Teance is a cute little tea shop in Berkeley that my family and I discovered while waiting for our brunch place to open. While we knew they existed, we did not know that they were more than just a store that sold tea and accessories. In the very back of the store they have a tea bar, and they also have a second level of tables for people to sit and enjoy a cup of tea (or two or three…).
We sat at the bar and they gave us a large piece of paper to look at. They have plenty of tea options! They give visitors the options of buying single tastings, tasting flights, or pots of tea. The menu is separated into the types of tea they serve — white, green, black, oolong, puerh and many more categories. We ended up buying a pot of jasmine silver needle, a light green tea to enjoy on an empty stomach.
The process they go through to serve the tea was fascinating. It felt like a ceremony. We each received a little tray for our teacup. The server lined up our teacups in front of him and pours a little hot water into each one. Then he picked up each cup with a small set of tongs, swirled the warm water in the cup and then poured it out on the table in front of us. Then he placed each cup in front of us — each cup was perfectly warmed and ready to receive the delicious tea.
Then came the steeping of the tea. The server placed a scoop of tea leaves into this really cute tea strainer and poured the water in. Then he let it sit for a minute before pouring the tea out into another teapot so the tea would not keep steeping. He held the strainer up high to pour the tea and let it fall down straight, which I’m guessing was just for show. But what a nice show it was.
They serve the tea correctly. When I started drinking the tea, I noticed that it was just warm enough to drink and taste all of the flavors. It wasn’t scalding hot like how I normally get it in a normal coffee shop. One pot of tea was enough to serve about 3-4 cups to three people.
The atmosphere overall is very serene. I could see this as a place to park myself for hours studying or reading a book, which is great because I definitely want to make my way through their tea list!
1780 4th Street
Berkeley, CA 94710