There are fewer round eyes at Pacific East Mall than black faces in Piedmont, and that's a good thing if you're looking for stellar teas. Ten Ren Tea has hundreds of different loose teas for sale, ranging in price from $25 to $144 a pound. That doesn't even include the prepackaged ones, because we assume you're looking for the good stuff. Wine snobs can sniff all they want about their recently acquired habits, but Asians have been sipping tea for more than five thousand years and they have it down to an art form. An ounce of Ten Ren's best oolong or ti kuan yin
costs less than $10 and will last you for dozens of cups (this ain't Coke, kids). If you like to try before you buy, Ten Ren has a tea bar and they'll let you taste anything in the store for a small fee.
Celadon Fine Teas
1111 Solano Ave., Albany, 510-524-1696