Cold or Hot, it’s Always Tea Time!
Check out some of these great tea places, perfect for San Francisco’s microclimate weather.
San Francisco is rated as one of the most diverse cities in the culinary world. The city, with its mixture of various cultures, offers many choices for food enthusiasts. This diversity carries over into the beverage world. Not only does San Francisco offer plenty of unique coffee shops, it also has some great tea shops for less coffee inclined. Whether you prefer hot tea on a foggy day, or refreshing Boba on one of San Francisco’s rare warm afternoons, there’s a place to fix your tea craving.
Known for its wide selection of organic loose leaf tea, DAVIDsTEA wins over the hearts of many tea lovers. Originating from Canada, the store offers over 150 types of tea ranging from green, black, white, Oolong to herbal and fruity tea. The tea can be bought at the store for a quick drink or to bring home for further brews. One of the teas that cannot be missed out is the Coconut Chai Rooïbos; the aromatic chai blends with the richness of coconut, elevating the chai tea to a different level. One bonus for the Coconut Chai Rooïbos is that it is non-caffeinated, so you don’t have to worry about losing your beauty sleep for that one 8 a.m. class. I also fell in love with the fruity blooming tea selection, featuring lychee blooming tea, peach blooming tea and strawberry blooming tea. The tea is tied in a knot and as the name suggests, it blossoms into a floating flower in the tea pot. Magnificent!
San Francisco is not only known for the organic tea. The city also has many spot-on boba tea places that cannot be missed on a hot day. Boba tea is a tea base drink, mixed with fruit, milk, and tapioca balls. Purple Kow is a familiar name to many students at USF. Located on Balboa St. and 37th Ave., Purple Kow is only a 15 minute Muni bus ride on the 31 or 5. What struck me when I first visited the store was the long line of people waiting to buy one of the impressively large-sized drinks the store offers. With limited seating in the store, Purple Kow is perfect for a togo drink or a catching up with a friend. The menu features an array of milk teas, in addition to their popular iced milk drink with caramel, pudding and boba. Purple Kow is definitely a place to check out, especially if it’s your first time trying boba.
People love Tpumps because you can mix three flavors to make your own signature drink. Across the Golden Gate Park, this boba tea shop is located on Irving St. Unlike the aforementioned tea shops, Tpumps has quite the large space but often feels small because of the long line that sometimes extends outside of the store. Owning many unique flavors – tangerine, cherry, red bean, coconut, and many more – Tpumps allows customers to mix up to three of any flavors to create their own drinks. The best thing is all the flavors are available in green tea, milk tea and milk green tea. The tapioca balls are perfectly cooked with honey so every bite is sweet. Very reasonably priced, most boba tea lovers usually chose the 36 oz. size over the 24 oz. Despite the large space, the store only has a bench seat along the wall. To-go drinks are highly recommended, as seating is limited.
Crown & Crumpet Tea Shop Cafe
Originally located near Ghirardelli Square, this tea shop has moved to the first floor of the plaza in Japantown. I was allured by this adorable, pink and white tea shop. Their detailed furniture and decorations set customers in an authentic English tea party. Crown & Crumpet Tea Shop Cafe’s menu includes many types of tea with striking names – Marie Antoinette, Blue Eyes, After Seven Fifty-Nine, Queen of Hearts. The shop is the absolutely perfect place for a cute tea party with your friends. Ordering an Afternoon Tea Party includes two large pots of tea, delicious sandwiches, and selections of sweets and savory treats like crumpets, tarts, muffins served with clotted cream, butter, and lemon curd. For mint lovers, I recommend the Peppermint Chamomile. The refreshing mint taste and soothing chamomile will leave you warm on a cold, foggy day in San Francisco.