Spot 27 :: Sip Tea Room

Our 27th Spot:

Sip Tea Room

721 Lincoln Way  San Francisco, CA 94122


If this address sounds familiar, it’s because we’ve already been here!  (Ay-yay-yay.)  And I only realized it, as we were already in the City looking for parking!  Ha.  I knew we’ve been to a tea house on Lincoln, but I don’t know whyyy I thought maybe there was another one on the same street!?  It didn’t dawn on me til the very last minute, that this tea spot could very well be in the exact space as the one we visited on December 2nd, 2014 (Spot 6).  Anyhow, it wasn’t a waste of time as this spot had new ownership as of a year ago.  VERY different experience from the last time.  Meaning = no gray/brown curtains that are supposed to be white.  Yuck.




Very minimal décor.  We looked all around us to take in the huge differences from what was there before.  Yes, of course it was much cleaner.  The tables + chairs and chandeliers looked the same.  There was a huge chalkboard on the back wall, when you first walk in, that I liked.  What I didn’t like was how us standing at the front door was an afterthought.






They finally sat us, and I sneaked a quick pic of the table.  The small water glasses lined in the middle of the table were cute.  What stuck out like a sore thumb was when they set this old USED jar of honey on the table!!?!  I think the Queen would be very displeased.  Sure, it was definitely a more casual setting than what would be laid out for the Queen…  But that jar belonged in a pizza joint, NOT at afternoon tea.  And don’t even GET me started on putting out all kinds of things to flavor your teas…  If you have to set out sugar, cream, AND honey-  your tea must not be very good.  Which it wasn’t.  But, more on that later.


water glasses



They offered 3 levels of tea service (not including the one for children).  Funny to see “coleslaw” on a tea menu, but whatever.  I didn’t go for the works today, and settled for the middle range.  This one didn’t come with the coleslaw and sweets; also, a small pot of tea, as opposed to a large.  There were 10 tea sandwich selections and surprisingly a good number of vegetarian options!  We were happy to see that.  I went for something that was interesting and something I wanted, for my 2 options.

For tea, although there were 17 different kinds, I still felt like it was slim pick’ns.  To be fair, there WAS an eclectic selection…different than you would see on other tea menus (like: chai + sencha).  There just wasn’t anything that was appealing for my individual liking.  I went with the Honeybush…


The tea was okay.  It smelled better than it tasted.  They bring it to you boiling hot, which is a no-no.  Then say, “oh, it has to steep another few minutes”.  😐  Ugh, no.  Don’t do that to your customers guys!!  You’re leaving it up to US to professionally guess (yes, I meant for that to be an oxymoron), when these teas-  YOUR teas, are to be ready??  Bring it to us ready, at the temperature each specific tea should be, and to the desired steeping time that you would like to present it.  That made no kind of sense to me.  Honestly, it was just something hot to wash down the food I had so as no to choke.



Even tho I know (per etiquette) the scone is 2nd course, I like it first.  P.S.  We didn’t get our food on cute tiers.  Each of us got plates with everything squished on, like you see here.  [Find out how I feel about this from Spot 2.]  Sooo, I didn’t even know how to take picture of this food…

What was cool about this spot (if I may finally say something positive about them), is you were able to select the scone flavor that was served to you.  On that big chalkboard, there are all the scones they offer listed.  Then, checkmarks by the ones they have that day.  The scone texture was nice: crunchy on the outside, fluffy on the inside.  But boy did they lack flavor!!  Like-  there was nothing there!?  I had a Traditional Currant Scone.  Even WITH the fixings, it was so uneventful!!  And by the way, whatever those “preserves” are supposed to be…it looked like someone swished it in their mouth first then spit it out on the serving dish.  (Sorry for the visual, but you know I keep it 100.)



[Here’s my best shot of the food, sorry.]

So-  I chose their Baked Ham, English Mustard, & Tarragon Butter (something interesting) tea sandwich, as well as the Sip’s Curried Chicken (something I wanted).

This is how dedicated I am to yall, I haven’t had pork in almost 2 years!!  But I looove tarragon, and I don’t generally see a sandwich like this on most tea menus.  (sigh)  It was just okay.  The bites that actually had mustard were nice, and I think they were using that new invisible butter (sense the sarcasm) cuz I didn’t see any in my cuts of tea sandwich…  (arms up)  The ham was overwhelming, and it wasn’t even good ham.

