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Vital Tea Leaf, San Francisco, CA

1044 Grant Avenue,
San Francisco, CA

Cost: Free tea-tasting, but you leave spending more than you thought you would on tea!

As I sit here typing this, I occasionally take a sip of mango tea, reminding myself of our stop at Vital Tea-Leaf in SF's Chinatown. After our grueling walk up and down the hills of the city we were ready to call it quits and headed "home" towards Union Square through Chinatown.

We stopped in front of the Vital Tea-Leaf store again (on our way past it earlier that day I had wanted to go in to check out the various tea jars lining the walls inside the shop) and this time we decided to take a look.

John, our tea server, sat us down with the promise of a free tea-tasting. While chatting to us about numerous teas, he deftly rinsed, strained and poured a variety of teas for us to try.

The little cups and presentation of teas made us feel at home (we were also the only customers in the whole store).

First up was the Mango tea....

....smelling and tasting like mango! It was quite simply, fabulous!

Amongst the Mango tea, we tried Woodbridge Puer (pronounced "Poo-Air") and Siberian Rose....the former good for cholesterol and digestion and the latter good for sleep and complexion. John cracked a joke about which tea would ease the pain of PMS.....for my husband! :) His jokes might offend some, but were all in good fun for us.

Of course, it's a possibility we may have been ripped off and fed some nonsense about teas and their benefits, but our experience in such a brightly lit, cosy and warm environment, after such a long day on the streets gave us a much needed boost of energy to make it back down (and up) the many hills, "home".


Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco, CA