Jan 31 2009

Tea in San Francisco…A Great Experience!



It was so much fun to visit San Francisco recently for a Specialty Tea Institute class. Through the generosity of several friends, I really was given a wonderful tea experience in that city in addition to attending my class. Thanks to Nez and Donna Tokugawa, owners of Chado-En, I was given a very comprehensive tour of the city. I was picked up at my hotel at 9:00 A.M. and returned at 8:30 that evening. Nez, a native of Japan, grew up in SF and is understandably very proud of his city. From a tour of the Ferry building, up and down the steep streets of neighborhoods, including the famous Lombard Street the Crookedest Street in the world, there was very little in the city itself that we didn’t see.

A very special experience was the opportunity to sit with Peter Luong, at his family owned Red Blossom Tea Company in Chinatown. This young man not only is a very knowlegeable tea merchant, but also was performing on cello later that evening. We had some wonderful Tie Kwan Yin to which Peter had given an additional roast. It was superb. Another highlight was visiting Muir Woods, a beautiful park of California giant redwoods. This was a delighful respite, the huge aged trees soaring above us giving a prehistoric feel to our surroundings as we followed the paths among them.me

Lunch across the bay in Sausolito was delightful, seated outside looking over the water. More traveling around the area brought us back to the city for a sushi dinner which was remeniscent of my short stay in Japan. The Tokgawas outdid themselves in their hospitality, and I can only hope that they will visit Maine sometime so I can return the gift.