A tea speakeasy?
Living in San Francisco has its perks, but a tea speakeasy isn’t one of them. Yet. The good news is, someone's on it. Chris Kornblatt of San Francisco-based online tea business Quantitea is planning to open a private tea tasting room / tea speakeasy and I couldn’t be more intrigued.
Back in January, I was invited by Chris to meet and drink some tea. Quantitea is known for their responsibly sourced, premium single origin loose-leaf tea and for their tea flights, designed to help newbies discover the diversity within the world of tea.
Chris moved from LA to San Francisco to pursue his passion for tea. He is based in one of the most iconic neighborhoods in San Francisco, Haight-Ashbury. The setting for our tea session was his basement. Soft lights, simple furnishings, tasteful accents, it really doesn’t get any more "tea speakeasy" than this!
Chris is extremely knowledgeable about tea and I totally enjoyed asking him tea-related geeky questions. As a true tea connoisseur, he knows how important water is for the perfect cup of tea, which is why he uses spring water he collects in Marin County, north of San Francisco. He believes that tea has the power to connect people and initially drew inspiration from tea drinking at music festivals.
This is what we had during our tea tasting session:
- Bai Mu Dan from Fuding (white tea, 5-8% oxidation, Chris steeped 7 gr tea leaves for 1 minute at 185 F in a gaiwan. A lot of downy buds. Tea liquor: notes of pine needles).
- Huang Guan Yin (Wuyi yancha aka rock tea, water temperature: 200 F, tea liquor: sweet, floral, roasty, nutty).
- Jin Jun Mei from Wuyi Shan (black tea, harvest: 2015, it’s similar to Lapsang Souchong, wet leaves smell sweet and chocolatey, tea liquor: notes of dates, chocolate and prunes).
- Sheng Pu er (2011, oops, I missed the name of this tea, maybe I was "tea-drunk"? Chris steeped 12 gr tea leaves in a yixing teapot. Notes of grapes, dried apricots, woodsy, cooling, with a floral aftertaste).
Thank you to Chris Kornblatt for this exceptional tea tasting! You can find Quantitea here.
Disclaimer: I was not paid to mention or review businesses, products or services mentioned in this blog post. This is my honest opinion. I am not affiliated with Quantitea.