At least the curry was better than ‘okay’.  Woo-hoo, something above average!  Smh.  It still wasn’t fascinating per se, but it was edible.  The raisins made it interesting, and kept you going for more.


Overall, it was a below average experience.  The service wasn’t bad, but I wouldn’t call them “warm” either.  OF COURSE, the girls I took with me made it a tolerable tea time!  We had a few first-timers with us, so that was exciting!!  So many better places in the City to have tea, and maybe that’s where I’m coming from with this review.  I never feel bad for being brutally honest, because that’s what I would want to hear if I’m having to spend money for food.  Check out our most recent raTEAng to find our favorites in San Francisco, and go show them some love!  I know we have 4 more to add, but we still have a couple spots I’d like to visit before the new year!!  I’ll update our full list after.  (high-five)

Thank you to our continued followers + readers!  We hope these posts help with creating fun + memorable dates, and fill your bellies with mouthwatering tea + food!!  Aaand, for not holding my honesty against me!  😀  Until next time…


Spot 26 :: Filoli Gardens

Our 26th Spot:

Afternoon Tea at Filoli Gardens

86 Cañada Road  Woodside, CA 94062


Surprise!!  I told ya you would hear from us from time to time!  I have had some Spots in my back pocket to visit, but no set agenda.  Thought we would keep you on your toes…and only the exclusive hardcore Followers would know when a new Spot popped up!  😉  (just kidding, I love you all equally)

I had never heard about this place.  And only until my girlfriend mentioned they served tea, did my ears perk up.  You know I have to go to each and every tea place for yall roight?!  So we made a plan to go, and it just so happened that the weekend we were all available they were having a Flower Show!!  Cool, we’re there.  P.S.  I did NOT intend to visit this new Spot a year later, almost exactly to the day!!?!  (just noticed when I referred back to my last post…as I’m rusty with the blogging and wanted to make sure I got it all right for yall)


[Disclaimer: I didn’t feel like lugging my professional camera throughout the Flower Show, so these photos included are just from my beat up iPhone 6]


When we got there, there were 2 lines: one for private seating and the other for general.  My friend had purchased our tickets online, and couldn’t remember which one we paid for.  For the amount we paid, I think we were supposed to be at a private table.  But, we were in line for ‘general’.  They sat us (there were 3 of us) at a table for 8 with 5 strangers.  Of course, these ladies were nice ladies…but we hadn’t seen one of our friends in awhile and wanted to catch up!  It woulda been nice to be able to have that private time, but whatev.  So, we couldn’t really “let our bellies hang out” if you know what I mean, since we were amongst other company.

I got excited as I read the menu tho.  For reasons I’m not gonna get into on this blog, I’ve had to change my ENTIRE diet due to health issues.  So, I was quite happy with the sandwiches we were going to be served.  All my favorite things: asparagus, basil, arugula…YAY!!

Oh, here’s what the inside looked like…


It wasn’t fantastic, but oh well.  Kinda looked like Conference Room B, if you ask me…


These sweet grammas would come around and ask if you would like a pour of tea.  They were serving 3 types: Filoli Rose Tea, Traditional Irish Breakfast, and Fruit Blend Herbal Tea.  😐  Neither are my go-to’s, buuut I still didn’t let that bother me.  I’m not a breakfast tea girl nor a fruity tea girl, so I went for the rose.  It was niiiiice!  I think I might’ve had 10 cuppas of that stuff that afternoon!?  “Keep em comin granny!”  I even had to ask what the base tea was because I was in disbelief that it was black…it was SO LIGHT!!?!



After a half a cup of tea, they started coming around with the tiers.


I liked how they made sure to tell everyone at the table that they had one each of everything.  Some Most places don’t do…okay, NO other places really do that.  Then I have to tell my story about how I went to tea with a girl who didn’t know that etiquette, until we heard the other girl sitting next to her that she didn’t get a chicken curry sandwich!  Well, it was because the first girl ate TWO!!



Only because everyone else was doing it, I went for my scone first!  Hehe.  (Hey-  you get nervous when you’re having to eat around strangers k!)  As you can see, it was topped with sugar galore.  It was a Lavender Scone with (what they say was) Clotted Cream (it wasn’t!!) and their specialty Marionberry Jam.  Very crumbly and dry and waaay too much sugar topping.  But I still ate it.  🙂



Interestingly, the sandwiches were all toothpicked together.  I had the Asparagus and Herb Goat Cheese tea sandwich to start.  (If you’ve read my posts on either Lovejoy’s or Lovey’s, you KNOW how I feel about asparagus sandwiches.)  Suuuper crunchy!!  I liked it A LOT.  And, the goat cheese was light and smooth.  I coulda had more of that one.

