By Elena Kadvany
David's Tea: now open in downtown Palo AltoUploaded: Aug 23, 2014
David's Tea, a massive organic tea chain company that got its start in Toronto, Canada, in 2008, opened its sixth Bay Area location today, Aug. 23, in downtown Palo Alto.
The company has transformed the space at 318 University Ave., which previously was home to The Sports Gallery for 15 years, into a haven for tea lovers, with rows of more than 150 blends of loose leaf tea (from oolong to rooibos to pu'erh) and plenty of tea accessories (mugs, pots, infusers, kettles, frothers). Much of the tea hardware is designed in house.
Palo Alto General Manager Emily Hamel said David's Tea's philosophy is about making tea accessible for everyone, from novices or children to those already used to drinking with their pinkies up. She said they make a distinct effort to hire personable staff who want to engage with customers and take the time to get to know them and their tea needs.
David's Tea sells an incredibly wide selection of loose leaf teas (there are 13 variations of Chinese oolong alone). They range from the traditional to more unusual blends with ingredients like mulberry leaves, hot chilies, pomegranate seeds, kombucha powder and caramel pieces.
Photo courtesy David's Tea.
Hamel said loose leaf is the company "number one focus," but they also sell cups of iced and hot tea as well as tea pop (tea + carbonated water, poured over ice ? similar to an Italian soda) and soon, lattes.
The Palo Alto store layout is a bit different than others, Hamel said. Seating is somewhat separated in the back of the shop instead of integrated with the tea bar and merchandise.
"With Stanford and a lot of students in the area, people might want to come to study and not necessarily be right near the interaction that's going on at the tea bar," she said.
The Palo Alto location will be David's Tea's southern-most U.S. foray yet. They'll hold an official opening event next Saturday, Aug. 30, with free tea tastings.
318 University Ave., Palo Alto