Tea Writings

A blog about tea from the desk of Cecilia Tan

Tea Travel & Starbucks

July 24, 2009 By: ctan Category: Tea Musings, Tea Reviews

Tazo Tea has been stalking me.

Okay, not really, but it seems like everywhere I have been in San Francisco OTHER THAN the fancy tea shop tour I took yesterday with a friend (posts on that still to come), it has been TAZO TAZO TAZO.

It started when I suddenly realized the day after I arrived that I had not, in fact, remembered to pack my travel stash of tea. So I began my re-caffeination the day of the convention with a stop into a ubiquitous Starbucks where I availed myself of the “China Green Tips” tea. At SBs they put two tea bags in the large cup (whatever the **** they call it). I let them steep for maybe a minute, maybe 90 seconds before I pulled them out, and the resulting brew was pleasingly grassy and sweet.

I went back to Starbucks for this same tea several times over during the convention, although “back” is perhaps a relative term, since I never found that exact Starbucks again, but kept ending up at other ones that I thought were it, but weren’t. (All were within 2-3 blocks of the hotel.) Interestingly, none were as good as that very first cup, making me wonder if I had found that same location if they would have been, or if it was some other factor.

Meanwhile, the hotel itself also stocked Tazo, and at the various buffet meals we took part in I helped myself to more. I’ve had Tazo in these kinds of hospitality situations before. Earl Grey, Wild Orange, etc. It’s often the hotel brand one gets with room service, too. But I had never seen the “Green Tips” before and still think it’s the best.

Now I am in the Oakland Airport. My flight is delayed, but at least there is free wireless and a Starbucks with plentiful power outlets. I’m drinking Green Ginger right now and I’m wishing I had gotten the Green Tips instead. It’s not bad, but it’s not a tea drinker’s tea, really. I had to sugar it to make it really palatable, and now it’s pleasing, but a bit like drinking candied ginger. Yummy, but not tea.

Or maybe anything would just seem blah compared to the tea I drank yesterday. Next post I’ll start trying to go through the teas and the tea tour I went on yesterday. A friend from the Bay Area and I hit four different tea shops (and dim sum) in the course of the day, tasting and smelling lots and lots of very fine, wonderful teas. More on that when I get back home!