Steeped in controversy - Page 3

The politics and style of artisanal and organic teas
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As their corporate counterparts lurk in low valleys, sifting the scraps of their mass harvest into nylon bags before slapping a USDA organic sticker on attractive packaging and trumpeting health consciousness to the uneducated consumer, the folks on the hill are still doing what they've always done.

It's clear that as consumers become more informed, the demand for quality product increases. With this demand comes profit, red tape, and a departure from the salt-of-the-earth spirit that gave birth to the organic movement.

"The ritual is authentic, healthy, artful," Yu says. "You can't find that in a tea bag."

So what is the San Francisco tea lover to do? At the very least, you can support your local gourmet tea peddlers. From Chez Panisse to El Farolito, the Bay Area is uniquely qualified to appreciate the culinary good stuff. We like it slow, whole, and artisanal, and fine teas deliver. *

TEANCE

1780 Fourth St., Berk.

(510) 524-2832

www.teance.com

FAR LEAVES TEA

2979 College, Berk.

(510) 665-9409

www.farleaves.com

IMPERIAL TEA COURT

1511 Shattuck, Berk.

(510) 540-8888

1411 Powell, SF

(415) 788-6080

1 Ferry Bldg., SF

(415) 544-9830.

www.imperialtea.com

MODERN TEA

602 Hayes, SF

(415) 626-5406

www.moderntea.com

SAMOVAR

498 Sanchez, SF

(415) 626-4700

730 Howard, SF

(415) 227-9400

www.samovartea.com

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