California Eats: Red Blossom Tea @ San Francisco

Food posts from my Left Coast concert trip to San Francisco: Kare-Ken @ Tenderloin, Dragon Eats @ Financial District, Bissap Baobab @ Mission, Cream @ Mission, Good Mong Kok Bakery @ Chinatown, New Golden Daisy @ Chinatown, Kobe Bento @ Chinatown, Red Blossom Tea @ Chinatown, Sushirrito @ Union Square, Boudin Bakery @ Union Square and Boxing Room @ Hayes Valley.

I couldn’t figure out if Red Blossom Tea was a ‘food place’, but I decided that it was a good place and wanted to share it, hence the post! Since last February, after my friend Laura shared with me a cup of jasmine pearls from Red Blossom Tea (we were in Normal, Illinois too–far far away), I’d been dying to head to SF to get more of those jasmine pearls. I’ve tried many jasmine pearls, even the $80/lb kind at Wegmans, but they were not fragrant after the first brew! That means that they cheaped out on the process and sprayed jasmine perfume on the leaves rather than infuse the leaves by storing the leaves with jasmine flowers. Anyway, that’s my first introduction to Red Blossom.

This trip to SF, I decided to drop by the shop rather than buy online (yes, you can do that, and it is very easy!) I got more jasmine pearls, and tried out some of their other teas too!

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Here’s a small part of the collection. You are free to look things up, open the canisters to smell the leaves and talk to the salespeople!

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I tried two different teas that day. One was a Taiwanese oolong called Jing Xuan, which was a very light, but had an intensely complex flavor. The other was a smoked Tie Guan Yin. When I first tried the Jing Xuan, I thought it was too light. I like my teas with some sort of punch, but this was was too smooth and too buttery.

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After comparing it with the Tie Guan Yin, I realized how complex the Jing Xuan’s flavor was. The aftertastes/smells were light, but they were constantly changing. I picked the Jing Xuan ($40 for 2 oz.–OMG!) and bought the usual dragon pearl jasmines ($35 for 4 oz.) and was on my way! They also let me sample a pu-erh that another customer was trying.

Great people, relaxed atmosphere (that’s hard to get in the middle of Chinatown) and good tea! What more does a girl need?

Red Blossom Tea

Address: 831 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA 94108
Telephone: (415) 395-0868
Hours: M-Sa | 10am – 6.30pm
Su | 10am – 6pm
Overall: Yes!

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