People have been known to sigh as they walk into Teance. But why? Is it the sound of running water burbling down a channel in the counter, flowing off the edge into a mini-waterfall? Is it the bamboo-clad walls, the smooth poured-concrete countertops, or the even rows of blond-wood tables? Or is it the sense of reverence that infuses the room? Teance’s staffers quietly enumerate the charms of different green or oolong teas, pouring a tasting for serious inquirers. Customers read or murmur softly to one another, occasionally pausing to parse the shifting aromas of the teas they sip. Browsers meditate on the shapes of the teapots for sale, or stand for a quarter hour in front of Teance’s magnetic wall of tea samples, where they read through a numbered list of teas and then detach the corresponding canister from the wall in order to sniff its contents. Teance is nothing like the jostling lines and hissing machines of the coffeehouses down the street. Which is why it inspires such devotion in its regulars.
L’Amyx Tea Bar
4179 Piedmont Ave., Oakland, 510-594-8322