Where to experience Asia in the West

You don't need to fly to Bangalore or Beijing to sample the best of Asian dining, shopping, and culture. We have it all right here

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Best Asian teahouses in the West
Photo by Jen Siska; written by Sara Desseran

Best Asian teahouses in the West

A bevy of tea bars is introducing Americans to the calming, healthful pleasures of green tea--the most traditional of Asian beverages.

Red Blossom Tea Company (San Francisco, CA). Although it's a shop only, it's worth a stop for high-quality teas, which have been sold to the likes of Charlie Trotter's restaurants. redblossomtea.com

Imperial Tea Court (San Francisco and Berkeley, CA).  The first traditional Chinese teahouse in the United States, this classic was founded by Roy Fong, a Taoist priest and Hong Kong native who sources only the best teas. $$; 1 Ferry Building, San Francisco, and 1511 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley; imperialtea.com

Teance (Berkeley, CA). On Fourth Street, this retreat is a good stop for tea novices. A custom-made tea bar is flecked with bits of sparkly glass and bartenders pour White Peony Logevity Brows and other teas. Tastings from $7; teance.com

Miro Tea (Seattle, WA).  This modern tea shop opened in Seattle's historic Ballard neighborhood and offers an extensive selection. Check out their informative blog. $; mirotea.com

The Tao of Tea (Portland, OR).  Its two shops offer a large and sophisticated selection of Asian teas. There's also a Tao tea bar in Whole Foods Market. (7380 S.W. Bridgeport Rd., Tigard, OR). $; 3430 S.E. Belmont St. and 239 N.W. Everett St.; taooftea.com

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