Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tea House Review No. 1 ~ Lisa's Tea Treasures, San Jose, CA

Lisa's Tea Treasures, Santana Row San Jose, CA

Hooray for tearooms!

I'm slightly embarrassed to admit I've only recently discovered tearooms. I don't know how I ever could have not known about them, except to say that we don't have any in Lodi, or Stockton the two towns where I've spent most of my life. But since I've started delving into the wide world of tea, I've fallen in love with the idea of a tearoom. Maybe someday I'll have my own... (wistfully starting into space).

Thanks to http://www.teamap.com/ I've found many tearooms relatively close to my town and I am determined to systematically sip my way through all of them. Sounds fun, no? So as I begin my little journey I thought I'd share with you all. This is a trip that we actually took back in February 2009, but since it was the first tearoom I'd visited, I thought it best to start with the past and catch up to the current.

My wonderful husband, Sean and I are Sharks fans, ice hockey that is! Go Sharks! So since we were going to be in San Jose for a game, I thought I'd check to see if there were any tea rooms in the area that I could visit since we'd already be in town. I knew I wouldn't have a lot of time, but perhaps I could at least see one in person, just a quick look to see if it was like what I'd imagined. I found information for at least two in San Jose, but the one that grabbed my attention was named after me, how sweet! Just kidding, It's not named after me, in my dreams! Any way, this sophisticated and very pretty tearoom that we visited is called Lisa's Tea Treasures (www.lisasteatreasures.com/Subs/SanJose/Home.htm). Lisa's Tea Treasures is situated in a high end shopping district called Santana Row (http://www.santanarow.com/) a lovely area with loads of beautiful, albeit rather pricey boutiques. This was my first visit to a tearoom of any kind, so I didn't really know what to expect other than what I'd read on the Internet, which was that tearooms usually busy enough to require a reservation and that your time there should not be rushed. Since I didn't have a reservation, or the time to sit and enjoy a proper afternoon tea before the game started across town, Sean and I just popped in to take a peek.

The tearoom was closed for the afternoon tea service by the time we arrived (which again I didn't mind not having a reservation or a great deal of time) but the gift shoppe was open for browsing, which I happily did! Lisa's Tea Treasures is a elegant and beautiful respite. I can easily envision a leisurely afternoon of shopping with my girlfriends, capped off with a nice pot of tea and a bite to eat in this lovely, lovely tearoom. The ladies working at the shop that day were very kind and genuinely friendly, and even though they were in between shifts busily preparing for their next guests, they encouraged me take my time to look around and sample some tea, they even took our picture outside the shop. It's a very feminine place, very... pink. Not that there's anything wrong with that, I love pink. But there's not a shred of masculinity on the premises, I'm not sure that even if we had the time to stay and have tea that I would have gotten Sean to agree to it. I think he might have felt very much "like a bull in a china shop" and I think he'd much rather grab a coffee and a newspaper at the Pete's Coffee a few doors down and leave the tea sipping and the doilies to me. But he was a good sport, and let me peruse and take my time.

While browsing at Lisa's Tea Treasures, I found my own treasure and bought my very first "fancy" cup and saucer, it's so pretty!

I also bought a box of the wonderful tea that I sampled that afternoon, it's a Strawberry Darjeeling called "The Rajah's Prize". I love it in the evening with cream & sugar.

I wished I'd had more time that afternoon, and I'm looking forward to a day when I'll be able to go back to Lisa's Tea Treasures and actually take tea! The staff was friendly and I already know the tea is great. I can just hear the scones calling my name, if the food is as good as the ambiance, I know I'm going to love it all the more!

Tea-Ta-For-Now ~ Lisa


parTea lady said...

Visiting tearooms is one of my most favorite things to do. My hubby (who also plays ice hockey (mostly when we lived in Canada)is not keen on afternoon tea. Lisa's Tea Treasures sounds wonderful. I like their very extensive menu that even includes low-fat and vegetarian choices. I would love to try the Lady's Respite tea.

There is a book that I like called The Great Tea Rooms Of America by Bruce Richardson. He included a couple in California - McCharles House and Rose Tree Cottage - I don't know if they are still in business.

Thanks for the photos and info about this lovely tearoom.

Southern Touch Catering said...

Just found you today on Tea WIth Friends. My Great Aunt & Uncle live in Lodi! I know there are a lot of people that live there, but do you know any DosRies's Ed & Jackie by chance?

Lisa Leggett said...

ParTea Lady,
It's quickly becoming one of my favorite things too! I'm finding new ones all the time! How fun!

Southern Touch,
I wish I could say I knew your Great Aunt & Uncle, although the name DosRies sounds SO familiar to me I just can't place it. Are they ranchers or grape growers? I feel like I've seen the name relating to something doing with ag. I'm probably wrong... Lodi is still small enough to feel like you know everybody, I like it here.

Thanks for your comments ladies!