I recently had a friend in town with me who is completely enamored with tea. And not just tea, but specialty teas.
Who knew that tea can be just as much a “specialty” beverage as coffee? Not me for sure. So, I went on a search for just that… specialty tea. What I found was spectacular and it was right on Sutter Street; Song Tea and Ceramics.
Since it was a Saturday, I had made an appointment for a tasting which was a reasonable $10 per person. Upon entering, we were greeted by a tea specialist named Jennifer. She was exceptionally knowledgeable and designed our tasting accordingly.
She explained that they source rare teas and handcrafted ceramics directly from the producers at the origin. Every year they assemble a collection of traditional, rare and experimental teas from China and Taiwan with an emphasis on clean growing regions. Most importantly, however, the tea needs to be delicious. And it was! Smooth, not bitter, and fresh, with brewing guidelines included in every tea purchase.
The teaware is handcrafted with functionality and aesthetics in mind. Woodfire processing is used, which is fairly labor-intensive. Thinner porcelain is used for lighter teas, while thicker ceramic is used for darker teas.
By the time we left, we were fairly well educated on the process from plant to brew and decided it was definitely a worthwhile relaxing activity for a Saturday afternoon in the city.