This is not your typical tea house. In place of antique teapots, you'll find scientific, tablet-controlled glass crucibles that steep tea to the ideal temperature and strength. The white, gallery-like space by Arcanum Architecture is stark and sleek, sparingly accented with raw wood and concrete detailing. The bar offers an array of direct-import teas, including matcha and herbal blends, but the specialty here is the chai, brewed in a copper urn and served in weighty porcelain teacups by Oakland ceramicist Atelier Dion. Whatever you get, pair your blend with a sweet or savory scone.
Though fancypants coffee (read: organic, fair trade, artisan roasted) gets all the glory in SF, this city is equally steeped in fine teas. From traditional, deftly-spiced chai—hold the syrup, please—to unusual leaves imported from the Far East, local tea purveyors have a blend for every taste.