Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Leland Tea Company-afternoon tea

Tea Time Alert!
Leland Tea in SF is now closed. You can find Will and family down the road in Burlingame at Rue du The/Leland Tea.  We hope to see you there, it's just a quick trip on the Caltrain on highway...

It's Afternoon Tea Time again, and this week we're visiting Leland Tea Company. If you read Angela's Iron Cupcake post, this business may seem familiar as they host all SF Iron Cupcake Meetup events. This welcoming tea shop is in the Polk Gulch area of the city. We stopped in for tea on a sunny afternoon during the week and we seated ourselves while the owner finished with his customers. While we perused the menu more people stopped by to pick up tea packages for gifts and order tea to go. It's obvious that the family that owns this tea shop loves their business! Tea Time is so grateful for people who enjoy their jobs and it makes your own experience in their store that much more pleasant when their joy spills over.

For example, Angela went to place our order at the front; we chose the Tea for Two service and added 2 cupcakes for $1 each. The gentleman who took our order said with a wink, "No you can't order two cupcakes for $1 each, because it's a great day and I'm going to Give them to you. You can pay extra for them if you want." What a generous and fun place to have tea!

Our Tea for Two came with 2 sandwiches (ham/cheddar and tomato/brie), 2 scones (vanilla and chocolate chip), Romaine salad, fruit salad and our two cupcakes (vanilla and chocolate).  Our bottomless pot of tea was Ginger Tango which they blend in house using a variety of ingredients. Ginger, Hibiscus, Schizandra Berries, Licorice Root, Rosehips, and Orange Peel make this unforgettable blend of herbs and spices. Tea for Two does include a pot of the house blend tea, but Ginger sounded too delightful to miss.

Tea for Two
Chocolate Chip scone on left, Vanilla scone on right.
This salad had an addictive vinaigrette dressing we loved.
Sandwiches and fruit salad made with love by Mom.
Angela asked what the special occasion was, why they chose to give us the free cupcakes when we were served our tea tier. The reply was that every day deserved celebration and if he had to choose one thing for that day, it was that his Mom (the cook at Leland) was feeling better, her knee was no longer giving her pain. A good thing, we all agreed.

We ate our food and savored our tea, alternately chatting and listening to the family bustle and tea customers around us. Leland is a lovely shop, with dark wood and permanent paintings throughout. They also feature local artists on the walls as well. This visit we saw featured art inspired by SF neighborhoods, such as Chinatown and Protrero Hill.

The owner was happy to help set up this photo, arranging the tea on the table.
The small tins contain teas to smell, to help you choose what kind you feel like drinking that day.
Most of the tea shops we visit are one of a kind/independently owned local businesses. Leland takes that one step farther by keeping it all in the family, and you can feel the welcoming love, warmth and joy when you step inside their SF shop (they have also opened a second shop in Burlingame--road trip?). Leland Tea Company also specializes in Tea blends and they are willing to blend something special just for you, which will include packaging and personalized labels. Christmas is coming--hint!

Leland Tea Company welcomes you!
Tea Time is happy to share our discoveries with you, and we hope you'll send us any requests/discoveries of your own for us to check out. Our next afternoon tea visit will  be coming to you soon. Happy Thanksgiving!