I think I went for the Sliced Turkey with Beet Hummus and Arugula next.  Earl Grey Gal said that one was dry for her.  But, I kept an open mind going in with this one.  Yum!  Since I stopped having poultry almost a year ago, I didn’t care too much for the turkey…but the hummus and of course the arugula (my favorite leaf!) MADE that sandwich, mmkaay!  And I think it was on a pumpernickel or rye bread-  delicious.

I saved the Prosciutto and Melon with Fresh Basil tea sandwich for last.  Doesn’t that just sound like a ‘dessert’ sandwich anyway!?  Who knows the song “Save The Best For Last”??  I’m glad I did.  That was wonderful!!  Perfect compliments.  I can still remember the flavors as I type this!



Even tho I didn’t want to (I’ve cut down on my sugar a lot), again because I didn’t wanna carry anything around with me in the gardens, I tried the desserts.  (And let me just say, it was almost NINETY degrees that day!!)  I do love me a Lemon Bar, so…  It was okay.  Nothing to write home to mom about.  Honestly, I think I make a better one from the box at home.  The Fruit Tart was sooo dryyy!  And the crust didn’t taste like anything!?  The custard I liked, but they were stingy with it.  The Chocolate Éclair was good.  (that’s the little pink thing in the picture)  But, you barely had a bite full of that one.  I washed it all down with more of that rosey tea!


All-in-all it wasn’t a bad tea.  I really liked my sandwiches.  BUT, for having to sit with people I don’t know, only 3 choices of tea, and only subpar food-  it was not worth the $75.00 we had to pay!!!  (Oh yes I did call them out.  My longtime followers know I don’t usually disclose tea service costs, but that was WAY TOO MUCH MONEY.  Now, the Gardens, were beautiful.  I don’t wanna ruin it for you, cuz it’s def a must-see.  But, I’ll include my favorite shots of the day…




Well, that was fun!!  I had forgotten how much I missed having tea and writing about it!?  THANK YOU to all of you, new ones to the blog and our loyal followers!!  There are a few more Spots we have yet to visit.  As Michael Scott says, “Catch you on the flippity flip!”

Spot 25 :: Eddison & Melrose

Our 25th Spot:

Eddison & Melrose Tea Room

25 Soledad Drive  Monterey, CA 93940

This Spot was supposed to be our 21st…but we missed it.  I was happy to include it on our Summer Tea Tour, but after going and meeting the owner-  I reeeeally don’t want to review this place!!  (expressing my whineyest face right now)  I don’t want to say ANYTHING remotely negative, because our time there was absolutely lovely.  HOWEVER, I feel like I owe it to my readers and even to her, to share my honest opinion.  From business owner to business owner, I’d like to think I’d appreciate any constructive criticism to better my craft.  🙂

When you call in to make reservations, you get a real English accent.  I loved that!  It really made you feel like you’d be having some authentic tea.  I also appreciate that they communicate by text message as well.  Hey-  if I don’t have to talk on the phone, that’s the option I will always pick!  😛

I always anticipate driving up to new Spots, cuz I’m curious where in town it’s located.  When I drive by different places on other days, I often picture perfect spaces for tea houses or tea rooms…so I’m fascinated as to why they picked this destination.  Did not expect for this place to be located in a shopping center/strip mall.  :/  Driving up to it, I felt like that alone already diminished my expectations of this Spot.  (Didn’t get a picture of it [nor did I want to really], cuz I had to rush in to toilet my daughter from our long drive up there.)

You walk in-  and it’s-  adorable.  Lot’s of lacey detail, a soft painted mural on the wall, hanging paper poofs…  The décor was minimal, but inviting.  There were only 5 tables, which I loved.  Tiny space, but you felt exclusive.  Our table (not pictured) had wicker chairs that I felt were super uncomfortable, even with the cushions.  And, the napkins looked a bit dingy…


