One of my new favorite tea spots is Blue Willow Tea in Berkeley. As part of birthmonth, I invited some friends to join me here for an afternoon of tea and good company. It was going to be my first time at the tea lounge, so I called ahead. The owner Ali was super friendly and sweet, and I was so excited that she could section off a part of the tea room for my gathering.
The tea lounge is a bit hidden; you have to know it’s there to find it, but once you do, you are welcomed with a wall of teas and these beauties.
On a normal visit, I would probably enjoy one type of tea, but since it was a party we enjoyed three! We tried an oolong, the bourbon vanilla black tea, and a green tea. Our cups were warmed and each tea was served in region-specific serve ware. One of my life goals is to be become a tea expert so here is my attempt at learning the lingo…
The oolong was steeped in a clay teapot, poured in a glass serving pitcher, and served with aroma cups so you can experience the change in aroma as the tea cools. This was the most interactive tea we tried.
The black tea was steeped in a ceramic teapot and the tea leaves were removed after five minutes (this tea came with an hourglass timer!). Optionally, you can add milk and/or sugar, but this particular tea was naturally slightly sweet. This one was my favorite of the three.
The green tea was steeped in a clay teapot and poured into a glass pitcher before serving. The tea leaves were a beautiful green color!
In addition to teas, Blue Willow serves a selection of pastries. Since it was a party, we tried one of each!
Each tea serving comes with a short lesson of how to properly steep and serve your tea of choice. There are kettles scattered around so you can enjoy a few steeps of your tea during your stay. They also have tea tastings which I am a big fan of. I can’t wait to come back and enjoy another relaxing afternoon here.
What are some of your favorite tea spots? Share below!