Top 10 Tea Houses In The East Bay, California

Traditional Chinese Tea
Traditional Chinese Tea | © aniu7839/Pixabay
Anika Rice

Although the US is known for its hip coffee houses, traditional tea from the Eastern hemisphere is gaining popularity and making its mark on the East Bay. This guide to East Bay tea houses will help you find the best cup.

1. Teance

Tea Room, Bubble Tea Shop, Tea

Teance prides itself on sourcing tea from individual family farms in China, Taiwan and Japan. Their tea is top-notch and delivers nuanced flavors in each infusion. Their representatives travel to Asia each year to get to know the farmers who produce their tea. Most of the leaves arrive at the store in the spring, which is when all the tea on the wall goes on sale. The two most popular varieties are the Phoenix Honey Oolong and the Lychee Red. Stop by anytime for a tasting at their tea bar, or sit upstairs in a private nook to enjoy a pot.

2. The Tea Room

Tea Room, Tea

Upholding British tea traditions, The Tea Room serves high tea with sandwiches and salads. Their tea is sourced from the Harney & Sons Company, with most the popular brews being English Breakfast and Gunpowder Green. Be sure to try the house-made lemon curd to go with your scone. Reservations are recommended on the weekend.

3. MeloMelo Kava Bar

Restaurant, Pub Grub

MeloMelo Kava Bar is the first kava-focused bar in the Bay Area. What is Kava, you ask? It is a plant closely related to Black Pepper, and its root is used to make a kava herbal infusion. Chemically, kava produces subtle psychoactive effects which can make you relaxed and sometimes euphoric. Pacific Islanders have been consuming this elixir for years. At this newly opened kava bar, you can try the bitter original brew or fruity sweeter versions. They also sell kombucha, tea, yerba mate and plenty of kava products to take home.

4. Julie’s Coffee and Tea Garden

Cafe, Coffee Shop, Coffee

Julie’s Coffee and Tea Garden
© Peter Merholz/Flickr
This tea garden and casual cafe is one of Alameda’s gems. Because the owner and founder, Julie, has a background in herbalism, you can order herbal jellies with your toast and buy homemade herbal body products in the storefront. Sit on the patio or one of the comfy couches to enjoy an herbal tisane. Julie’s Coffee and Tea Garden also offers more than 60 bulk coffees, teas and herbs to take home. Be sure to check out the ceramics, paintings and pieces by local artists.

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