We were greeted with huge smiles, and servers that look like they want to be there + your wish is their sole reason for living!  Not in an annoying way, but a very sweet + kind way.  There are 2 levels of tea service (not including the child one), but today I didn’t feel like getting the works so I chose the very basic one that at least included their scone. I’m glad my partner did tho, so at least we could see!  🙂  They didn’t have a plethora of tea choices, maybe 15.  Two of their special blends, then the rest were regular stuff you’d see on most tea menus.  Since I’m such a rooibos-lover, that’s what I looked for.  Tho, the choices they offered did not sound appealing to me (only cuz I’m not a fruity tea kind of gal).  There was one with strawberry and one with mandarin.  I chose their Strawberry Rooibos.  Sorry I did, cuz it tasted like Robitussin.  I had my girl pour it back in the teapot (sorry!!), cuz none of us were gonna try that one again!  My 2 other girls that I came with (my business partner The Earl Grey Gal and another darling dear friend) ordered one of their signature teas, Spencer George.  It says “Blended in honor of Prince George.  A smooth mix of Assam, Bergamot & Raspberry.”  Nothing I would choose, but I am so glad they did.  It was wonderful!  I’m not even sure how to describe it…it was vanilla-y to me, and the fruity bergamot notes were apparent.  And, I have to comment on how hot the teas came…  Sometimes you go to a tea house, and they are verrry careful about the temperature of your water.  So careful, I think, that sometimes they bring it out more ‘warm’ than ‘hot’.  My preference is a degree hotter than “just right.”  I like my tea hot.  I don’t want to drink lukewarm tea.  I think they did a good job with this.  Even burned my tongue once!  😀


spencer george

My partner who ordered the tea service with everything, got a non-alcoholic sparkling drink and a salad with hers.  I didn’t think the salad dressing looked appealing (and I WON’T tell you what I thought it looked like), but my girl loved it.  I think she said it was “the business!”


Mine came with 3 tea sandwiches (which are pre-selected for you), scone with fixings, and a pot of tea.  Their Smoked Salmon was sooo simple, but very good.  It was on a baguette, maybe some butter, and a tiny piece of curly parsley on top; the salmon tho was so delicate, it made this easy thing so luxurious.  The Ritz Cucumber again was ultra simple.  But, the crunchy-ness of those cucumbers made it spectacular!  Their Curried Chicken Salad tea sandwich, I didn’t like.  I couldn’t find anything wrong with the flavor really, I think I’ve just had better.  The texture tho-  it was like BLENDED meat.  😐  My partner didn’t like her Cranberry Chicken, but I did…so we switched, like we were in grade school or something!?  Lol.  That chicken had the same smushy texture, but either the smoky-ness of it or the fact that it tasted like mixed together Thanksgiving Dinner appealed to me.  Earl Gal also got a savory and some sweets.

afternoon tea

smoked salmon


curried chicken

high tea

Okay, now for the reason why I didn’t want to honestly review this place…  (insert monkey covering his eyes emoji here)  The owner came out to visit with our table for a bit, which seemed like she did with all her guests.  She showed us a magazine she had been published in, and let us know that they were selling copies.  What I didn’t mention before was that not only were we interested in checking out this Spot, BUT our company parTEA with me was invited.  She sought us out on facebook, and sent a message personally inviting us.  Now the way I could tell that she didn’t do this with just ANY tea company-  when my partner mentioned that we were actually invited, the owner says “Are you parTEA with me??!!”  She said “You guys are famous!”, then she went on about specific social media posts that she loved…she knew about the Tour…and genuinely was a fan.  That alone made MY YEAR!!  Especially with all the changes going on with our business, her recognition of little ol’ us was validation enough for me that we have succeeded.

Though I don’t think I’ll be coming back to this tea house, I can wholeheartedly say that this was THEE best experience I’ve had so far in the 3-years-old-this-month Tea House Tour.  It was that conversation that made it. 🙂

Spot 24 :: The Tearoom


We’re back!  There were a few Spots I missed on our Tour, so I’ve gathered a few of our Regulars and we’re doing a quick Summer Tea Tour!  We have 3 (maybe 4) brand new Spots to visit, and of course-  we’re taking you along with us!!  Join us again over the next few months for my brutally honest reviews + experiences of these tea houses!


