Infusions of Tea
The Infusions of Tea is a compact little establishment offering over 70 different kinds of teas. This operation manages to give a modern, crisp-N-clean atmosphere, yet captures the old-time tea house feel.
|Note: As of Jan 2012, this tea house is closed and you can only make purchases from their online store. As of 2013, their links no longer work. It seems as if they have moved on.|
The Establishment - Sorry, online store only
Opened in 2003, Ron and Emilie decided to ditch their high-tech, rat-race jobs and open a cozy, homegrown tea shop called "Infusions of Tea".
The place is small: it has about 5 tables (inside & out) plus there is a "bar" with 4 seats at the counter. The tables and chairs are contemporary in style but blend-in well with the general decor.
On the wall, the shelves are lined with tea pots, tea cups, and tea accessories. The wall behind the counter is lined with tea, tea, and more tea. The teas are housed in containers of the same size & shape giving the place a clean, organized, no-nonsense look.
Despite the no-frills appearance, Infusions of Tea offers warm service that keeps customers coming back. The owners and staff are very knowledgeable and believe in customer service. The place is rarely crowded: people come, enjoy a tea, and they go. Thus, you can almost always find a seat even though the shop can only accommodate about 20 people.
The only time when the store is completely packed is when they are hosting an event. On occasion, Infusions of Tea will have guest speakers come and present their tea-related work. Once Tea Farmer from Japan came and explained the details of tea leaf harvesting. He prepared & served tea and answered questions. Available were special edition blends of tea for sale. At another time, author and tea historian Beatrice Hohenegger spoke on her book "Liquid Jade, The Story of Tea from East to West". These community events are well attended and much appreciated by tea aficionados.
This tea shop offers over 70 different mixes and blends of tea: all of them sound divine and it is often difficult to choose which to try. Teas are served hot but some can be served on ice. Cost is about $3 for a small cup, and $4 for a large cup. For example, consider something:
White Peony: delicate sweetness with touch of plum fragrance.
Emerald Mist: mellow and refreshing, with slightly nutty finish.
Lillian's Treasure: organic sencha with apple pieces, safflower, and organic pear.
Fuji: green tea with papaya and wild pineapple.
Tidal Wave: black tea, coconut, chocolate, vanilla, and S African rooibos.
Concerto: Astragalus root, echinacea, elderberry, lemongrass, licorice root, lyciium berry, peppermint and rooibos.
Can't decide? Try the Tea Tasting service. Sit at the bar where you can sample 3 teas of your choice. The staff will explain the differences between the various blends so you know what you're drinking. Though not advertised, in the past, the Tea Tasting service is free if you buy some tea leaves to go.
Tea leaves are sold loose and can be packaged in foil bags (cheaper) or canisters (more expensive). The tea is vacuum sealed so they stay fresh. Prices vary tremendously from $5 to $28 for a 2-oz packet (2 oz makes about 15 to 20 cups). Be sure to ask for brewing tips so you can enjoy your tea to its fullest while at home.
Infusions of Tea has a modest selection of pastries. Sandwiches are available during weekdays. Sencha Green Tea Mints are a must try for those who have never tasted them.
Who comes Here? Sorry, online store only
If you love teas and the tea lifestyle, this place is a haven for you. The staff is knowledgeable & friendly. The tea is refine and flavorful. The establishment is totally geared towards relaxing and enjoying your tea. Many of the customers are "regulars" and there is a bit of a "community" feel to the whole place.
If you are somewhat ambivalent about tea, but would like to experience something beyond what Starbucks offers, try this place in combination with other actvities in the UTC area: get a tea from Infusions of Tea and then browse in the BookStar (a few storefronts over), or go shop at UTC shopping mall (across the street).
If you want some quiet down-time by yourself, this is the place to go to unwind and decompress. If you want to go out with a friend but don't want to go eat (again), this is a great place to sit and chit chat. It's a great place to bring a first-date or to bring a life-long companion.
It's not a great place to bring a group of friends. Children may enjoy the pastries but the teas may be a bit too subtle to peak their interest. No worries - there is a Robeks Juice (next door) and a Baskin-Robbins(downstairs).
Location, Hours of Operation, Parking - Sorry, online store only
Infusions of Tea
8750 Genesee Ave., Suite 258
San Diego, CA 92122
see sample menu
Mon to Wed
Thurs & Fri
10 am - 7 pm
10 am - 8 pm
10 am - 6 pm
11 am - 6 pm
Parking is plentiful courtesy of the Costa Verde strip mall. You can park in an above-ground lot or in an underground parking structure.
There are no bathrooms at the Infusions of Tea. If you need a restroom, you will have to use the facilities at the nearby Starbucks or BookStar. There is a public restroom associated with the Costa Verde shopping mall: it is on the 3rd level and it is locked (ask merchant for mode of entry).