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Berkeley: Far Leaves Tea on San Pablo

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Berkeley: Far Leaves Tea on San Pablo

rworange | Oct 12, 2011 10:15 PM

After 13 years on College Avenue, Far Leaves Tea moved to a new location on San Pablo Avenue about three months ago. The Emeryville warehouse is also closed.

Far Leaves has always been a favorite of mine, serving high quality, affordable teas and special tea flavored cookies and desserts. Bento boxes are now available.

The blood orange tea is a star. It was better than I remembered and like reuniting with an old friend. A beautiful red, the orange flavor is deep, true and almost like liquor. I was drunk with pleasure.

They have blood orange tea cookies which are wonderful, but this time I tried the mochi, one plain, one tea-infused, and both very nice (only $1.50 for two).

Owner Donna Christy travels to Taiwan to select some of her premium Chinese teas. The selection of over 60 varieties also includes teas from Japan, Korea, the Middle East and North Africa. There are also a number of organic teas available.

The new tea room combines the best of both locations. There is the open, spacious feel of the warehouse with the coziness of the Oakland location … but not so claustrophobic.

There are three distinct areas:

- In the rear there is a raised tatami platform with low Japanese tables and pillows

- Regular tables in the center of the room

- A long bench with pillows near the window

A fountain surrounded by stones and a few plants is against one wall. Near the counter with dessert and other food are shelves with teas to take home and tea ware.

There is free wifi and LOTS of electrical outlets … there are electric tea pots to heat the water on each table. I don’t think there is a better or more relaxing place to bring your computer and work.

While the parking still isn’t easy, it is much better than on College. They are still trying out hours, so they may be subject to change. They open later on Sunday because there is a church next door and zero parking during services.

It is not that far from Berkeley Bowl and will probably be a regular stop for me when shopping in that area.

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Far Leaves Tea
2626 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702

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