Best Tea Supplies San Francisco 2008 - Red Blossom Tea Co.
This small, family-run operation has been importing loose-leaf teas, roots, herbs, and brewing paraphernalia from China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan (plus Wisconsin) for 25 years, and not only does it have an amazing selection of oolongs and pu-erhs to choose from, the staff also know what they're talking about. To make sure you get exactly what you want, bouquets will be sniffed, rainfall and elevation will be discussed, atlases will be consulted, and (many, many) samples will be poured. The shop is lined with big shiny canisters of loose black, green, and white teas, including the silky-smooth Silver Needle, the hearty Monkey Picked Iron Goddess of Mercy, and the smoky, sandalwood-infused Aged Orchid, as well as an array of blossoming tea buds (they open during infusion) and lavender, elderflower, rose, and ginseng herbals. Check out the lovely cups, infusers, and teapots in clay, ceramic, and stoneware, too.