If you're in SF it's definitely worth stopping in to check them out.

1 comment:

photograph mugs said...

nice post thanks for sharing.
keep up.