Our 24th Spot:

6241 College Avenue  Oakland, CA 94618

the tearoom


Communication and reservations were fairly easy, as it was all done via email.  They did have us pre-order, which yall know is my fave.  😐  When we got there, it took a minute for them to seat us.  Theeen, when we were seated, (I counted) it took them a whole 10-minutes before they addressed us.  Lame.  The décor (was there décor??) was minimalistic, if that.  Seriously tho, you can’t call 3 jars of tea on a shelf “décor”.  There was ONE curio of tea paraphernalia…  And, don’t even GET me started on their wall sticker scene (which my girlfriend pointed out was not legally correct).  I’m really not trying to cap on their sense of interior design (I really am a nice girl!), it’s just-  there are certain things you expect when you hear “tearoom”.  This place looked like a Chinese restaurant…  I think their website is somewhat misleading, and I think they had a really good photographer for it.



sticker scene



When they finally paid attention to us, they set down this plate of canisters of tea.  I can’t even remember if the guy said what to do with them.  Obviously, they were for sniffing their selection of teas.  There were about 20 or so to choose from.  My girls got whiffs.  Because of my OCD, I’m not a fan of hovering my nostrils on top of old tea that who knows how long have been stored in containers that don’t have protective layers on top of them.  I definitely don’t judge those that do, I just think there is a more sanitary way of showcasing and allowing your guests to sample tea.  From my experience at festivals + other tea facilities that I’ve visited, I wasn’t impressed with theirs.


At our table, here were our tea selections + thoughts on them…

Vanilla Black – Surprise surprise, this is what I chose.  It was very bland, and I even let it steep a considerable amount of time (due to taking pics).

Caribe – My SIL didn’t really have any words for this, as there wasn’t really much of a flavor to it.  The best she could say was “fruity, desserty.”

Cinnamon Spice – Girlfriend said this was “liquid Big Red (the gum) that will numb your throat.”  After really giving this one a chance, she requested to change hers to White Peach.  Our server made a big deal about it and tried to laugh through the conversation, telling my girlfriend not to tell anyone that she’s doing this for her.  We all thought that was unnecessary…  Anyway, all she had to say about that one was “it’s peachy.”

Sally’s Secret – Two of my girls ordered this one.  The concensus: “It’s just earl grey, no secret about it.”

Lavender – This one was the most ridiculous of all.  There wasn’t even a color to it!?  It basically looked like hot water.  My hermana says “Nothing.  Can’t even say anything about it.”

After all of our bland and uneventful tea experiences, I decided to look in the infusers.  THEY WERE NOT ADEQUATELY FILLED!!?!  No wonder all these pots of tea were only so-so, they weren’t being served correctly.  Either they don’t know much about how to steep tea, or they’re being real S-T-I-N-G-Y.  Not nice.


[I’m laughing at my uneven cuppa, cuz it goes to show you how uninterested I was at getting this shot!]


They offer 3 levels of tea service.  I’m gonna rush through the food part of this review, cuz I am just so done.


My tea service came with 2 tea sandwich choices.  I got Curried Chicken and Ham, Brie + Apple.  The chicken salad was bland, the bread was dry.  When I had the bites with the coconut topping, it was rather nice.  THEN, I tasted the scallions.  Ew.  The brie, I could only take one bite out of, same with my girls that ordered it.  There was not enough ham, again with the dry bread…so dry that if you scratched it you can hear it (yes, I tried it), no flavor, and too much apple.  My Earl Grey Gal, after choking on the blackberry from her yucky miso-dressed salad, said the cucumber tea sandwich was “surprisingly good” and her first time having it without radish.  She gave me a bite, I thought it had too much cream.  Interestingly, it had some mint in it.





We were served a Ginger Scone.  All the girls at the table really liked theirs.  I felt it was a bit too fluffy, but I liked the crispy bottoms.  The fixings were just okay.  Tho, some of my girls were mad that the preserves were touching!



The service was fine.  I kinda wrote them off when the guy brought me an ICEE STRAW (!!?!) for my water in his bare hands, unwrapped, and not in a napkin.  Yuckth!  They weren’t bad, but they weren’t great either.  Of course, my girls made it the most pleasant experience you could ever have at a place as awful as this.

I’m sorry for offending anyone with my outspokenness of this blog post + review.  It was just really bad.  For our long time readers who have been with us since Spot 1, you know I tell it like it is.  Don’t waste your time coming.  I promise the Spots coming up will be better.  To be fair (I guess), I started this Summer Tour with the least interested place.  We try all of em so you don’t have to!  😉  Happy to be sharing with yall once again!

