Far Leaves Tea 2626 San Pablo Ave./Parker St., West Berkeley, (510) 665-9409. Tu-Sat 11-7, Sun 2-7, closed M.
Cozy and quiet, this casual Asian-style tea house has tatami mats, tables, and antique tea chairs. Known for its selection of loose-leaf teas, which are packed to go, it is the perfect spot to perch on a rainy day. If you want to stay and sample a tea or just relax for a while, place your order at the counter. A pot runs $5, plus $2 for a second cup to share. A small selection of snacks that go well with tea includes items such as flavored mochi, taro buns steamed to order, almonds, and dates. Hot water heaters and outlets are provided at every table, so many patrons use their laptops and phones. Osmanthus tea has an aromatic flowery scent, while oolong is slightly smoky. Rose tea, White Lavender tea, and Herbal Chai are also worth a try.
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