I know, I know…of all the tea house visits I’ve been to, the Huz + I have never been together!!?! It was on our to-do list, we promise. But as busy parents, homeschoolers + business owners, a Tea Date seemed impossible!?
We had a little bit of time this past Saturday before we had to pick up our kids, after doing our volunteer assignment in the morning. So, the Huz said he wanted to take me out. We love to surprise each other, so I didn’t know where we were going until the very last minute. When he mentioned taking me to Tea, all I could think of was “AWWWW!” and then “Fiiiiinallyyyyy!!”
The place he chose was a Not-On-The-Tour Tea Spot. I’ve heard/seen a lot about this particular spot, but didn’t include it in our Tea House Tour. It appeared to be more of a “café” to me, than a tea house…and when we got there, I was right.
I kept having to remind myself “I’m not working, I’m not working,” which is HARD for a workaholic to do! I also wanted to respect my time with my husband, especially since we don’t get a lot of it. He did inquire if I was going to review the place, and I did take mental notes of what I observed. I obviously didn’t have my professional camera with me, so these few shots I took (for IN CASE I was going to review) are fro my iPhone 6. Not too shabby tho, I think!
Why did I decide to review… Not because this place was spectacular, but because I felt a sense of responsibility to our readers + followers!! You guys are just SO KIND to us, and have been here loyally. I felt it was the least I could do. Okay, so here goes…my unofficial review-
Leland Tea Company
1223 Donnelly Avenue Burlingame, CA 94010
Sorry, no photo of outside the place. It is tucked behind a salon, so a photo would have been helpful.
Please don’t expect ANY cutesy tea party décor of any kind. As previously mentioned, the environment is more of a café. Like- they had a pastry display!? So we walk in, and nobody says anything to us for awhile. I go ahead + start smelling teas. They have tins right in front of the cashier counter. We’re finally seated. I believe he was the owner (along with his mom who is the “cook”), shows us to our table by the window. He says a few quick things to us, then hustles back to other customers. Since this was my husband’s deal, I respectfully wait for whatever he had planned. SO…we’re sitting there forrreverrr. I was trying not to look, but it was hard not to- when you are staring at spider webS behind the curtains of our window! The dood finally comes back around, and casually asks if we ordered are sandwiches yet. I believe his exact words to my husband “Did you order yet fool?!” Now, I’m all for being chummy with customers. I think it shows an instant closeness between strangers. I get it; I’m for it. BUT. DO NOT. Call us names!!?? That’s not cool! He then explains further, that if they think you are a ‘Regular’ they will not bother you. Ohh…kayyy.
We choose their Tea For Two tea service. It comes with a choice of 2 tea sandwiches, house salad, 2 scones, 2 madeleines, 2 shortbread cookies, and only 1 pot of tea. Now, they offer a refill, BUT of the same tea. So, we had to compromise on what to order. I didn’t see a tea menu or list of any sort, so I believe you are to order tea by smelling those tins they had by the counter. And again, nobody told us that. We just had to guess. It’s a good thing we got to smelling as soon as we got there, otherwise we’d be lost. 😉
I was interested in their Jamaican Bang rooibos tea. Not knowing what was in any of them, because there was no list (yall know how that’s my favorite) (can you hear the sarcasm?) (insert red mad emoji here), we decided to settle for that one.
It was very tart. I didn’t expect that. Later, only just before we left (ugh, rolling my eyes), did we find out what was in it. A lot of floral and fruit flavor profiles, but all we could taste was the berry. Pretty tea! I’ll give them that. It kinda grew on me…But only cuz I needed something hot to drink to wash the food down. 😐
We picked their Chicken Salad and Salmon Salad (yup, I said salmon salad) tea sandwiches.
I tell you , I was so sad when this tier came. It just wreaked of I’m-paying-too-much for this meal!! But, I put on my brave face for my man, and really did give them a fighting chance. Plus, I was having so much fun with him + he did so good in picking Tea to take me out. It didn’t matter if I was feeding myself gravel, I was so happy to be on a date!
I went for the salmon first. Sure, why not. The salmon is usually my fave at other tea places, I’ll like this… Dood!! It was CANNED SALMON!!?! I don’t think I’ve ever had that before in my life!? And if I did, I couldn’t have possibly liked it. “Why would they serve this to people,” is what I was thinking as I continued to feed myself this artificial excuse for a tea sandwich. I’ll admit, it wasn’t THAT bad. However, how can you charge someone 30 dollars for canned food?? It’s just not right.
I would be kidding myself if I thought the chicken would be any better. Again, it wasn’t a bad sandwich. It’s just- it tasted EXACTLY like a gramma just whipped up something real quick for you for your afterschool snack. Don’t get me wrong, there are very FEW things in life that are like gramma’s cooking. But this wasn’t that. That‘s = slaving over the stove for hourrrrs, gramma’s cooking. This = let me put something together so you can get out my face, gramma’s cooking. Seriously, I could a made a sandwich better than these…in my house…for 3 dollars…not 30.
The salad was okay. Again, something just whipped up. No warmth, no love added. Just a couple of shredded pieces of lettuce, a few nuts here + there, and a light dressing. It was a nice filler to the 2 bites each of sandwich.
The Scones made me want to cry. They came cold, dry, and crumbly. I think it was a quarter of Chocolate Chip + Plain for each of us. They threw 2 butter packets (packets, yes PACKETS!!) (and, don’t even get me started on serving scones with BUTTER) on the top tier supposedly for your scones. Then, they had a small container of like- 2 sneezes (I’m sorry!!) of some sort of diluted preserves. Surely not enough for one respectable sized scones. Ugh. I don’t have to say these had no flavor.
Here are the remaining sweets: a Chocolate-Dipped Madeline and Shortbread Cookie. Again, both dry + cold. Nothing left to write about that…
Our server himself said the service sucked there. Good, so I didn’t have to say it for him. He admitted that, then followed with “but hopefully the food is good.” Sorry to say man, no points for either. I have NO IDEA how this place has the awards or mentions it does. I’m gonna go out on a limb here, and say MAYBE it has better tea. Cuz for me, it striked out on all three…bad tea, bad food, bad service.
All-in-all, I’m glad we came. Number 1) what an awesome time spent with my dream guy. Number 2) I’m relieved I got to go to be able to tell you guys about it! Hopefully this review helps with your travels next time you’re touring the San Francisco Bay Area or the next time you want some tea! I stay true to ya. 😉 Special shout out to my wonderful Huz for making this awful Tea Spot a much better experience because I got to stare at yo mug the whole time!! Love you Baby.