Full Circle

First Time

November 19, 2011 – Being bedridden for 8 months and hospitalized 20 times, pregnant with my 2nd living child/3rd pregnancy overall (you do the math…I miss you everyday Serenade Rei) and suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum, the only positive thing in my life (other than growing a human being inside me) (and well, the support of my husband, toddler son + family) was scrolling through friends’ + family’s facebook pictures.  Sad?  I know.  But it gets better, trust me!  One album in particular was of an old middle school classmate’s baby shower.  She had had it at some place that serves tea and other tea refreshments (as I knew it then).  I fell in love with the idea + décor, and just couldn’t wait to see what it was all about!  (I later found out it was at the original Crown & Crumpet in Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco.)  When my May-baby daughter finally took a bottle at 6mos (Thanks girl.), I searched for the closest tea house to me…called a few of my girlfriends + friends I wanted to get to know better…and suffered the worst case of Cuteness Overload as I stepped foot into my very first tea house, which happened to be Tyme for Tea & Co. in the Niles District of Fremont, CA.

I hosted approximately 4 tea parties there, before I became curious about what else was out there.  I wanted to try different places, buuut I didn’t wanna go alone!?  I sent an email to some girls, and see who wanted to join me on this quest.  I found 12 more tea houses/rooms around the Bay Area to go to, and figured if we went to one new one every month, we would finish in just a year.  Sweet!

What you don’t know (and what I didn’t know then either), is what was to unfold during this journey.  Because of past experiences (that I’m not going to fully get into, but I will give you a broad description) with abuse + depression, I experienced a lot of trust + abandonment issues.  Needless to say, though I made friends easily, I didn’t like to keep them.  I used to always say: “I don’t have friends.”  These girls I speak of when I say “my girlfriends”, are ones that I’ve met from my religious background.  I never brought that up before either, and I would like my blog to remain neutral so as not to erupt ANY sort of political feedback.  That being said, I knew who they all were but I was never close with any of them.  Sure, my sister-in-laws came.  But, that’s family…

When I invited these girls, of all ages from different backgrounds and different Congregations…some knew each other, some didn’t…  I didn’t realize the upbuilding + encouraging relationships that would establish-  over TEA!!?!  We would laugh (a lot) and cry, share stories of heartache + triumphs.  Some of these girls who didn’t know each other before, have bonded + created lifelong friendships!  And me, as the host-  it was SO NEAT to see it all unfold before my eyes.  Girls that never knew each other- following each other on social media and experiencing each other’s small moments together…  Girls that never knew each other- grieving over husbands lost in death…  Girls that never knew each other- making future plans to meet with their families…

As I reflect on the last 5 years, it wasn’t just about the tea.  Sure, we had lots of great food and met beautiful cups of tea.  We talked about our jobs + family, books + art, music, recreation.  But, we really formed everlasting connections and memories.

And me, I now have FRIENDS!!

I wanna thank each and every one of you girls.  Not just for sharing this ride with me, but for growing with me.










Amy V



Amy L













October 22, 2016 – At our last tea party, I was excited, relieved, and sad.  It’s not over.  There are just different things we get to experience now!  And btw girls, we were invited to London…  🙂

To our Readers + Followers:  THANK YOU!!!  I never thought when my friend suggested I blog about our Tour, that OVERNIGHT more than 400 of you would be half interested in tea parties!!?!  Please continue to share your experiences with us!  Ask your girlfriends to join you!  Share tea, and bond, and grow!!  I’ll keep you updated if/when we try any new Spots. Love you guys!!  Peace.


my raTEAng 1-23

We started with a dozen Spots.  I added a dozen more.  One closed down…we missed one…I went to two surprise Spots…   Aaaand, we ended up with 23.  So-  here it is folks!!  TWENTY-THREE Bay (and over) Area Tea Houses + Tea Rooms, that parTEA with me visited + reviewed for you so you don’t have to = all in one easy-peasy handy-dandy LIST!!!

Starting with: don’t ever step foot in there to make your reservations yesterday!


23. Tal-Y-Tara Tea & Polo Shoppe, San Francisco – Outright rude and has no business being a tea house.


22. Secret Garden Tea House, San Francisco – Filthy place with yummy scones.

fixed scone

21. Tea Time, Palo Alto – Awkward dirty café that left me thirsty.


20. The Golden Tea Garden, Hayward – Bad-mannered + arrogant owner with dollar store décor + tea.


19. Leland Tea Company, Burlingame – A café that serves food you can make yourself at home + buy yourself from shelves, on 3 tiers.


