Leland Tea Company offers custom-blended tea tins that guests can create themselves in store. First, choose a tea base. Add another tea or an herbal blend, then pick a canister size. Those three steps are all it takes. A loose leaf tea bar invites customers to explore and smell fragrant varieties, whether they want to craft their own blend or purchase one of the shop's pre-blended favorites for afternoon cups or particularly decadent baths. The signature Tiffany's mix features black tea leaves from Sri Lanka and China, while offerings such as Blue Eyes unite flowers with sweet fruit. Still other teas promote wellness; Argentinean Yerba mate, for instance, is renowned for its invigorating effects and healthful amino acids.
Should patrons wish to linger, they can relax over a steaming cup and a selection of handmade truffles, scones, and sandwiches in the tea room. The room also hosts regular special events such as chocolate tastings and sets from live musicians.
After losing a sizeable amount of weight with his kitchen-made juices, Sal had the idea to open a café coupling his love of French culture with his new appreciation for the role of food in health. With the help of his son, he opened Deja Vu, where painted ivy sneaks around the edges of menus on walls the color of rich buttercream. On the menu, Sal’s original French inspiration shines through in crepes, and fruit and veggie smoothies made from organic ingredients stay true to his nutritional vision.
Low in sugar and ideal for cleansing, the drinks can also be amplified with multiple types of protein. Blenders purr, full of smoothies and juices made with kale, green apples, ginger, oranges, and even hints of parsley, all delivered fresh daily. Crepes are also a Deja Vu specialty, whether filled with bananas and chocolate-hazelnut spread, or ham, veggies, or warm chicken and pesto. Conversation about the weather or the weatherman’s constant weeping drift over warm corned-beef sandwiches, and shoots of steam blossom from fresh-brewed organic coffee.
Glass jars full of traditional Chinese tea leaves line rosewood shelves. Tea accessories share space with cups and dishes. At i-Tea, everything in the shop points to a singular subject: the rich tradition of Chinese tea. Led by an expert in these aromatic leaves and the culture they create, i-Tea also hosts tea ceremonies that include tea preparation, plus an exploration of the history and significances of tea.
Faded blue starbursts top each table within San Mateo Coffee Company, each explosion of color emanating from the stylized cup of coffee printed at the middle. Here, patrons pull up a chair and sip hand-tempered espresso drinks, nibble on pastries that once resided in neat rows beneath glass countertops, and banish midday munchies with loaded deli sandwiches. The shop also deals in beans by the bag, equipping customers with the raw material to make cappuccinos and coffee in the comfort of their own homes or inflatable bounce houses.
As Charles Kusuma was coming up in the restaurant and hotel industry, his mother?who had long hoped to own her own cafe?kept him grounded with a simple piece of advice: always treat your guest as your friend. When she passed away, Charles decided to pursue her dream in her honor. He rescued a local cafe from closing, and reopened it on his mother's birthday in 2010 as Never Too Latte, complete with a business mantra that would make her proud: "Enter as strangers, leave as friends."
From the red-velvet mochas to the boxes of macarons baked by Charles's wife, Sheila, most things at Never Too Latte have a personal touch. You can even stay well into lunch and dinnertime, as the menu features chicken-apple sausages, kettle chips, and sandwiches.
At most drinking establishments, the interaction with the customer begins and ends at ordering, save for a question about adding a vague amount of milk or sugar. Not at Raging Boba—here, the drink makers ask guests to taste their bubble tea before being served and offer suggestions. This allows the shop to tweak each serving to a visitor's particular taste for sweetness, flavor, and straw thickness. This care extends to Raging Boba's snow ice, a Taiwanese fruit concoction topped with jellies and boba pearls.