Tea has to be pretty freaking special for us to pay $10 for two ounces--never mind $50. But once you taste the exclusive brews at Song Tea & Ceramics, we think you’ll agree they’re worth the hefty price tags.
Recently opened by Peter Luong, who cofounded Red Blossom in Chinatown with his sister, Song is clearly not your ordinary tea purveyor.
Luong spent two months in China and Taiwan this past spring (prime harvest time) searching for high-end tea leaves, and he returned with 20 varieties you can sample before purchasing at the shop, which also sells gorgeous ceramic teapots and cups.
Our favorite blends include the Alishan Zhu Lu (a buttery oolong with a hint of honeysuckle), the Zhu Ye Qing (a creamy green tea with a floral aftertaste) and the Lishan Winter Sprout (another oolong that’s surprisingly savory with a pineapple kick).
Flavors aside, we were most impressed by the care Luong took to prepare each cup, heating the water to a tea-specific temperature (180 degrees for the Zhu Ye Qing) and pouring two infusions. We’ll definitely be warming up the inside of our cups with a splash of hot water the way he does from now on.
Most of the teas fall in the range of $12 to $28 for two ounces, so there’s no need to spring for the pricey leaves unless you’re really in the mood.
2120 Sutter St.; 415-885-2118 or songtea.com