18. Linde Lane Tea Room, Dixon – Snooty but pretty with fun sorbet intro.


17. Lovejoy’s Tea Room, San Francisco – Pretentious area with spectacular Black Vanilla tea.


16. Quail & Thistle Tea Room, Capitola – Adorable building with overwhelming all-in-one plate.


15. The Rotunda at Neiman Marcus, San Francisco – Matter-of-fact service and expensive teeny tasteless food.


14. Satori Tea Company, San Jose – Interesting + eclectic, rum butter crumpets, and purple tea.


13. Afternoon Tea at The Ritz, San Francisco – A definite must-experience with exceptional service.


12. Afternoon Tea at The Fairmont, San Francisco – Complex + unique flavors that just work, and a have-to-have pear compote.

IMG_9395 - Copy

11. The Palace Garden Court, San Francisco – Breathtaking surroundings and flawless food.


10. Lovey’s Tea Shoppe, Pacifica – Black Vanilla with Lavender tea, asparagus sandwich, and sweet staff.


9. Camellia Tea Room, Benicia – Impeccable service and an all-around wonderful time.


8. Lisa’s Tea Treasures, Los Altos – Like going to your sister’s house and having delicious tea.


7. Crown & Crumpet Tea Stop Café, San Francisco – Unforgettable crumpets and scrumptious tea sandwiches.


6. Tal’s Patisserie, Danville – Best rustic tea meal for a bread-lover, with best store-bought tea.


5. Pardee Home, Oakland – A tour in a tour that will feed you until satisfaction and the definition of ‘cuteness overload’.


4. Dartealing Lounge, San Francisco – Best sandwiches and cutest ambiance.


3. The White Hart Tea Room, Pacific Grove – Really like going to someone’s house for tea (cuz you are), and having true homemade food (cuz you are!).


2. The English Rose Tea Room, Pleasanton – A hundred delectable teas and textbook shabby chic décor.


1. Tyme for Tea & Co., Fremont – The perfect tea house, with perfect food, perfect tea, and perfect service.


Spot 22 :: Tyme for Tea & Co. [LAST SPOT]

[I’m still calling this one Spot 22, because I still intend to visit Spot 21!]

Our 22nd Spot:

37501 Niles Boulevard  Fremont, CA 94536



It was hard for me to remember to take photos of this Spot, because I was so familiar.  So, my apologies that I don’t have many from inside.  I saved this Spot for last, because not only was it special to me (being my FIRST tea house experience) but it also pulled rank for me when it came to Bay Area Tea Houses.  Every single Tea Spot we’ve been to, I based my review off of my experiences here.  Needless to say, this place is G-O-O-D.


Since this Tea House is center of the Niles District in Fremont, CA, it is surrounded by antique everything!  It’s not too decorated in there, but it has enough to make you feel special when you walk in.  They have their signature pink table covers, (my favorite) mismatched chairs, and only because of the Halloween season are the napkins black this time of year.  Tons of cute vintage china and silverware on the tabletops, and lots to look at!

I have to say-  I am a bit NERVOUS to review a place I’ve fallen in love with since the first time stepping foot into it almost 5 years ago!?  I will do my very best to put in words, what has brought me so much joy in recent years…

Where do I start?!  Okay (deep breath)-  making reservations was always painless here.  You call, they take your party number, they ask of the occasion, thoroughly explain what to expect for your tea service, give you a price, and you’re all done!  2 weeks before your reservation, they’ll call you to confirm your headcount.  Something new they’ve implemented, is serving ONLY their house tea (which is very good, I might add) for big parties.  As an always busy tea house, they simply can’t steep 10 different pots of tea for every reserved table.  Understandable.  They will steep a pot of decaf for your party, upon request.  I did speak with the owner’s mother prior to our visit, and asked if my party agreed on 1 or 2 additional non-decaf pots if that would be okay.  She graciously accepted our request!  And, don’t get me started on our server that day…who, I told my girlfriends would get tired of me using his name (Hehe.), but calmly + collectedly granted each favor with a willing spirit!!  Loved him.



[Again, please forgive me as the lighting in there isn’t the best for photography.  It is a building that is over 100-years-old.  That, and I’m very amateur!  I’ve been practicing shots without flash…  But, the ones I got from today aren’t that great.  The shots WITH flash will be my best bet to use!  😉  ]

For our table of 10, we shared a pot of their House Tea which is a black tea with strawberry + kiwi.  Then, I ordered the table a Ginger Peach Decaf and a Lemon Chiffon Cake tea.  They do offer quite a selection, and if I’m not mistaken aside from their house tea, most if not all of the teas they offer is from the Republic of Tea brand.  Best grocery store tea brand, in my opinion.  And, I gathered this as they sell Republic of Tea canisters in their shop.

