7 temptations in a tea-spot: From secret doors and gardens to tea sommeliers and choco-chais
In much of the world, tea is an everyday beverage, whether you’re slurping boba on the go or settling into a steaming cup of chai. And if the growing presence of eclectic tea shops here in the Bay Area is any clue, tea may soon give coffee a run for its caffeine.
Overall, tea in the United States is shifting from the upraised-pinky demographic to a more mainstream sip, says Victoria Boyert, a certified tea specialist and owner of Saratoga’s Tipping Pot by Satori Tea Co. “Tea is the perfect conduit to connect,” Boyert says. Between the steeping of tea leaves and the sheer ritual of it, tea “is naturally slower paced than coffee. So tea is the perfect counterpart to the modern age.”
But tea is also incredibly current — and Instagram-worthy. Just step into a bright, yellow-and-white hued Happy Lemon, the China-based fast-casual tea cafe with nine locations in the Bay Area, including Berkeley and Sunnyvale. There, millennials stand in long lines until 10 and 11 p.m. on weekends for a fix of — wait for it — creamy, salted cheese tea.
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And then there’s the creativity at home-grown spots, such as Pleasanton’s Inklings or San Jose’s Tea Lyfe, where laptops mingle with open mic nights. Husband-and-wife owners Candy and Caleb Bui opened Tea Lyfe in 2014 as an alternative to typical milk-tea shops.
Tea Lyfe specializes in natural, organic milk teas and other beverages that fuse their Latino and Vietnamese cultures. Think Vietnamese coffee horchata and a cold-brewed jasmine tea strong enough to stand up to Straus Family Creamery milk. The Buis make all their own syrups and source local and organic ingredients whenever possible.
“We wanted to do something different,” Candy says, “so people could experience the two cultures …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle