By Dana Eastland. We love tea around here, and now there’s a new place in town to warm up (or cool down) with the delicious beverage. ASHA TEA HOUSE, the already-popular tea spot in Berkeley, has moved west with a second location on Kearny in the Financial District. They are pouring teas from a variety of places, including China, Taiwan, Japan, and Britain, all impeccably sourced from farmers by owner David Lau.
There are a few different ways to experience their teas. You can try pure teas served tableside in their traditional vessel, with the intention of introducing customers to the ways various cultures approach tea service. There is also a variety of milk teas and boba teas, which are made from scratch, including housemade condensed milk. Or check out the variety of changing teas infused with seasonal fruits, with options like kumquat green tea, a housemade Earl Grey made with real, fresh bergamot, and even a pumpkin spice tea latte, made with real pumpkin. There is also a whole section of the menu devoted exclusively to matcha, as well as a selection of herbal tisanes. Here is the full menu for your perusal.
They also offer a large selection of retail items, including loose-leaf tea and lots of equipment for your own at-home tea service. And if you’d like to geek out on the origins of their teas, check out the page of their website devoted to showing where their teas come from. The San Francisco teahouse is currently softly open with hours Mon-Sat 11:30am-6:30pm. 17 Kearny St. at Geary, no phone yet.
In the Castro, the former 18th Street location of PHILZ has relocated to a much larger space on Castro. Hoodline reports that the new location not only offers more space for additional coffee stations (meaning faster service) and more customers, but also allows them to serve more food items, including breakfast burritos, bagels, and breakfast sandwiches. In the coming weeks, there are also plans afoot to add outdoor seating and additional food items. Hours are Mon-Fri 6am-8:30pm, Sat-Sun 7am-8pm. 549 Castro St. at 18th St., 415-321-6276.
And some big news: Peet’s Coffee and Tea bought Portland’s Stumptown Coffee Roasters—you can read all about it in this Sprudge piece, which confirms that Stumptown will continue to operate independently.
The interior of Asha Tea House, now open on Kearny. Photo courtesy of Asha Tea House.