Their House Tea is delightful.  Equal amounts of both flavor profiles, and not too strong.

The Ginger Peach Decaf is an icon for them, I think.  When I first visited, this was the tea I chose to try.  Even now, when I steep my RoT’s ginger peach daily green at home-  I’m ALWAYS reminded of fond times at Tyme for Tea!!  Every time!  It’s a refreshing catch-you-off-guard in a good way tea.

Since having Couples Tea with my husband + our beer fam (we do craft beer tasting once a month) some years back, every single time I come here never fail-  I HAVE to HAVE their Lemon Chiffon Cake tea.  The funny thing is, I would have never chosen that in a million years!!  Haha.  This was my husband’s choice, and I fell head-over-heels in love with it (like I did him!).  It’s the most creamiest, comfortingest, luxurious tea all in one.  Here’s how you know it’s good: we had 3 refills of it in the few hours we were there!?  Go get some.



Their scones have always been good here.  Let me tell you a funny story…  I hated scones.  When I saw them at a bakery or at your local Starbucks, I couldn’t grasp WHY people wanted to put that dry crumbly stuff in their mouths!?  Then-  I had one at Tyme for Tea.  It was warm, with crispy edges and chewy insides!  I had cream and lemon curd and strawberry preserves with it!  I never knew the “real” way to eat scones, until I came here!!  What had happened was: my first experience with one was NOT warmed + DRY!  So, thank you to Tyme for Tea for introducing me to the real scone experience!  (high five)  Today’s flavor was Blueberry Lemon.  Just as delicious as the first time I had one there.  (P.S.  Hopefully you come on a day when they’re doing their apricot ones!!  Ughhh!  To die.)




They do their Cucumber tea sandwich with butter.  It adds this richness, different from the usual cream cheese.  I’ve always liked the sneaky piece of radish in the middle that they add.  It gives this refreshing pop of flavor that you don’t get with most general tea house cucumber sandwiches.  Then, the dusting of dill on top coats your mouth with a cool herb hint.


Their savories ALWAYS knock it out of the park.  Little Mushroom Turnovers that pack a punch!  The crust is perfect, and a filling even non-mushroom-lovers will love.


This Spinach Pinwheel was everything you could ask for + more!  That pastry-  oh!!  The filling-  yum!  I was actually MOANING (yes, moaning) whilst eating this.  Writing this, the memories are just killing me!  Give me morrrrre!!


They have not changed their tea sandwich menu OR recipes since I first went to visit them 5 years ago.  And, I applaud them for that.  One of my favorite mottos that I truly believe is: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  You can expect to have these quality tea sandwiches every time you visit there.  This is their Chicken Salad on Wheat.  Look.  At.  All.  That.  FILLING!!?!  Forreal, it’s pretty much a full sandwich.  I almost never finish this one!  Complimentary flavors, and the nuts on top give it wonderful texture.


This Cheddar Jalapeno Toast I can’t ever have.  Lactose intolerant, and can’t take too much spicy.  BUT-  I have tried it, and it is magnificent!  In the past, I have scraped off what I can and have just eaten to toast.  Not cute, I know.  But the bread is crazy good!  I usually take mine home to the Huz, and he loves it.



No, I didn’t have all 3 of those petit fours!  Hehe.  They are just so pretty, I had to include all in the photo shoot!  These desserts have only changed once, since 5 years ago.  They used to serve Biscoff Lotus biscuits which were a nostalgic plus in my book!  But, these signature sweets are not bad at all.  Of course, after all that luscious cake tea and savories, I could only manage a bite of each (you know how I do!).  Just to say I had it all!  Ha!  The Shortbread Cookie is a homemade recipe; chewy + good.  The Petit Fours all have different flavors per each color (there’s also a white + brown one).  All equally exquisite; soft cake and creamy layers.  And that Peanut Butter baklava-esque truffle…  Ohhh, signature treat of theirs for sure.  After my bite, that one goes straight into my peanut butter-loving husband’s belly!


The service is always 5-star when I come here.  I’ve never had a bad time, and that’s what contributes to this place being my Number 1!  I believe it’s family owned (which I value), and they treat you MORE than such.  They are there to give you thee BEST tea house experience of your life!!  And, every time I’ve come in, I can expect no less.  Thank you Tyme for Tea!  I’m so happy we ended with you.


What a great afternoon!!  Most of my “regulars” came and we just enjoyed the last moments of this beyond words Tea House Tour!